As the owner of an Oriental Rug gallery for many years, I have purchased thousands of handmade rugs. In the beginning, the process was a bit daunting and I was somewhat overwhelmed but as time passed, I learned from experience and study and now would like to share some of my insight with you today.
Important points when looking at a potential purchase of an Oriental rug.
Colors! Do you find the colors of the rug to be aesthetically pleasing? Do the colors in the rug give you a pleasant feeling of joy and happiness? If yes, this is a great start.
Quality of the materials. If the rug is wool, as most hand-woven rugs are, is the wool good quality? Good quality wool will not be dry or scratchy to the touch and should be quite resilient. If you push on it, does it spring back? Hand-spun wool from healthy sheep is durable and will last for many years. If the rug is silk, it should glisten like the sun and will be cold to the touch. If a “fake silk” often called “art silk” it will be much less expensive and not very tightly knotted. Beware of these “art silk” rugs as they are mercerized cotton and there is no silk in the rug.
Do you like the drawing? The drawing is the design layout of the rug. It can be geometric based or floral or anything in between. Is it too busy? Too flowery? If you love the colors but do not like the design, my advice is to pass on the rug. Do not purchase it. You must like both. Always honor your taste!
Will the size work for your needs? A little bigger or a little smaller should not stop you from making a purchase but if the rug in question is a total wrong size, time to let it go.
Are you able to try the rug “on an approval basis” which means, you can take the rug home and ensure it looks wonderful in the spot you have in mind. All dealers of repute will allow you to do this and some dealers, such as myself, will even ship rugs, on an approval basis.
Do you love it? The more you look at the right rug, the prettier it becomes. Good quality hand-woven rugs with beautiful colors and interesting designs never stop giving. They will never become boring and as time moves forward, you will enjoy them every day of your life.
My last words of advice: Be, very, very careful if you start obsessing on all things rugs. This art form can be very addicting and then you may have to become a rug dealer so can do this all the time!