The first thing to know about Oriental rugs before you go investing in one, is their origin story.
Oriental rugs are heavy textiles originally made in what was then referred to as the “Orient,” which stretched from modern day Turkey to the greater subcontinent of India.
Oriental rugs became en vogue in the 1840s as part of a Turkish design craze.
Today the term more broadly defines rugs that are either made using traditional techniques, or mimic traditional designs of the past. Examples can range in size from tiny entryway rugs to grand area rugs and come in a variety of textiles including wool, cotton, and silk.
Due to the historic nature of their craftsmanship, antique Oriental rugs are often also designated by their country of origin. Nazmiyal Collection separates Oriental rugs into 10 regional categories including:
- Seljuk and Beylik Dynasty Rugs
- Ilkhanid Dynasty Rugs
- Timurid Dynasty
- Ottoman Dynasty
- Mamluk Dynasty Rugs
- Safavid Dynasty Carpets
- Mughal Dynasty
- Oriental Rug Weaving in the Far East
- Europe and Early Oriental Rugs
- Qajar Dynasty Nineteenth Century Rug Revival
To discover what it is exactly that you like about Oriental rugs, a deep dive into their history isn’t a bad place to start. Once you have a working knowledge of the timeline and how the craft evolved across the globe, you’ll better understand what styles and designs suit your taste. From there, you can follow these 7 tips to find the best Oriental area rug for your home.
Learn How Rugs Are Made
There was a time when a loom would be a common item in any American home, but unless you live on a sheep farm, those days are likely gone. So instead, it might be worth familiarizing yourself with the weaving process. YouTube has some great examples, like this breathtaking demonstration that shows how Persian rugs are made.
Learn the Design Language
Like a lot of fine art, Oriental rugs come with their own lingo that applies to how the rugs are built, the types of designs used, and the materials included. For instance, those dangly bits on the ends of some rugs? They’re formally called the fringe. And it might surprise you to know, but Oriental rugs actually have a top end and a bottom end. The border and the field are also terms to denote the actual design. Speak the language and you’ll have a much easier time shopping for the right rug.
Set a Budget
True antique Oriental rugs can cost thousands of dollars. If that’s not your price range, however, you can still find a gorgeous rug to suit your home. A wise shopper sets their budget before entering the gallerias and risking pocketbook disappointment. Consider the affordable options at Luxe Weavers if you’re not in the market to secure a vintage Mughal Dynasty rug. Options like Luxe Weavers Blue 8x10 Oriental Area Rug follow traditional Oriental rug design aesthetics while delivering the consumer a much more reasonable price point.
Buy What You Like
When dealing in old world goods, it’s easy to get caught up in the myth and romanticism associated with an object. But just because Architectural Digest says everyone must have a 1930s hand knotted vintage wool Persian rug, doesn’t mean you have to. It’s your home after all. Buy what suits you best. If Luxe Weavers Hampstead Collection 8027 Red Oriental Area Rug gives you joy, go for it.
Give It A Test Run
Whenever you can, test out a rug at home first. You’ll never really know how a rug will work in a space until you actually lay it out on the floor. Consider vendors that offer convenient returns.
Pick a Rug that Can Stand Up to Foot Traffic
What’s the point spending thousands of dollars on a stunning Oriental rug that’s going to get trampled? If you know your busy household is going to put a hurt on whatever area rug you pick, but you still want something with style and definition, choose something constructed from highly durable, low-maintenance polypropylene material, like this Nayara Collection Rose Oriental Area Rug.
Choose Your Vendor Wisely
When investing in an Oriental rug, it pays to be choosy when it comes to your source. Find a company that specializes in rugs, not just a big box store that offers rugs as one of its many inventory items. Businesses that focus on rugs will be better educated to help you find just the style you’re looking for.
Ready to get shopping? Armed with these seven tips, you can begin your search for the perfect Oriental area rug.