Tips to Identifying Oriental Rugs
One way to enhance the look of your home is décor your home with authentic handmade Oriental rug. These hand woven rugs are made with care and attention to detail and each one is unique with own story to tell. They are expensive investment, that comes in variety of colors and patterns, - which means you want to be sure you are purchasing only high-quality, authentic rugs.
For normal folks or beginners buying a hand woven rug, it’s not easy to identify rugs or to distinguish between an authentic handmade oriental rug and a machine made rug. Simply because a rug is expensive, doesn’t mean it has good dyes or is constructed well.The quality of oriental rugs hugely depends on the yarns’ quality, dyes used and knot count among other factors.
Make sure you know what it is and shop around first.Here are some tips for identifying hand woven rugs:
BACK OF THE RUG
Flip the rug upside down. Look for the foundation threads. These are usually red, white or blue lines horizontal to the fringe, which are referred as weft threads. You may see partial wefts running horizontally along the rugs underside for only a few centimeters and then covered by wool knots. Sometimes the horizontal threads go all the way from one side (bound edge) of the rug to the other side.Handmade Oriental rugs do not have perfectly straight horizontal weft threads because they are handmade and not machine made. You may see some unevenness in the colored knots on the underside of the rug, some areas slightly thicker than others. This proves that the rug is hand woven and not machine made.
CHANGES IN RUG COLOR
You may notice slight color changes making thick or thin stripes in the handmade rug, usually found in background color.These color changes are called “abrash”.This is due to the dyes used to change wool when weaving and how the color of the wool ages with light, washing and atmosphere. Abrash does not detract from the value of the rug but is a definite identifier of a high-quality, authentic Oriental rug.
Handmade rugs are almost always woven with wool pile, with white woven threads running from fringe end to fringe end (called warp) on the back of the rug. Machine made rugsare often made with a type of nylon or polyester pile, and are generally very uniform in their weave, without any unevenness in the weave or design and no abrash.
VISUAL RUG DIFFERENCES
Even visually there are some strong differences between hand woven and machine made rug. Underside of the rug can show distinct difference between two rugs. Underside of machine made rug is not as colorful as the back of the hand-woven Oriental rug.
Designs on the front side of rug also show differences. Very rarely the designs will the design be exactly the same size and shape from one end to opposite end of the rug. This is especially true in older Oriental rugs. This unevenness is something that is clear in most oriental rugs that are much older and is a sign of authenticity and should not be mistaken for a poorly done rug.Machine-made rugs usually contain same pattern sizes all around and variations are not really visible. However, machine-made imitations do have uneven patterns but this is less common.
Machine made rugs have its edges overstitched, fringes applied and individual knots on the back are not easily distinguished. The handmade Oriental rug’s fringe runs throughout the length of the rug which is called the warp.This means that the fringe is applied on a machine-made rug once it has been completed while the hand-woven Oriental rug has its fringe as a part of warp strings as they leave the handmade rug’s end.
Prices between hand woven and machine made rugs differ a lot. Hand woven rugs are expensive because of their quality and durability and how they arecompletely unique(though time consuming to weave). They are woven using natural materials like jute, silk, cotton and wool.In most cases, silk is used in rugs made of wool for the pattern’s highlights or outlines to improve the design. For that reason, they are priced higher. It’s worth it to invest in an authentic handmade rug because they are a timeless and beautiful addition to your home.
Machine made rugs cost much less and is a great alternative. They are woven using synthetic polymers blended with wool or polyolefin. There is nothing distinctive or unique about them.However, nowadays there are many machine-made rug imitations which do a great job at imitating hand-made rugs.
Looking to buy an oriental rug? Use above tips to determine the rug’s authenticity so that you know that you are getting the highest value with your purchase. If still you can’t identify an oriental rug from machine made one, turn to a trustworthy expert for help. Also buy only from reputable store.
You can contact us, Woven Rug Gallery, at 412-343-3977 if you need any help with purchase, appraisal, cleaning of your hand woven rugs and carpets.