Persian Rugs: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying
Often viewed as the standard bearer for quality within the rug industry throughout the world, Persian rugs are a great choice when furnishing residential or commercial buildings. But due to trade sanctions on Iran starting in 1987, finding authentic Persian rugs has been challenging. Because of the limited supply of real Persian rugs, their cost has escalated, which is why they can be so expensive.
The other problem that contemporary design lovers may have with authentic Persian rugs is that, due of the limited supply, finding carpets that meet their current tastes may be challenging. Many of the rugs you see on the market from Iran are, to be frank, a bit stuffy looking, the type of rug that your mother or grandmother may have purchased, with darker more traditional colors and patterns.
We at Rugknots specialize in Oriental rugs, crafted in Pakistan. But we also have a large supply of imported, authentic, Persian rugs that we sell to a modern consumer. The trick to finding a Persian rug that may fit your more contemporary design tastes is to buy it overdyed.
Overdyed Persian RugsTo bring Persian rugs into the new design millennium, we take old, classic, high-quality vintage rugs from Iran and put them through a 5-step overdyeing process. If you’re worried about scary dyes that harm the environment and put your home at risk, don’t be. At Rugknots we ONLY USE all natural organic vegetable compounds for our dying process.
Overdyed Rugs Are a Sign of Authenticity
Additionally, the overdyeing process is actually an indication that the rug is hand-knotted, made of real wool, and not hand-tufted or constructed from synthetic materials. How do you know this?—Because it’s impossible to over-dye a fake rug.
Manufacturers construct hand tufted carpets by punching a design into a stenciled canvas. These Persian rug manufacturing imposters glue the fabric onto the back to hold the rug together. Fringe is glued or sewn on, to give it the appearance of being hand-knotted.
Fortunately, this technique cannot withstand the color de-saturation and dye retention process. So, when you purchase an overdyed rug, you know that you’re securing a carpet that will last decades if cared for well.
Have You Seen Overdyed Patchwork Persian Rugs?
One of the most exciting design developments for rugs has been the growing appeal and appreciation of patchwork Persians. We gather sections of vintage Persian rugs and then hand-weave the pieces together. Our technicians reinforce the back of the stitches while hand-binding the edge of the rug with a finishing stitch. Damaged Persian rugs are ideally suited for this type of carpet innovation.
For those of us who abhor throwing useful items in landfills, this process demonstrates the sustainability of first-class Oriental carpet manufacturing. Rugknots is committed to these type of earth-friendly rug construction methods. Notice what the patchwork process does to a stodgy old Persian rug design. Now you’re adding a level of modernism. We flip pieces around, creatively making use of their older artistry, and building something geometrically original. Patchwork Persians are at the heart of what we provide at Rugknots—modern, creative, and high-quality artisanship, based on years of tradition.Old Design Made Contemporary
Notice what the patchwork process does to a stodgy old Persian rug design. Now you’re adding a level of modernism. We flip pieces around, creatively making use of their older artistry, and building something geometrically original. Patchwork Persians are at the heart of what we provide at Rugknots—modern, creative, and high-quality artisanship, based on years of tradition.
Persian Rug Design Innovation
At Rugknots we are leading the industry through innovative design techniques. Our overdyed and patchwork Persian rugs demonstrate how you can use of an ancient tradition like Oriental rug making, and innovate for the modern age, using current design aesthetics.
Authentic Persian Handmade Carpets
In the interior design world, when we talk about traditional Persian rugs, we’re talking about carpets that have been hand-woven. This knotting process goes back centuries. It’s constructed on a loom out of wool, natural silk, bamboo silk, or cotton.
Real Persian rugs are always hand-knotted. There are cheaper options for construction of carpets, however. For example, there are many rugs on the market that are hand-tufted. Don’t let the word “hand” in the phrase confuse you. Although we think of the process of making something by hand as usually a sign of quality, hand-tufted rugs, however, are inferior in quality compared with authentic Oriental hand-knotted carpets.
Machine-made Oriental rugs are also a growing trend in the fake Persian rug industry. When people buy a rug, they aren't just buying it for its manufacturing process. They are also buying a piece of art. So, machines, like in so many other industries, may have their efficiencies, but they are essentially creating a copy-cat versions of Persian rugs, without much of the artistry we appreciate about the hand-woven product.
Where Do Persian Rugs Come From?
Craftspeople in Iran construct what are known as traditional Persian rugs. Being made in Iran is a standard by which one always determines whether a rug is authentically Persian.
Persian rugs include an unusually thick pile (up to 160 knots per square inch), very vibrant color combinations, unique designs, and an important type of knot. Likewise, when you buy a Persian rug, authentically crafted, you are purchasing a unique rug that has no duplicate.
Rugs are often named after the village, area, or tribe that hand-wove it. So, there’s a strong connection to place and people when you buy a Persian rug. You are buying a piece of history, from a very particular region, with a certain type of knot, made with significant quality distinctions.
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Buying a Rug from Iran Doesn’t Always Mean You Are Getting the Best Quality and Value?
Many rug lovers are of the belief that quality begins and ends with the Persians. Although, when you research this subject, you’ll be surprised to discover that other countries are actually producing superior rugs nowadays.
You may be surprised to find that within the world-wide rug industry, there is a recognition that Pakistan is producing the highest quality carpets in the world. Which is why we’re now seeing consumers searching for the phrase, "Pak Persians," rugs made in Pakistan, with much of the same rug construction history as Persian rugs, also hand-knotted, but in many cases, but with better knots, patterns, and washing techniques.
Why Pakistan is Constructing the Best Rugs in the World
Although remarkably similar in style and quality to authentic Persian rugs, Pakistan’s Oriental style rugs are superior for several key reasons:
Pakistani rug artisans use a slightly different knot when hand-constructing their Oriental rugs. We also often offer a higher knot-count. Many companies that sell Oriental rugs lie about the rug count of their carpets.
More Creative Patterns that Appeal to a Modern Design Lover
When you look through a selection of Oriental rugs from Pakistan by Rugknots, you'll see a series of patterns that blow away any stuffy perceptions of what a Persian rug is. Pakistan is producing really exciting designs and patterns that you're just not going to find from Iran.
You'll see bright blues, greens, reds, and even pinks? You'll see patterns that are more abstract than what you'd imagine. You won't just see the traditional Oriental symbols and motifs, which have made Persian rugs as much a cliche as they are a standard of beauty. You'll see a design aesthetic that has been freed from the Persian traditions and exemplifies contemporary interior decoration.
You can also see this design innovation in their repurposing of vintage Persian rugs through over-dying and patchworks. Rugknots is redefining Oriental rug-making in the 21st century.
Superior Washing Techniques for Persian Rugs
Washing the rug is probably the most important and least understood process in constructing Oriental rugs. Every country in Asia washes their carpets differently.
At Rugknots we hand wash our rugs in a very particular process providing an enormously soft and lush end product. Our wool rugs are often mistaken for silk because our washing process is so effective at producing soft rugs.
Pakistan Crafted Rugs are Less Expensive
Because importing goods from Pakistan is much easier than it has traditionally been from Iran, the cost to you for "Pak Persians" is much more affordable.
Buying an authentic Persian rug may be important to you if you're specifically buying your carpet as a speculative investment, However, if you're like most design aficionados we come in with, purchasing a superior-quality rug manufactured in Pakistan, at less cost, probably makes a lot more sense to you.
Purchase an Oriental Rug Made in the Style of a Persian Rug crafted in Pakistan or an Over-Dyed/Patchwork Antique Rug from Rugknots
If you’re searching for an authentic Persian rug, you may want to consider acquiring an over-dyed or patchwork version. You’re going to end up with a rug that drops jaws. Your guests will fall in love with the vibrant colors and patterns.
If you’re looking for a new Oriental rug, we strongly recommend that you consider purchasing from their Pakistani neighbors. The quality of construction and design options of rugs from Pakistan may actually be what you are looking for when you imagine the phrase “Persian rug,” with its powerful connotations of quality, style, and individuality.
Persian and Oriental Rugs Supplied by Rugknots, a Company You Want to Do Business With
It’s vital that you work with a rug supplier that you can trust. Unfortunately, there are too many carpets on the market that are either fake or don’t have the thread count that is promised.
When you work with Rugknots, however, you know you are working with an American company that has been in business now for many years, based out of Hagerstown, Connecticut. You also know that you’re working with a company that is socially aware, providing jobs for people in America and in local communities in Pakistan. When you buy a Persian or Oriental rug from Rugknots, a portion of your purchase goes towards building schools in Pakistan.
You’re also working with a company that cares about sustainability, that uses materials and processes that are healthy for your home or office, but also for the world at large.