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Persian rugs versus Oriental rugs

Persian rugs versus Oriental rugs: what you need to know?

All Persian rugs are Oriental rugs, but all Oriental rugs are not Persian rugs. Let’s understand the differences and nuances of both rug types a bit better in this blog.

There is nothing quite like a quality area rug to enhance the value of your home. From a statement piece for your lounge, a grand entry or providing a splash of colour in your family room, an area rug can play many roles. Not to mention adding warmth to cold floors in winters.

Among the many types of area rugs on the market, Persian and Oriental rugs, especially antique pieces, are particularly popular. They are not just stunning in their make, but if you buy the right antique piece, the value of your rug could appreciate over time.

Before you buy a Persian or Oriental rug, let’s learn the differences between the two.

Persian rugs

Made in Iran (modern-day Persia), Persian rugs are known for their high knot count, impressive deals and precision. Distinguishing them synthetic, mass-produced options is easy as they are only ever made from silk or wool, never acrylic, viscose, nylon or other artificial threads.

Oriental rugs

An oriental rug is any hand-knotted piece produced in China, India, Egypt, Pakistan or Afghanistan. Technically Persian-made rugs also fit in the Oriental rug category, but their knot style makes them distinct to other hand-made rugs produced in these countries.

Distinct designs and patterns

More than their country of origin, it is the design and pattern of Persian and Oriental rugs that helps buyers distinguish between the two.

Persian rugs typically have a very thick pile (up to 160 knots per square inch!). They also feature rich and colourful designs of husks, combs, jugs, crosses and pomegranates. They are also typically names after the tribes or city where they are created – Tabriz, Hamadan and Gabbeh are among the popular ones.

Oriental rugs on the other hand represent the distinctive customs and traditions of the region they are made in. For instance, Oriental rugs from China typically have Buddhist motifs.

Look at the knot counts

Authentic oriental and Persian rugs are hand knotted on looms. Oriental rugs are tied with a symmetrical Ghiordes knot. Persian rugs are most often hand knotted using an asymmetrical or Senneh knot. Persian rugs are usually considered the highest quality oriental rugs in the world and feature high knot counts. It can take four or five craftsmen working six hours per day for a year to produce a high-quality Persian rug!

Look at the detail

When you look closely, you can visibly count the knots per inch in a Persian rug. You will also notice that the bottom of a Persian rug is a mirror image of the top pile. Also, the bottom pile of a Persian rug is as soft as the top.

The material

Depending on which region of Iran they are produced in, Persian rugs could be made of camel hair wool, kork wool (gained from wool growing on sheep’s neck which is higher grade of Persian wool) and Manchester wool. You can find iterations of cotton in them as well, however this is not very common.

Oriental rugs on the other hand can be pile or flat woven using silk, wool and cotton. They tend to have a higher concentration of cotton, making them less valuable.

To conclude

Both Oriental and Persian rugs are beautiful and unique in their own way. Which one you bring home depends on your budget and décor. It is important that you buy these from a reliable and reputable seller such as that offer a wide range of both rugs to fit any style and taste.

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