Particular attention should be given to the quality of the material and craftsmanship (how fine the weave is, the quality of the dyes and the wool), the draughtmanship, the balance of design, and the harmony of colors, and in the case of a vintage or antique rug, the condition.
1. Damage and wear. Small tears or spots of wear in the body of the rug should be avoided in contemporary rugs (less than 30 years old), but are acceptable in older pieces. Large areas of wear should be avoided for all but collectible pieces.
2. Color runs. Check if strong colors, like red, have spilled over adjacent light areas, especially ivory or white.
3. Fading. See if there are obvious differences in color between the front of the rug and the back.
4. Stains. A few dime-sized stains can be ignored especially if they look like they would come out in cleaning. Larger stains should be avoided.
The advantage of purchasing a brand new rug is that, well, it's new. It is clean, the wool is still springy and the colors are crisp. These features will generally last for a few months to a year.
The advantage of buying an older rug is that you can buy it for a fraction of the price even when it is indistinguishable from a new rug. Vintage and antique rugs also show nuances and a character.
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Your local dealer is an obvious place to start. But you will pay a hefty premium, often several times the price a private owner would sell it for. Online sites such as ebay and craigslist crawl with dealers and pieces of cheap quality. Reputable auction houses could be an option, although the sale in this case is final and the auction charges 40-50% in commissions between you and the seller. Buying an Oriental rug while traveling abroad can be a fun experience. Unfortunately, the places that are usually accessible while traveling are tourist traps. We offer you an alternative. Please visit our gallery and compare prices.
Identifying the type of Oriental rug that matches your interior decor is only half the challenge when decorating with oriental rugs. You still need to find the rug. We can help. Contact us for a free consultation.