Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Rug Buying Secrets and Tips
Rug Buying Secrets & Tips
1- If you do not know much about Oriental rugs, try to get to know your Oriental rug dealer. The dealer should be knowledgeable and should not be overly persistent in trying to sell you a rug. You as a customer should not feel that you are under pressure to buy a rug. 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 adventure.
2- When you buy a Persian, Oriental or area rug, ask the dealer to write a thorough description of whatever he claims the rug to be on the invoice. For example "Hand knotted Persian rug with vegetable dye and handspun 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 not trustworthy.
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 rug and pay only 20% of what it is worth? Why should somebody do this big 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 may be some health issues and concerns with them. Especially when 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 and smells like burning hair, it is silk. If it disintegrates and smells like burning paper, it is not real and is probably rayon, mercerized cotton, viscose or other synthetics. Some dealers refer to rayon/viscose in the rug industry as "artificial silk", or worse "art silk". In either case, it is not real and natural silk. A lot of silk rugs that come from India, and China, are not made from real silk, so make sure you know what you are buying. A reputable rug dealer would always clearly tell you 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. Get the maximum and minimum sizes you may want to cover to have a better choice by considering several rugs of different sizes.
8- Color is another important factor in selecting a rug. Many buyers would like the color of the rug to match with the wall, furniture, draperies, and other items surrounding it. Light colors make the room look bigger. Darker colors do not show spills and dirt.
9- Choosing a design of a rug is a matter of taste. Some people like busier designs while others may prefer less crowded designs with a 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 or floral with no center medallion while there are repeating flowers and motives. This design is more popular than the classical design with medallions. Persian rugs have a vast collection of designs which can satisfy many different types of customers.
10- Price is also an important factor which you should consider. There is no set formula rug pricing is based upon. Determining the price of a hand knotted rug depends on many variables such as size, origin, quality of the wool and dye, density of the knots (Knot Per Square Inch, KPSI), material and age. 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 much safer hands.
11- We at RugIdea.com will be happy to give you free advice on your rug buying journey. We, as third generation rug enthusiasts and Certified Rug Specialist (CRS), practice what we preach. Please give us a call at 310-770-9085 if we can be of assistance to you.
Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)