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4 Basic Photos Needed to Determine Authentic Persian Rugs and Oriental Carpets

Take a look at our Authentication Process if you have arrived at this page without prior knowledge of our Rug Rag Verifications.  Should you wish to have free information regarding a rug online, either request the seller be in contact with us, or take the link to our Rug Rag Forum.

4 Basic Photos to Conclude an Oriental Rug is "Authentic" (and possibility for further attribution)


  • No Less than a "Fine" Quality image Taken by 3+ Mega Pixel Camera
  • Be 100% Clear
  • Have good lighting
  • Have high detail where needed. 
  • Unaltered by Photo Editing (e.g. Colors, Contast, Etc.)
  • For close-up images, use the flower button on the camera: Camera Flower Button


The goal of Rug Rag Verifications and Forum help is to attribute a rug further than a simple confirmation of the item in fact being hand knotted.  In doing so, the following 4 Photographs are absolutely integral to determining information about any given rug which is submitted to the forum or to our expert staff here at Rug Rag.


Number 1

What is needed:  A photograph of the FULL RUG.  Either the Light OR Dark side.  The red dots indicate the orientation of the rug on the loom.  The two dots on either side of the the rug indicate the top of the carpet.  The "top" of a rug is the last part of the carpet woven by the weaver.

In the photo below on the left, the top of the rug is at the top of the image as indicated with the red dots.  The image below and right was taken from the other side of the rug, and the top of the rug is at the bottom of the image as indicated by the red dots.  In photographs submitted, it is helpful if the inquirer includes what direction the photograph was taken.

Dark side of an Oriental Rug (top further away)

Light side of an Oriental Rug (top closer)


Why it is needed:

Design symmetry is important when evaluating an Oriental Rug or Carpet.  Additionally, there are times where we're prompted for a "ballpark" estimate on the value of a rug.  In these instances, the entire rug must be presented to give a more accurate internet* assessment.



Number 2      Camera Flower Button

What is needed: A detail photograph of the edge of the rug known as the selvages from the reverse side of the carpet.  These are the wrapped edges which run perpendicular to the fringed ends.

Selvages of an Oriental Rug

Why it is needed:  Photographs of the selvages help a great deal in quickly determining whether or not a rug is hand knotted or not.  Additionally, there are instances where experts may string together multiple indicators and characteristics of oriental rugs to help in determining age, origin, genre, and sometimes construction.


Number 3 Camera Flower Button

What is needed: A high resolution detailed photograph of the fringe going into the carpet.  Although it is preferable this photograph would be taken from the reverse side of one end, it would be fine to take it of the front.

Photograph of the fringe going into the rug

Why it is needed:  Another great indicator of what the rug is and whether or not it is hand knotted.  For a professional to see this photograph may help in attribution of origin, at times age, genre, etc., when putting all hints and clues together. 


Number 4 Camera Flower Button

What is needed: A photograph of a plain old US Quarter placed on top of the knots on the reverse side of the rug/carpet.

Quarter on the Reverse Side of an Oriental Rug to Determine KPSI

Why it is needed: There is a great deal of information Oriental Rug Experts can derive from this image.  Relevant characteristics which may be determined: the knot count, yarn ply, (sometimes) weft, and in some cases, insight as to whether or not the wool has been hand spun. All these can aid in further identification, and with the seasoned eye of a professional, recognition of a weave may be signifcantly easier with a highly detailed photograph as the one seen above.




When a Ballpark Estimate is Requested:

Here are some samples of what kind of images will be requested.  While you may submit your photographs of worn areas or areas which are in need of repair, there may be additional areas those on the forum or on our Expert Staff wish to see.

Number 5

Thin/worn areas of a Persian Rug: knot heads


Number 6

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September 7. 2009 17:34


I am new to Rug Rag & came here looking for information on some rugs I received.

Great Site!

Anyway, it really would have helped me to understand the terminology if I had read this before I went to "What's my carpet worth?" It would be great if you asked people to visit this page first before filling out the form. I had no idea what selvages were & quarters weren't explained, and I already filled the form out & downloaded some photos when I came across this. I just took a wild guess & guessed wrong! Duh!

I wish I would have found this page first.

Now that I know, I'll list the correct images, Duh again!

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September 7. 2009 17:48


Hi, Thanks for contacting and we appreciate the kind words about the site!

We're constantly trying to improve ease of use, and will address your point about this page on the submission form:

In the meantime, some of the terms are hyperlinked, although there's a possibility in some browsers they may not be active. We'll look into it!

Thanks again, and all the best,

David Dilmaghani

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