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Tips For the Entry Level Rug Collector

Every Oriental rug connoisseur and professional had to start somewhere. When you are just starting to get your feet wet in the world of Oriental rugs all of the different names and styles can get quite overwhelming, especially if you are not yet able to tell the difference between a machine made rug and a hand-knotted rug.

Oriental Rug

One of my favorite Oriental rug finds, the colors brightened so much after Mike washed it!

When Mike and I first started out we made quite a few impulse buys that did not turn out quite as planned. The beginners eye is not yet trained to the characteristics of a hand-knotted rug compared to those of a machine loomed rug. Even when shopping at a reputable rug dealers store you should have a rough idea of what exactly you are looking for so that you don’t end up over-paying.

Below is a list of tips and tricks that helped give me the education and confidence in dealing with handmade Oriental rugs.

  1. Utilize the web. There is so much information on the internet nowadays it is unbelievable how much knowledge is accessible through google. Not all of the information on Oriental rugs is accurate, to save you some time here are some valuable resources that I have found to be helpful over the years:
    1. http://www.spongobongo.com/ This one is like the encyclopedia of Oriental rugs. If you are trying to figure out whether you have a Caucasian Kazak or a Turkish Melas, this site has almost everything you need to identify and learn about all the different rug types.
    2. http://www.rugrag.com/ Rug Rag is a great tool for dealers and beginners, especially their forums section. There you can upload photos of rugs you might be interested in and get expert opinions on their worth and what they are.
    3. https://jessiesrugs.com/content/16-oriental-rug-guides Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend our rug guide section. Over the years we have composed a variety of guides including caring for your rugs and identifying authentic Oriental rugs.
  2. Haggle. When I was little my grandfather used to take me to flea markets where he would make offers and haggle with sellers to get the best deal. Who doesn’t like to save a few bucks? Honestly there have been a few times that I have felt uncomfortable negotiating on a price, but you will never know if you don’t try and what do you have to lose?

    Caucasian Lesghi rug

    A stunning Caucasian rug

  3. Inspect, Inspect, Inspect. One of the worse possible experiences you can have when buying antique or vintage rugs is odors. Mike and I have become extremely talented at removing stains and professionally washing the antique rugs we get in our shop. That’s not to say we didn’t have our fair share of mistakes. In the beginning we overpaid quite a few times for rugs that had moth damage (easy to spot when you know what to look for), dry rot (also easy to spot), and odors. Never feel uncomfortable smelling a rug, especially when you are the one shelling out the money for it and it will be sitting on your living room floor.
  4. Let someone in on your knowledge. They say mastering a subject is easier when you are able to teach someone else about it. Luckily for me the subject of Oriental rugs was fascinating to my family. Everyone wanted to know how we knew what to look for and what to stay away from. If you can find someone who is interested in learning about Oriental rugs you will find sharing your experience and ideas will only add to your confidence.

    Oriental rugs for sale

    You never know what kind of deals you may find…

  5. Don’t get overwhelmed. It is very easy to be taken advantage of when you don’t have a lot of experience with dealers. They want you to buy their rugs, but it is your responsibility to make sure you are getting the best deal. Not every dealer is out to get you, but you have to be careful and complete your research before making a purchase, never feel rushed into making an impulsive buy.

 

Newly Added and More to Come

We have been very busy shopping for vintage rugs to find the best deals for our customers. Here are some of our recently added rugs.

We have several Art Deco Chinese Nichols rugs like the one below which is priced at $460. Featuring the traditional two-toned field and border, this Chinese Nichols rug is brought to life by eye-catching floral motifs, beautiful vases and an interesting branching tree.

Shop Now >

Chinese rug

 

Next is a 4′ 6 x 7′ 3 Persian Meshkin rug. With even fading, and a soft color palate this rug would be the perfect addition to a foyer or bedroom. There are a variety of interesting animal figures woven among the medallions in the field.

Persian rugShop Now >

Lastly, these are some of the gorgeous Persian rugs we just got in today. They are not yet listed on JessiesRugs.com as they have not been inspected or cleaned, but keep an eye out for them next week!

Three Persian Rugs

 

Where Are Oriental Rugs Made?

The answer to the question “Where are Oriental rugs made?” is not a simple one. Oriental rugs have been woven all over, not just in one specific country or even continent. Generally, Oriental rugs are defined as any rug made in a broad geographical area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

Persian rug

Persian Borchelou rug c. 1940 Shop Now >

One of the most common regions associated with hand knotted Oriental rugs is Persia, in a country known today as Iran. Persian rugs are so popular in fact, that customers often confuse the term Persian rug with Oriental rugs. All Persian rugs are Oriental rugs, but the reverse is not true. An Oriental rug may also define a Chinese rug, or a hand knotted rug made in Spain.

Below is a list of the common Oriental rug producing countries:

Iran (Rugs produced here are commonly referred to as Persian rugs)

Turkey

The Caucasus (Caucasian Rugs)

China

Afghanistan

Pakistan

India

Romania

Spain

Taiwan

Morocco

 

Where are your Oriental rugs from?

How to Combine More Than One Rug in a Space

Not all of us are professional designers, and sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether two rugs are a good match for a specific space or theme.

Caucasian Kazak rug

There are a variety of ways to combine more than one rug in a space. Some characteristics to consider include texture (is the rug wool, silk or camel/goat hair), color, pattern (geometric, floral, traditional, tribal), age (vintage, antique, modern), and origin (where was the rug made?).

As a beginner, it is a good idea to combine “like with like”. If you are looking to create a space with antique items, you may want to incorporate worn rugs. Combining worn rugs with new, full-piled rugs can get confusing if you are just starting out. Another helpful hint is to utilize rugs that originate in the same region. For example, these two rugs were made in Persia (Iran):

Antique Persian Rug

Persian Hamedan rug Shop Now >

Persian rug runner

Antique Persian Kurdistan rug runner Shop Now >

If you are a stickler for uniformity, you may want to delve deeper and choose rugs from the same province. These two Persian rugs are from the Hamedan region of Iran.

Red Persian Rug

Dergazine Red Persian Rug Shop Now >

 

Red Persian Rug

Red Persian Dergazine Rug Shop Now >

It is also possible to combine rugs from different regions that have similar features. For example, the rugs below both have a tribal look and feel as they are both all wool. They also have similar ages.

Caucasian Kazak rug

Caucasian Kazak rug Shop Now >

Persian Bagface

Persian Bagface Shop Now >

 

What rug decorating themes do you have in your house?

Picking Up Rugs

This past weekend we picked up a bunch of vintage and antique Oriental rugs for the shop. After cleaning them we will start putting them online, so keep an eye on JessiesRugs.com

Antique oriental rugs

Vintage and antique Oriental rugs

 

Soumak rug

Close-up of a Soumak rug

Above is a sneak peak at one of my favorite rugs we just got in. There are numerous types of animal motifs woven into this rug including, but not limited to, birds, cats, bulls and fish.

Persian rugs

Drying two Persian mats

This nice weather has really been helping us out! The sun does a great job drying freshly washed Oriental rugs like the ones pictured above.

 

Types of Hamedan Rugs

Persian Rug Runner

Traditional Persian Hamedan rug runner with a red field and ivory border. Shop Now >

A name that almost everyone is familiar with in the world of Oriental rugs is Hamedan. Hamedan rugs are a type of Persian rug. They are made in the Hamedan province in what is now called Iran. It is one of the largest weaving areas in the region and the province encompasses hundreds of villages which contributed to it becoming one of the greatest rug markets in Persia. The city of Hamedan is the capital of the Hamedan province.

Hamedan rugs usually have a cotton foundation, a wool pile and are woven with Turkish knots. Older Hamedan rugs may have a wool foundation. Designs include single medallions, multiple medallions, floral motifs and geometric motifs. The design often depends on the village or location where the rug was woven. For example, Bibikabad rugs usually have a small center medallion surrounded by an all-over design while Dergazine rugs almost always have an all-over pattern with floral sprays mimicking Sarouk rugs.

Large Persian Rug

Persian Bibikabad Rug. Bibikabads come in large carpet sizes such as 8×10 and larger. Shop Now >

 

Pink Persian Oriental Rug

Persian Dergazine rug runner with all-over floral pattern. These rugs are similar in style to Sarouk rugs.

With so many different villages and weavers working in the Hamedan province, Hamedan rugs often have the most varied designs of all Oriental rug styles.  Although there are many types of Hamedan rugs, some of the most popular types include Bibikabad, Borchelou, Dergazine, Ingeles, Hussainabad, Kabudrahang, Lilihan, Malayer, Maslaghan, Nahavand, Rudbar, and Tajabad among others. Often times inexperienced rug sellers or even rug dealers may refer to these specific types generally as Hamedans as it can become confusing to use city or village names.

Red Persian rug

A red Persian Hussainabad rug with an all-over Herati pattern. Shop Now >

Hamedan rugs often come in smaller and runner sizes. The sub-types of Hamedans can often be found in more specific sizes. For example, a room-sized Bibikabad or Kabudrahang is very common, while they are not easily found in smaller sizes. A Dergazine may be found in a 4×6 or smaller size, or a runner, but a large room-sized carpet is highly unlikely to be described as a Dergazine.

Red Persian Rug

Large Red Persian Kapoutrang rug. Kapoutrangs often come in large room-sizes such as 8×10 and larger. Shop Now >

The characteristics that can be used to define a rug from the Hamedan region include the weave which is composed of a single weft thread, the knot-type, and the colors. Red, Ivory and Blue are the most commonly used colors in the Hamedan province. As seen in the examples above, each rug has some shade of red, ivory and blue in it. If the rug does not have red, ivory or blue it does not mean it is not a Hamedan, each characteristic of the rug must be looked at to classify the Oriental rug in question.

Do you have any Hamedan rugs in your home?

Shipping Oriental Rugs before the Blizzard

We had quite the storm yesterday in Massachusetts, all of the local post offices were closed but luckily we were able to get all of these Oriental rugs out before it hit.

Oriental rugs

Lineup of rugs to be shipped before the storm

Shipping rugs

Rugs shipped before the blizzard

Shoveling snow

Shoveling our car out to ship some rugs

Today we had some fun cleaning off our cars and getting to the shop to ship this beautiful Jaipur rug:

Indian Jaipur Oriental rug

Shipped this rug after the storm.

shipping a rug

Mike bringing the rug out to be shipped, that snow is deep!

Check back next week for a post on unique Oriental rug motifs. To all of our New England customers; stay warm and dry!

 

How It All Began…

Mike and I first met in January 2010 at Framingham State University during our sophomore year. We were both majoring  in Chemistry and began studying together. After two long years of all-nighters, take-out, and laboratory preparations we graduated in 2012. Mike started working in Framingham and I started working in Walpole. The time apart and our mundane jobs really started to bring us down. We racked our brains to find an alternative, to find some way we could work together doing something we were passionate about.  This is where JessiesRugs.com comes in.

Holding an antique Caucasian prayer rug

Mike holding an antique Caucasian prayer rug

Mike’s father has been in the rug business for 40 years, operating in Natick, Massachusetts. With his wealth of knowledge of Oriental rugs, we started to learn the trade and began to sell our fine rugs online. After being exposed to some of the stereotypical rug dealers who are out to empty your pockets, we knew we wanted to make something different and better for our customers.

antique persian rug

Jess next to an antique Persian rug

We are constantly adding new content about caring for your Oriental rugs at home and updating our guides on different types of Oriental rugs to better educate our customers. Even if you don’t end up buying your rug from us, we hope you are able to use our site to prepare yourself to buy an Oriental rug with confidence.

At our online store we have a variety of hand knotted discount Oriental rugs including Persian rugs, Caucasian rugs, and more. We encourage all of our customers to make an offer on any of our rugs if the price is out of their budget. We always consider reasonable offers.

If you have a question about the value or origin of a rug you own, we would love to hear from you! Send us an email at: info@jessiesrugs.com