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Things to Know Before Buying an Oriental Rug May 25, 2009

For centuries, hand made Oriental rugs from the Middle East and Far East have set the standard for beauty and lasting value. Whether it is a silk rug from China, a traditionally woven Tibetan rug, or a world-famous Persian rug, discerning homeowners seek to enhance the comfort and attractiveness of their homes with an Oriental rug.

But not all rugs called “Oriental” are true examples of the traditional rug weaving art. There are many imposters, and you should know what you are buying before choosing a rug for your home.

An authentic Oriental rug is made by hand, either knotted with pile or woven without pile. Rugs made by machine or any method other than hand-knotting or hand-weaving are not considered authentic Oriental rugs, even if they mimic the patterns and color of the real thing.

Over the past 75 years, my family has helped thousands of New Englanders discover the beauty and value of genuine Oriental rugs. From this experience we can offer the following suggestions to consider before you begin your search for the “perfect rug.”

Know the setting in which the rug will be placed. Is it a high traffic area? Is the rug intended to cover a broad space? Or will it be used to define a smaller area in a large room?

Understand your color palette. Oriental rugs are available in an amazing array of patterns and colors. If you are going to use the rug as the basis for decorating the room in which it will be placed, choose colors that are most attractive to your eye. But if the rug needs to fit into existing décor, choose colors and patterns that complement the colors already in place.

Measure carefully. Make sure you know the dimensions of the room into which you will place your new Oriental rug. You don’t want a rug that is too large for the available space, or one that is so small that it leaves large gaps around its edges.

Have a budget in mind. The price of an Oriental rug can range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars. Go into your search with a budget figure in mind, but be willing to be flexible if you find a rug that your find particularly exciting or attractive.