Rug Origins

Handknotted Rug Buying Tips
October 19, 2023

Handknotted Rug Buying Tips

A Few Rules of the Road on Buying a Hand-knotted Rug.



Buying a rug is a process to be enjoyed. Take your time.

If resale value is 10% of what you paid, it isn’t an investment.

An antique is 100 years old.

Not every antique is worth a thick wad of bills.

“100% vegetal dyed” is an assertion. Nobody has ever tested every color.

Condition reported “as found” means find any issues that may exist on your own.

If you are torn between choices, enlist a dealer’s trained eye to guide you.

A signature is only one element of a series of indicators.

A Nabibian Bijar means nothing. Misattribution is a red flag. Run away.

There are great rugs from Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Nepal and China. No one country makes the best exclusively. Qumqapi Hereke, Mohtashem Kashan, Mughal Era Indian/Pakistani, and Ningshia Chinese are intoxicatingly beautiful rugs. And there are many others.

Most Dowry rugs never leave the family.

Things last as long as they are properly cared for. Buy according to your lifestyle as it is not as you hope it will become.

Pets and plants on rugs keep rug cleaners and restoration experts in business.

The question, “What would you pay for it?” is a trap.

Buying a rug is a process. Respect yourself and it. Do your homework.

Unctuous charm and humiliating intimidation are red flags.

The rug trade taught the car trade its worst tricks.

Beware of games.

If negotiating, act like and expect to be treated like a human being. Some rug stores will not negotiate prices. It doesn’t mean take it or leave it; it may be a reflection of low BS tolerance of the owner.

Take notes. Make it an adventure.

Measure before you go.

Tea is a lubricant.

If you have to ask a dealer if you got a good deal on a rug you bought elsewhere, you probably didn’t.

Discounts are fiction appealing to cupidity.

There are far fewer experts than you imagine. And no expert knows everything about everything.

If you’ve bought a rug on a trip do not take it to a dealer to see if you got a good deal. Traveling to Detroit doesn’t make a car cheaper. Enjoy it as a reminder of your wonderful trip.

Get the right cleaner for your rug. Do not trust your family heirloom to a white van with a cartoon character logo.

Do not use a beater bar on your hand-knotted rug. Suction only.

Photography can make a mediocre rug look good and a great rug look mediocre. The sheen of a quality wool rug is best esperienced in person.

Once in a while, spruce up the rug with a good vacuuming of the back. It will drive out dirt, help slow wear and crisp up colors.

Never ever use stain removers from a supermarket on your hand-knotted rug.

Get an appropriate pad for the surface the rug lies on.

Fringes are the first thing to go.

If rug dealer says he’s humble, he’s not.



Read more