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How to Recognize an Authentic Persian Rug

Nine keys to recognize an authentic Persian rug

A Persian rug will express about the history and artistic expression of Persian culture. Although over time it came to be used as a luxury decorative element, among the nomadic tribes of Persia it was only an object to protect themselves from the harsh winter.

The making of a Persian rug includes designs that are passed down from generation to generation; they are simple in nomadic peoples and wonderfully complex and elaborate in sedentary people.

In these rugs, the use of bright colors and natural motifs predominates. The manufacturing secrets are passed from generation to generation, where there are weavers who work by heart and others who follow the patterns designed by a master craftsman, but you could be asking yourself: how to recognize authentic Persian rugs? Below we reveal nine tips that will help you know if you are dealing with a genuine Persian rug and if it’s a work of art or an industrial model.

  1. Verify its origin

To buy an authentic Persian rug, you have to verify the place of manufacture, which is usually indicated on the label that accompanies the piece. If it was made in Iran, it means that it is authentically Persian. If you come from Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, etc. It is called an “oriental” rug.

  1. By hand or by machine?

The way of manufacture helps to easily determine the value of a Persian rug. The handmade ones are made on a loom where the design is formed by knotting strand by strand. This work takes a lot of time, so much so that in some rugs it can take several years to finish the piece.

Machine-made rugs are made on a mechanized loom, where the weaving is controlled by a computer. And the job can be completed in a few hours.

  1. Check the fringes

In a handmade rug, the fringes are part of the same piece, since they are an extension of the warp or vertical threads used for weaving. In machine-made rugs these fringes are sewn once the piece is finished.

  1. Raw material: wool, silk and cotton

The raw material used in handmade Persian rugs is preferably wool, silk and cotton. Cotton Silk and wool, usually sheep, are used for the velvet of the rug, which is what gives it its softness. Cotton is used to form the warp and weft, which are the horizontal and vertical threads, respectively.

  1. Shape and size

Machine-made rugs have exact shapes and measurements, while hand-made rugs may have a slight warp or ripple caused by the tension of the loom and the knots made by the artisan.

There are large handmade rugs, 2 x 3 meters or more, which can take two or three years to make if the motifs are small and very detailed.

  1. Review the plot

To distinguish a handmade rug from a machine-made one, nothing better than seeing it inside out. The knots of the mechanical carpet is perfect and uniform, and the white lines of the warp can be seen. Furthermore, both sides of the design are likely to be the same.

In a handmade rug, the knots are not perfectly aligned and have different thicknesses in each area of ​​the fabric. This is due to differences in tension, both from the loom and from the weaver’s hand. It is what gives that special value to manual labor.

  1. Observe the selvedge or auction

Bindings, borders or selvedge are located on the shorter sides of the rug and are formed by binding the weft threads when the edge of the fabric is reached. These finials are made to keep the threads firm and united and allow details of the rug’s construction to be seen. They are sewn by hand once the piece is finished.

In machine-made rugs, this work has a homogeneous and regular appearance since the machine cuts and holds the threads simultaneously.

  1. Analyze the design

The industrial designs are quite symmetrical and generally identical on one side of the piece and the other. It is rare for them to have errors or imperfections. In hand-woven rugs, there are often variations because the craftsman improvises or weaves from memory with an asymmetry that gives it a special character.

The designs of the nomadic peoples are usually simpler and generally geometric. Those of sedentary artisans are more elaborate and detailed. A seasoned expert can accurately determine the provenance of the part just by looking at the drawings.

  1. Look, touch, review

There are several signs to take into account in order to know what type of carpet we have in front of us. If a rug is Persian, if it is oriental, if it is made by hand or by machine, if it has a beautiful design, if it is soft and colorful, but with the tips in this article, you’ll be able to identify one easily.


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Hi, my name is Erica Jacquline and I've been involved blogging for a number of sites in recent years. This blog however, is mine. Initially I started this site as a hobby, but it has since started to make me some money and I am now pursuing this by creating content that is educational in all aspects of life. Enjoy!

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