If you’ve decided that you’re ready to purchase an Oriental, Persian or area rug, the decision can be difficult. There are basics you should consider that will help you figure out what makes it valuable and will also increase your chances of buying a good quality rug that you can enjoy for many years to come.
Area Rugs Material Comparison
1. Synthetic. These are the most economical rugs on the market. They are made up of fibers like polyester, nylon, acrylic and polypropylene. It’s not uncommon to find high-end rugs made of these materials though. The good thing about these fibers if that they can be cleaned with lots of pressure and high heat along with pH levels that are higher than natural fibers. The value of rugs made of synthetic fibers is typically not as high as rugs made from natural material.
2. Wool. Mid to high end rugs are usually made up of wool. These rugs feel softer then synthetic and, if taken care of properly, can be just as durable as synthetic rugs.
3. Silk. High end rugs can be made from silk fibers. The thing you need to figure out is if it’s made of real silk or rayon, which is artificial silk. Either way, you can expect the sheen to be decreased with both due to normal wear and tear and cleaning.
4. Other natural fibers. Natural fibers can include sea grass, cotton and sisal rugs. These are the more moderate rugs. Sea glass and sisal are popular when a beach theme is desired. They typically have a cotton border and the dyes, most times, are not colorfast. This means they will need to be cleaned using a dry method.
Test Area Rug for Colorfastness Before Cleaning
Before any cleaning can be done, the rug will need to be tested for colorfastness. Do this by using a damp white cloth and gently rubbing the fiber. If any of the color transfers on to the white cloth the dyes aren’t stable. You should also take a close look at the integrity of the fiber and check for any signs that the wool fibers aren’t unraveling. This is to make sure you know what kind of rug you’re dealing with. Even professional can mistake very fine wool fibers for silk.
Handmade rugs are the most valuable and really are a work of art because each knot is made by hand. The way to tell if a rug is handmade is to flip it over and look at the back. If the pattern is the same as the front of the rug then it’s handmade. Next, look at the fringe. If it’s handmade, the fringe will be an extension of the yarn in the rug. It should not look like it was added. Finally, if the rug has parallel white lines running the length of it, it’s not handmade and has been made by a machine. Rugs that have a cloth backing are a red flag. They usually have something to hide and could be used to cover flaws or glue that has been used to hold the rug together. Rugs with glue backings tend to rip easier when the rug is moved or cleaned.