Handmade Rug Buying Guide
Handmade rugs are often considered an investment – and with good reason. They have aesthetic, functional and investment value, which means that time and care must be taken in selecting a rug for your home. In addition, the durability of the rug needs to be taken into consideration, and is impacted not only by the quality of the piece but also its location in the home and number of people in the household.
The key factors that determine the quality (and thus the price) of a handmade rug are:
• Size – larger rugs not only contain more material and require more labour, but are more difficult to handle and transport, increasing the cost.
• Workmanship – the most skilled weavers work in workshops in the major cities; there is value placed on their experience and training, reflected in higher wages, as well as the cost associated with running a commercial workshop.
• Country of origin – while beautiful handmade rugs are woven in many countries, more monetary value is placed on rugs rom Persia, due to the known quality of these rugs.
• Materials used (both the type of fibre and the dye) –
as with any product, a higher cost for inputs is reflected in a higher final product price. In this instance, rugs made with silk command a higher price than those made with wool, and rugs made with wool shorn from spring lambs will be more expensive than wool from an older animal that has been slaughtered for food. Likewise, natural dyes are more time-consuming to produce, so naturally-dyed yarn will be more expensive than synthetically-dyed yarn.
• Number of knots – to make more detailed and intricate rugs, the weaver needs to use a greater number of knots per square inch. This level of detail takes more time, adding to the cost of the rug.
If you are looking for a rug that will truly last and retain its value, here are the key tips to consider:
• Go to a specialist oriental carpet shop; their range has been carefully selected and sourced by experts
• Use the information on this website (Rug Glossary) to guide the questions you should ask and help you understand how different factors impact value
• Ensure that you are buying from a source that offers after-sales service and a guarantee
• Ask for a home approval period, allowing you to try the rug in your own home; this will give you a chance to see whether the carpet’s size, design and colour scheme works well in your home