You can find oriental rugs that cost thousands of dollars and even millions. The expensive Oriental rugs are not the regular rugs that you will find being hanged on shelves at a design store. Oriental rugs are a work of art and can be as long as 300 years old. If you would be investing in an expensive rug like an Oriental rug, you need to buy from sources you can trust.
Low-Risk Oriental Rug Purveyors
You shouldn’t be looking to buy oriental rugs on a budget because you will be at risk of getting a replica rug instead. You can be guaranteed to get an original rug sold by either of these types of merchants.
Oriental Rug Expert
They are more like consultants and they help in brokering deals. Just the way a real estate agent negotiates sales between customers and sellers. These experts will provide their knowledge to help you get authentic oriental rugs. You should ensure that the rug expert you intend to consult is properly qualified and vetted. You can also get a list of the clients they have worked for as references.
You can also buy oriental rugs at auction houses provided that they can attest to the material and authenticity of the rug.
If you still want to buy on a budget but you still need an authentic oriental rug, there are some merchants that will have what you need but you will be taking some risk.
Specialty Rug Stores
You can also get original Oriental rugs at some design stores of home boutiques. These stores usually have Oriental rugs in stock. You will be sure to find original rugs at the best specialty rug stores in your area.
eBay and Craigslist
This is the place you will find the highest risk purchase when it comes to oriental rugs. The truth, however, is that these platforms offer oriental rugs every time for sale. If you are going to buy from sellers online, you need to know exactly what it is you’re looking for and be able to identify the real from the fake rug. You may even come across sellers who may not know the value of what they are selling and are offering at a very cheap price.
In rich communities, it is not rare to find oriental rugs sold at estates. It is also important to know what you’re looking for if you’re buying from this source. Sometimes you might be lucky to find one but it isn’t advisable searching for estate sales solely for the purpose of buying an Oriental rug.
The two materials used to make oriental rugs are wool and silk. The rugs made from wool are not as treasured as those made from silk but they last longer.
The popular replica oriental rugs in the market today are made from artificial silk. The artificial silk is made by dissolving cellulose inside a thick yellow substance known as viscose. The viscose is then passed through a chemical bath through tiny holes to make long filaments and then it is wound into a thread. The artificial silk rugs do not last because of the quality of the fabric and it quickly loses its luster shine fast. The material is not as durable as wool.
Look at the Rug Closely
Before you buy an Oriental rug, look closely at its weaving. The weaving should be tight. It should have more than 200 knots per square meter. You can even find some with up to 500 knots or more. The weaving must be particularly detailed, closely clipped and it must be made with an authentic silk fringe which is meant as an extension of the rug design. It shouldn’t be seen on the rug or at the end of the rug. You will notice that the artificial silk oriental rugs usually come with medium weaves which are normally less than 250 knots per square inches and there are also some that come with even less than 150 knots per square inch. These replica rugs have cotton fringes but you know the original when you see a silk rug with real silk fringe.
How to Field Test an Oriental Rug
These are the three tests you can use to distinguish a fake from a real Oriental rug. These tests will require you to damage part of the rug. You will need to seek the permission of the seller before you can take any of the tests. You should only test rugs you know you are going to buy eventually if it is authentic. Sellers that know they have an authentic product will not refuse and will have to fear to accommodate your requests. If the seller refuses, then there is a possible chance that they have something to hide.
If you rub the pile of silk on your palm, you can tell if it is real silk or artificial. The original Oriental rugs feel warm while artificial silk will be cool on the hands.
You can pull off a small piece of the fringe for the burning test. If the ash produced is smooth and it smells like burning paper, then it is artificial silk. Oriental rugs will have flaky black ash and smell like burning hair.
By mixing copper sulfate with glycerine and caustic soda until you get a clear liquid, you can dissolve the piece of silk in the solution. Natural silk will dissolve real silk but if other materials like cotton, rayon or nylon are inserted, nothing will happen
It is very common to see counterfeit Oriental rugs in the market especially since the authentic are very limited in supply. Looking for an Oriental rug is just as different as finding a famous artwork. It is very likely that you come across a print of original artwork than finding the real art. One thing that differentiates paintings from rugs is that most counterfeiters will not expect you to believe that the painting you find in a department store or thrift store is fake.
To make buyers easily fall into the wrong purchase, there are now Oriental style rugs. These type of rugs are not the authentic oriental rugs but instead, they are rugs that are made from inferior quality materials and illegal labour.
These counterfeit Oriental rugs usually claim to be the original or sometimes their makers, advertise them as a replica of the original.
It would be very difficult especially if you have no previous knowledge about oriental rugs to be able to distinguish a replica from an original Oriental rug. This is why buyers are advised to look out for hallmarks that are on the Oriental rug. Also, it is best to get these expensive rugs from reliable places especially if you are not familiar with oriental rugs.
There are reputable dealers that only sell oriental rugs. Those merchants that specialize only in Oriental rugs will be able to provide authentic rugs even if you don’t know anything about original Oriental rugs or what to look out for when buying them
Usually, people use oriental rugs mostly for owning an heirloom or to include them as a design for a showpiece. This type of rugs made from silk requires regular maintenance and care. If your oriental rug begins to look dirty, it will definitely show. The rug requires regular cleaning because it cannot withstand deep cleaning.
People who own pets or have kids around are not expected to keep any type of Oriental rug in their home. The rugs are also not for people who stay in wet areas because the Oriental rugs can easily get dirty, have spills or get soiled which will end up being a waste of money. Also, another challenge is that most insurance covers do not accommodate expensive Oriental rugs should there be a flood or any kind of disaster.
People who want to acquire Oriental rugs must understand the cost involved not only in purchasing the rugs but also the responsibility in taking care of it. Oriental rugs are beautiful and will add glamour to your home. It is especially suited for those whose lifestyle this luxury fits and those that can afford to carry on the responsibilities of maintaining it. The rugs are designed to last a really long time.