Like other period pieces of furniture, Oriental rugs are valued for their colors, warmth, and for some, their history. Not all these factors are necessary to make a rug more valuable, but there are some factors which must be considered. This is especially true for inherited rugs or rugs that are available in flea markets and at antique shows.
Age In Relation To Wear
Most older rugs are considered art pieces in which the weaver worked with the materials and dyes that were available naturally in their location and drew inspiration for the patterns from their surroundings. These older Oriental rugs with minimal wear and tear, and clear bright colors are valued more than their more modern counterparts.
Natural Materials Used
Natural materials such as wool, silk, and cotton are preferred to their synthetic counterparts not only because they wear well but because they age well too. These natural materials tend to be more durable, and the colors don’t fade as quickly or look as messy as their synthetic counterparts. Even the dyes used to color the wool were extracted from natural sources. These plant dyes tend to have more longevity than synthetics.
Hand Woven Is Preferred
Many people appreciate not only the look of hand-woven Oriental rugs, but they like the way it feels as well. Hand-woven rugs are considered one-of-a-kind art pieces, reflecting not only the weaver’s culture but their creative ingenuity too. Small details such as fringe, weft, weave, and how the weaver smoothens small flaws in the material can help to increase the rug’s value.
Many hand-woven rugs do not follow a specific pattern or color scheme. The variation in the colors that are used and the unique way the patterns are placed across the rugs makes them unique and more valuable.
Region/Country Of Origin
Certain areas of the world are renowned for their weavers’ skills. Different regions in Iran are known for their weavers and their distinctive designs. Rugs from this part of the world – especially if they are antiques and in good condition – are popular for their looks and durability. Smaller rugs from the Middle East are used as stunning art pieces, and many antique kilim rugs are used as pieces of artwork.
Knots And Knot Density
The more densely a rug is knotted, the more durable it is and the more likely it will last. The knots must be tight and relatively uniform in their structure and size in order for them to be useful and also small enough so that the intricate designs are easy to see and the luster and color of the materials can shine on their own. Small, dense, uniformly knotted rugs show off a weaver’s skill and expertise as well as their creativity. A well-knotted and dense rug will last for years if it is properly cared for.
These are just some of the main features that make an Oriental rug valuable. If you find one that ticks all the boxes, you know it is worth the price as it will do more than just work to enhance the look of your home.
An Oriental rug that meets all of the above qualities is an investment piece. Consider it a work of art, and treat it with the care and respect it deserves. With proper care, your rug should survive for generations.