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General Information  

What is an Oriental rug?
An authentic Oriental rug is handmade that is either knotted with pile or woven without pile. In hand-knotted rugs, strands of yarn are tied into the flat-woven fabric, creating a pile and pattern.  Oriental rugs that are made by machines, hand-tufting or any method other than hand-knotted or hand-weaving are not considered authentic Oriental rugs.

Throughout history, Oriental rugs have been a luxury standard, proved by their value increase over the years.  Antique rugs are most valuable; both because of each one’s history and that the beautiful colors are enhanced with time.  A genuine rug can last for generations and is a great investment.

These rugs normally come from a broad geographical region such as Iran, China, Vietnam, Turkey, Cyprus, Pakistan, and India.  Oriental rugs are organized by origin: Persian, Anatolian, Kurdish, Caucasian, Central Asian, Turkestanian, Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian.

How can I tell a good rug quality?
There are two basic things that show rug quality:  1) Small, tight knots and a fine pattern with a clear design on the front as well as on the back of the rug; 2) The wool should feel oily and full of lanolin. Hand-made rugs are more valuable then machine made. The back of the rug will help you determine whether it is a hand-made rug or machine made.  A hand-made rug had the same, vibrant design as the front of the rug.  The value of only a few Persian rugs, such as Nain and Isfahan, and silk rugs, is partially determined by knot count.  New, mass produced rugs from China, India, and Pakistan, vary in quality and design.  Generally speaking, when these rugs are new they have more knots per square inch and a higher price per square foot.  Originality, rarity and overall condition are important factors.

How long does it take to make a rug?
Authentic rugs are hand made – for a small 3′ x 5′ rug, it might take several months to make.  Medium-sized rugs (5′ x 8′) can take up to a year to hand make.  Very large rugs (10′ x 20′) might take a group of people a few years to complete.  Larger silk rugs with up to 1,000 knots or more per inch may take a lifetime to make.

Is an Oriental rug a good investment?
Because they increase in value, antique rugs are a good investment since they are getting to be very rare.  Over the centuries Oriental rugs have become treasured heirlooms passed from one generation to the next.  No new rug can achieve the look and feel of an old rug, which aged throughout the decades is like fine wine.  However, there is no such thing as a sure thing.  An old rug in poor condition is just an old rug.  Its value depends on many things, including the type of rug, how and when it was made, its artistic merit, and its condition.

Are Persian (Iranian) rugs better than rugs from other countries?
Given the overuse of the term Persian, you’d think so, but not necessarily. Some older, traditional pre-World War II Persian rugs, such as Ferahan Sarouk, Motashem Kashan, Tabriz, Bijar and Heriz pieces, will always have a market. However, beginning in the 1960's, the quality of Persian rugs gradually deteriorated.  Since the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979 and the embargo on Persian good in 1987, which was lifted in 1999, other countries have improved the quality of their rugs and increased their output.  It is our opinion and hope that the quality of Persian rugs will return slowly.

How do I inspect a rug before buying?
Check the threads of the rug from both front and back to see if there are any breaks or cuts. Also check to see if any repairs have been done; if so, see if they were properly executed.  Check the pile for holes, stains and moth damage, especially in older rugs.  Examine the colors for running by wiping a damp cloth firmly over the rug.

 


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  Fred Mason and Son Company
Ewing, NJ 08638
Princeton: 609-924-3112
Ewing: 609-530-0220
dave@fredmasonandsoncompany.com
fred@fredmasonandsoncompany.com