Buying anything always involves a slight degree of risk. You’ve worked hard for your money and want to spend it wisely but you might not have the best knowledge to help you make the smartest purchase.
You want the best quality for the best value. But when the thing you are buying can range in quality from a fairly simple product to something which could be considered a work of art and craftsmanship you might need some help.
Here are some top tips to remember when buying a Persian rug:
There are a few tell-tale signs of a quality rug. First and foremost a good rug will lie flat and even on a flat surface. You should not see any curling sides and the dimensions of the rug should be uniform with no uneven lengths.
An excellent rug may still have a few little flaws and inconsistencies as can be found in items of a handmade nature but these only add to its character.
Know Your Knots
A chief indicator of quality in Persian rugs is knot density. It can be determined by the number of knots per square inch (kpsi). The more knots, the denser the rug, the better the quality.
More knots also allow for greater detail and colour variation in the rugs pattern.
Knots come in 3 main ranges:
Coarse, with about 70-80 per square inch,
Medium, with between 100 and 200 kpsi
Fine, which can have upwards of 200 knots kpsi. In exceptional cases you may even find as many as 400.
The Importance Of Fibres
Rugs made from natural fibres are always going to be of a much higher quality than those made from synthetic fibres.
Wool is recognised as the best fibre and is very durable while nylon or propylene is typically found in the cheaper, mass-produced, rugs.
Most Persian rugs are made from wool. According to Wikipedia, it is typically sheep’s wool whose ‘characteristics and quality vary from each area to the next, depending on the breed of sheep, climatic conditions, pasturage, and the particular customs relating to when and how the wool is shorn and processed’.
Different qualities of wool are also found in different areas of the sheep’s fleece due to the ratio between the thicker and stiffer sheep hair and the finer fibres of the wool. The higher grades of wool are to be found on the wool growing on the sheep’s neck.
Others rugs can be made using cotton and silk also.
Choose Your Rug
Choosing a rug is no easy task. Even furnished with a rudimentary idea of what to look out for being able to spot those things is another matter entirely.
It can take an observant eye and attention to detail to be able to recognise the tell-tale signs you know you should look for.
Being able to recognise what makes a rug not just good, but great, is almost a skill as great as being able to make the rug in the first place.
From the knots per square inch, to the imperfections which reveal character rather than being poor-quality mistakes, to the material and dimensions, there’s a lot to take in when making your assessment.
Sometimes, despite our best intentions and knowledge, we aren’t best equipped to know the smartest choice to make.
Sometimes we would be wisest to make use of an expert. Someone who has been long enough in the trade that all those little tips and things to look out for come second nature. That way you won’t need to remember these tips and still can walk away with the rug of your dreams.