Hello Rug Rag!
I'm writing to inquire on learning about rugs on the internet. I have a great passion for rugs, and have for many years. More recently, I've started educating myself on names of rugs and types of rugs by cruising through stores on the web and google images. What suggestions do you have. I really love you site. I LOVE it!
We love rugs too! Thanks for the kind words, glad to hear you're enjoying our site. Quick note, you may want to consider taking advantage of our Oriental Rug Forum to learn about rugs. Reading posts on the forum will help serve as a great aid as it has for many users in the past and going forward.
This is a really important question you've brought up. First, we encourage your interest in rugs. You're doing the right thing by cruising through the corners of the web looking for ways to educate on names and attribution. However, there are some important points to make regarding this type of education.
The best way to learn about rugs is to see as many as you can in person. Go to auction such as Christie's and Sotheby's as often as possible, take a look at local rug stores too. There are some excellent resources out there, some of which are listed on the blogroll on our site too. Purchasing some new or second hand books never hurts either.
We would, however, like to address some very important points regarding online research through google images, ebay and private stores.
1. Google images are great. The only problem is that google operates on many different levels, gathering data and information in such a way that may not actually produce the proper image you're searching for 100% of the time. Be sure to double check the words match the images: this is a little safer, yet still depends on the reputation of the site providing such info in addition to the way in which google indexes such. Machine made rugs and hand tufted rugs may also take away from proper identification as these designs often seem to be more ecclectic, pulling styles from many different areas of rug producing countries and combining them into one powerloomed rug.
2. Be wary of keyword hounds! There are many sellers who use multiple names in ebay listings and even store listings. Just last month, we saw one seller advertising their Oriental Rug as a "chobi, peshawar, mashad, kashan, nain" rug! Wow. That's a lot of attribution. Be careful with such quick-to-list naming of rugs: Often times sellers who list several or more different names are capitalizing on search process to come up in more results than normal. There's no real significant curbing of this on eBay, which now brings us to store inventory on private sites....
3. There are a lot of reputable sellers out there. However, there are some larger stores who use multiple attributions. This is slightly different than the above mentioned "eBay Keyword" problem. One site we were on recently had some 70+ options of regional names in Iran to search through their inventory. While they certainly did have a great deal of inventory, one major problem we saw was duplication of rugs in several or more different categories (sometimes even on the other side of Iran!). Some may do this to "inflate" their rug representation. However, another reason for this may have to do with the design and or structure question. While a rug may have been woven in tabriz, it could have a Kerman Design. Again, there are sellers who would categorize these under two places in their inventory. This blurs true and correct attribution which would ordinarily be accepted by those in the industry for such items. Who is to say rugs should be organized by origin or design? This depends on the seller... However, the point is to make certain you differentiate between such.
We're really happy to hear you have a passion for rugs. We do too! Given the depth of this craft and extent of history, migration etc., rugs can sometimes be difficult to identify. The best thing to do is purchase several books, take a look through some of the more independent sites which don't have merchandise to push, or take a look at sellers websites who have good reputations in the industry.
Thanks for an excellent question, let us know if you have any additional questions.
We look forward to talking with anyone who may have questions on or
about oriental rugs. We are an Independent Reviewer, and will give you
our opinion for any rug, new or old. Should you have any questions you
would like to submit for a blog entry response, please do so, and be
sure to include photographs of your rug. For more information, please
take a look at the bottom of this page, or feel free to Contact Us at Info@rugrag.com
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Editors: We'd be more than happy to help, please send some photographs
reverse side of the rug very close up with a quarter placed on the
knots, plus a picture of the fringe, the whole face of the rug and
detail shot of the pile. If the rug is worn, please include
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