A customer who had taken three rugs to try at home returned two of them and kept a 40 radj fine Ivory Mashad rug. Few customers brought their rugs for cleaning. A lady brought in a rug for cleaning and said I want to have this area rug cleaned. I said this is not an area rug; it is hand made. She said no it is area rug and a friend has give this rug to me for free. I said maybe she/he did not know what this rug was. Otherwise this guy would not have given it to you for free. This dark blue 5 x 8 rug is from Tabriz, Iran and is worth around $750. She could not believe it. She was so happy when she left our store. I suggested to have the fringes repaired and she agreed.
A lady came in today to our rug gallery and said if it would be ok to buy a Turkish rug when somebody is in Turkey as a tourist. I said I do not recommend it specially if you spend more than a couple of hundred dollars. Because you do not know rugs and there is a chance you buy a fake rug. There are for example Chinese silk rugs made in China which maybe sold as Hereke Turkish rugs which are very fine rugs, but how can you tell the difference. Thaen I talked to her and gave her some literature, among which a "Rug Buying Tips". She read part of it and appreciated. I post that tip here in case some one would like to take a look at it:
Rug Buying Tips
Dr. Khosrow Sobhe
1- If you do not know Oriental rug, try to know your Oriental rug dealer.
The dealer should be knowledgeable and should not insist in selling you a rug. You as a customer should not feel you are under pressure. The rug dealer should provide you with the right information, based on which you can make a sound and informative decision. Choosing the right store and the right dealer is the most important job in your rug buying process.
2- When you buy a Persian or Oriental rug, ask the dealer to write down on the invoice whatever he claims the rug to be. For example "Hand knotted Persian rug with vegetable dye and hand-spun wool". Ask him to give you a copy of his printed return policy. This should be simple and clear and not with many preconditions.
3- Never trust "Going Out of Business" rug stores or traveling auctions. In many cases, "Retirement Sales", TV and the Internet auctions by unknown sellers are also not trustable.
4- Do not trust those who claim to give you 80% off. Think for a moment. How is it possible to buy a hand knotted (or handmade) rug and pay only 20% of what it is worth? Why should somebody do this favor to you?
5- Material of the rug you would like to buy is very important. Wool is the best material for pile. Silk pile is luxurious, but is not good for high traffic areas of your home. The warp (foundation of the rug) can be cotton, wool or silk. Usually, tribal rugs are made of wool warp. Machine made and area rugs may look beautiful, but there maybe some health issues and concerns with them compared with hand knotted rugs which use natural fibers such as cotton, wool and silk.
6- To make sure a silk rug is real, take a little piece of the fringe (warp) and burn it. If it leaves a little stem, it is silk, if it disintegrates, it is not real and is probably rayon or other synthetics. Some dealers refer to rayon in the rug industry as "artificial silk", or worse "art silk". In either case, it is not silk. A lot of Silk rugs from India, China, and Pakistan are not real silk so make sure you know what you are buying. A reputable rug dealer should always tell you clearly what material a rug is made with.
7- Choosing the right size is very important. Make sure to measure your room correctly before referring to any rug store. Try to get standard size rug compared with odd sizes. The usual standard sizes in foot are: 3 x 5, 5 x 8,
6 x 9, 8 x 10, 9 x 12, 10 x 14, and 12 x 15. The standard width for runners of any length is 2' 6", although there are other widths as well
8- Color is another important factor in selecting a rug. Many buyers would like the color of the rug match with the wall, furniture, draperies, and other items surrounding it. Light colors make the room look bigger.
9- Design of a rug is a matter of taste. Some people like busier designs while other may prefer less crowded designs with more open field. In classical and traditional rugs, there is a medallion in the center with a corner medallion (1/4 of a medallion) in each corner. Another design group is overall with no center medallion while there are big flowers and motives. This design is more popular than the classical designs with medallions. Persian rugs have a vast collection of designs which can satisfy many different types of customers.
10- Price is also another important factor which you should consider. There is no one formula based on which you can determine the price of a hand knotted rug. Variables such as size, origin, quality of the wool and dye, density of the knots, material, age and … are important factors. As mentioned earlier, if you find a reputable dealer who is an active member of several professional societies and associations and has knowledge of the rug, you are probably in a much safer hands.
11- We at RugIdea.com will be happy to give you free advice on your rug buying journey. Please give us a call at 310-770-9085 from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm PST, California time!!
Hope you like these tips which have been gathered based on my many years of experience and what I have learned from others in the Oriental carpet world.