Oriental rugs have many characteristics that make them desirable, from their amazing patterns and lovely colors to their unparalleled durability. The fact that each rug is entirely hand-woven and one-of-a-kind only adds to the allure. Unlike their modern, machine-made counterparts, handmade oriental rugs can last for several generations and their value only increases.
At J & J rugs, we truly believe that each hand knotted rug is a unique work of art. Every piece is laboriously and patiently worked upon by a skilled weaver, who ties each knot individually, creating a truly distinctive masterpiece.
Unlike machine made rugs, when you own a hand knotted rug you can be sure there will be no other rug that is identical to it. The designs, colors and patterns reflect each weaver’s creativity and the story they want to narrate through their wefts and weaves.
Want to know how much an oriental rug will be worth? Below is a list of considerations for determining quality and value:
1) Country of Origin
The country of origin is of particular importance in both the new and antique rug categories. A particular region, village or tribe may be renowned for their craftsmanship or beauty, thus making a rug more valuable.
2) Materials and Craftmanship
The materials and craftsmanship of a rug are important considerations since these are factors that are involved not only in the quality of the construction but also in a carpet’s esthetic appeal. The most common materials for Oriental rugs are wool, cotton, silk, metal threads, goat hair and camel hair. There also many types of materials labeled silk in newer rugs such as banana silk, cactus silk and even some synthetics such as viscose. It is also important to understand that not all wool is the same. There are significant differences that you can see and feel in the grade of the wool that is used and the way it is spun before it is woven. Hand spinning the wool versus machine spinning the wool makes a softer and more natural looking pile with a nicer handle to the rug.
4) Dyes used in the construction
The natural dyes are consistently preferred to the synthetic dyes for their natural beauty. When rugs are dyed using natural dyes, the colors appear less intense and saturated. They are more complicated to make and require more expert knowledge than the synthetic dyes. The added labor, knowledge and scarcity of these experts add value to a rug that has been woven with naturally dyed wool.
5) Knot Density and Structure
While knot size is a consideration, the more important consideration is the density of the wool and how the knots are tied. One quick way to tell something about the durability of an Oriental rug is to feel the handle of it. If it is very loosely woven, it is going to feel very flimsy in your hand it is not going to wear as well as a rug with a sturdier but still supple handle.
6) One-of-a Kind Hand Knotted Rugs vs Programmed Rugs
Like any art form the more rare the more valuable. There is another category of handmade rugs that we refer to in the industry as “programmed”. These are rugs that can be ordered in a variety of sizes and certain color ways. Some of these Oriental rugs are as well crafted and beautiful as the one-of-a-kind rugs. They differ mostly from the one-of-a-kind pieces in their potential long term value and sometimes artistic appeal. One-of-a kind rugs whether old or new should be the better long term investment.
The quality of an Oriental rug is not determined by any one factor alone but rather a combination of materials, construction, visual appeal determined by the weaving technique, type of materials used and ply of those materials. There is no magic tell tale factor like knot counting that can solely determine the quality or value of an Oriental rug.
When you’re ready to start shopping and exploring oriental rugs, be sure to spend some time at J & J Oriental Rugs in Alexandria, VA! Remember, the right way to dress your floor is just a call away: 703-548-0000.