What is the Difference Between an Oriental Rug and a Persian Rug?

All Persian rugs are Oriental rugs, however not all Oriental rugs are Persian.

Origin of Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs are composed of rugs made all over Asia, including India, China, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey and more. Persian rugs are specifically made in Persia, or modern day Iran. Just like Turkish rugs are made in Turkey. Persian rugs also have sub-types just like Oriental rugs do. A Hamedan rug is a type of Persian rug. There are many types of Persian rugs including Heriz, Karaja, Kazvin, and Isfahan.

Chinese Rugs

Quality of Persian & Oriental Rugs

Historically Persian rugs were thought to be the best quality type of Oriental rug, specifically those from Isfahan and the Arak region of Iran. Now we can appreciate all of the different types of authentic Oriental rugs, each of which have their own unique qualities.

Authentic Rug Materials

Both Persian and Oriental rugs are woven using either the Persian (Senneh) Knot or the Turkish (Ghiordes) knot. Wool, Silk, Goat hair, and cotton are all used in weaving hand-knotted rugs depending on where they are woven. For example, a rug woven in the Hamedan region of Iran may have a wool pile on a cotton foundation. A rug woven in Afghanistan may have a wool pile woven on a wool foundation with goat hair used to secure the edges. 

Persian Dergazine and Afghan Rug

Designs of Oriental & Persian Rugs

A wide variety of designs are used in Persian rugs including central medallions, all-over patterns, geometric tribal patterns and prayer rugs. The design often depends on where the rug was woven in Persia or Iran. While there are many different designs in Persian rugs, there are many more designs found when comparing all types of Oriental rugs. For example a rug woven in China will have designs reflecting the culture of it's weavers which will not be the same as the culture of Persian weavers.


The rug pictured above is a Persian Hamedan. This rug can be called BOTH an Oriental rug and a Persian rug.

The rug below is a Chinese Nichols rug. This rug can ONLY be called an Oriental rug (or Chinese rug), it is NOT a Persian rug.

Chinese Nichols Rug

If you have any questions or are on the hunt for the perfect rug, don't hesitate to send us a message! 



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