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Q&A Silk Kashmir from Private Seller

Question:

Kashmir Oriental Rug

I hope you may have the time to help me with some questions/authenticity about a rug that I would like to purchase online.  However, being burned before by misleading info provided by sellers and having very little knowledge (if at all) about rugs, I need help from the pros.  The rug is advertised as a Handmade Handknotted India silk rug 10x14. 
 
In your opinion, is it authentic?  Is it pure silk or imitation silk?  How much the rugs from india like that cost? What would be the fair market value for me to bid? Are they inferior to other oriental rugs and by how much (i.e., vs. chinese, afghan, etc.)?
 
I hope i am not asking too much....  Any help on this would be much appreciated.  Thank you!

-anonymous

 

Response: 

Thank you for contacting, and very happy to hear of your interest in Oriental Rugs.  We are happy to provide some basic information for you* with exception to values: Ballpark numbers we provide in our comprehensive assessment as a paid service.

The carpet passes every visual indicator to our eye that it is hand knotted, made in India, and from the area of kashmir.  We can say this with a very high level of certainty.  However, there are several noteworthy points to make.  Nothing to intimidate or scare, just to make sure this is the right rug for you, will receive close to what is expected, or know what potential areas could be explored more. A mini buyers guide for you and this carpet.

With exception to very unique instances, it's extremely difficult to ascertain whether a rug is silk or artificial silk from images.  The two best tests for this would be a Silk Burn Test, or dissolving test.  Both need to be performed in person.  If the seller is interested in providing images of results, or can vouch for how the results yield, that helps.  What we can say is the rug does not appear to be wool, and therefore would likely be artificial silk or silk.  If going on little information and you need to have the rug, the optimal solution would be to be assume it is artificial silk unless you can receive more conclusive info from the seller.  Better to be safe than sorry. 

Colors on these Kashmir Indian rugs can sometimes be very bright and garish.  If you are particular, do ask for more images in natural sunlight.  silk rugs and artificial silk rugs are among the most difficult to capture true saturation and tone.  Sometimes the best solution is to ask for images of the back of the rug.  Ordinarily, these colors will be between the light and dark side, and give a better idea of what may show up at your door.  The lighting used in these images also seems to wash out the colors to a grey tone.  Hopefully this is not fading - which too is not atypical of lower grade pieces exposed to chemical washes or extended sunlight.  A quick question to send to the seller may be something to the effect of "is there a large discrepancy between the colors from the back of the rug to the front."  Generally, they should be pretty close in a healthy piece.

From what we can see, it appears as though the seller has not shown a familiar object to set in proportion to the knots.  For example, a quarter would help in estimating kpsi which is somewhat more important for newer rugs from Kashmir as there is a 'market price'.  It's not entirely uncommon for these numbers to be inflated on tags, so it's good to confirm if possible.  This may help gauge how high you may be willing to bid, if more than the starting bid.


As for the country of origin and how this compares qualitatively, there really is no measure.  It's not dissimilar to the knot count predicament: In learning about rugs it would be great if quality could be determined by something as simple as counting the knot density.  Unfortunately, there aren't many shortcuts in evaluating quality of a piece, and country of orgin does not correlate with quality. 

If you wish for us to provide more clear ballpark numbers on what may or may not be appropriate to bid we can do so, although would prefer to have more clarity to the points made above.

Here are some entries on the main Rug Rag site which may be of more assistance:

Silk Burn Test

KPSI

Silk Rug Powdering (for new rugs if exposed to extended periods of sunlight)

Sun Fade/Oxidation

 

Hope this helps, and all the best!

- Rug Rag

 

 

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

 

See More From "The InBox"

For all those interested in submitting a question to the Rug Rag Editors:  We'd be more than happy to help, please send some photographs of the 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 photographs of worn areas.  For rugs of any age, please be sure to check for dry areas, moth damage, odor, and whether or not the rug is straight/has right angles where called for.  If you have any questions about our assessment request feel free to send us an email.  Otherwise, we are looking for something similar to these images posted here

 

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Want to purchase rugs like the ones mention in this post? Here are some options...

Kashmir Silk


Inexpensive: Take a look at Kashmir silk Rugs up for bid on eBay!
Moderately priced: Take a look at Kashmir silk Rugs up for bid on eBay!
Inexpensive: Take a look at Kashmir silk Rugs up for bid on eBay!
Moderately priced: Take a look at Kashmir silk Rugs up for bid on eBay!
 
     

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