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Top 6 Most Common and Costly Misconceptions on and about Persian and Oriental Rugs!

Here are the top 6 most common misconceptions which can easily cloud the perception of potential Oriental Rug buyers!

6: "A hand knotted rug is greater in value than a machine made rug." FALSE.  While machine made oriental rugs certainly have their limitations and point of diminishing return in regards to longevity, resale value and other, almost entirely across the board, the most reputable hand knotted Oriental Rug importers and retailers will honestly tell you up front simply because a rug is hand knotted does not necessarily mean it holds greater value or durability over a machine made rug.  In fact, one of the greatest problems reputable sellers face is the mass importation of junk quality hand knotted goods which often end up in local church auctions, going out of business sales (GOB's) and itinerant hotel auctions.  Many of the hand knotted goods which are brought in for these "here today, gone tomorrow" sales are of far inferior in quality due to the implementation of dry, coarse wool, which simply cannot be used in machine made production.  While the lure of an inexpensive hand knotted Oriental Rug may be appealing to many, the fact is, a machine made rug in a similar (and sometimes lower) price category may be the more educated purchase!

5: To quote a recent blog, "The older an oriental rug is, the greater its value." FALSE.  Just because a rug is old, does not mean it is of great value.  While there are many old (and valuable) Oriental and Persian Rugs, the assumption that age equating to value is incorrect.  One of the most important factors to about Oriental Rugs is to consider genre, condition, rarity, design execution and furthermore, demand for such.  The Antique Oriental Rug Market is a very complex, multi faceted platform.  Value is NOT a function of age!

4: Quoting "...The finest rugs come today, as they always have, out of Persia" FALSE.  While many distinguished Persian Rugs are decidedly high in value, the fact is there are Oriental Rugs which have been woven in many different rug producing countries which knot for knot are equal to, and sometimes even greater than value of their Persian counterparts.  Emmett Eiland of has recently written some great write ups on Oriental Rugs which have been imported from India.  The point is, any internet, reputable retailer or Oriental Rug expert will reply with the same answer when prompted with the question of where the best rugs come from: To quote Bruce Good of, "All countries make good and bad rugs."

3: "The higher the knot count, the better the rug."  FALSE.  While knot density, knot count or kpsi may be one indicator of quality, it should not be the end-all-be-all in determining what is or is not a solid investment.  To give an example of how knot count can create a stir is to understand knot count in relation to the area in which the rug is created.  A loose example of this would be comparing knot count of Nain Oriental Rugs vs. Peshawar rugs.  A peshawar carpet containing 250 KPSI would be a very unique and unusually high knot count for this genre of rug.  However, an Oriental Rug from nain with 250 KPSI would be on the very low end of the production scale.  Relatively speaking, knot for knot comparing the two, there is no dollar amount an individual can place on any single knot woven.  The fact of the matter is knot count translates to very little when assessing the general scope of any one given Oriental Rug, as other factors such as quality of wool, design execution, and even imperfections unseen such as color run may weigh far heavier on the value of a rug over knot density.  Take a look at a recent response made Dr. Khosrow Sobhe of

2: "The thinner or thicker the rug, the better the quality."  FALSE.  The pile height has very little to do with the actual value of a rug.  Many novices make the assumption that the more raw materials needed (e.g. amount of wool) the higher the value.  This statement is false.  While the amount of raw materials may have some influence in regards to investment and weaver expense, this does not necessarily translate to a "higher quality rug" per se.  Conversely, many sellers may make the claim that a thinner rug is more valuable because this may allude to the use of higher knot count.  Again, this is a false statement.  Breaking down and assessing what makes a better quality rug has little to no relevance when evaluating the value or worth of an Oriental Rug.  What is important to understand and evaluate in regards to pile height has to do with proper shearing height.  To give some examples:  An Oriental Rug which has a coarse knot count (or low KPSI), which has been sheared too thin may have a "pixelized" design presence.  Conversely, a finely woven (or high kpsi) Oriental Rug which has a thick pile may show as having a muddled design.  The take-away here is proper balance between knot count and pile height takes expert artisan craftsmanship to fully assess how to optimize characteristics and design execution prior to final shearing.

1: "An appraisal or Retail Value dictates fair market value for an Oriental or Persian Rug" FALSE.  One of the most commonly abused marketing ploys by less reputable Oriental Rug sellers is to exploit public perception of value by misguiding consumers through inflated values presented in the sale ticket of an Oriental Rug.  There is a big difference between price inflation and price adjustment!

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July 1. 2008 19:11

Oriental Rug Lover

Nice write-up! We have been seeing spectacular rugs made in Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, India, China. Iran certainly has no monopoly on oriental rug quality, although there are producers there who make some fantastic (and fantastically expensive) rugs.

In general, we find the most important factor in pricing a rug to be aesthetics. Is the rug beautiful? Of course, this factor is the hardest to quantify. A great dealer has a great eye and can pick out rugs that many people find beautiful.

Oriental Rug Lover

August 31. 2008 13:59


Thanks for your comment!


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