It’s easy to think rugs are rugs. They’re just knotted and woven thread, right? Wrong. The long-standing artform of rug weaving has a storied past that includes many evolutions across multiple countries, dynasties, and peoples. And it’s this grand tradition that makes the difference between traditional and modern Oriental rugs today.
While both can be just as beautiful as the other, how they’re built and how they stand the test of time is different.
So let's look at those differences and answer the age-old question: Which is best? A traditional or modern Oriental area rug.
First, one must understand that constructing an oriental rug has evolved considerably since they were first made in the 5th Century BC. According to Rug Knots, the earliest rugs were the work of creating a design, then weaving it on a 1:1 scale—this labor-intensive process considering all of the hand knotting. The intricate details, not to mention the additional labor spent making the yarn, dying it, drying it, and preparing it to craft the rugs, made these priceless items.
Today, Oriental rugs can be made by machine, a process that has sliced the production time way down. Power looms do the heavy lifting, which minimizes the time it takes to complete an area rug (as little as a few hours) and has made Oriental rugs much more affordable.
Some machines are so well designed that they can produce Oriental rugs indistinguishable from old-world antique area rugs.
Not only has how modern Oriental rugs are made changed, so have the materials. Today synthetic fibers have been found to not only make Oriental rugs more durable but more likely to survive years of foot traffic.
That’s not always the case for traditional oriental rugs. Sure, many stores sell antique versions, but these older pieces must be handled with care and aren’t always the best option for busy households, especially those home to pets and children.
Where wool and silk were the fibers most often found in ancient rugs, today’s modern Oriental rugs use synthetic blends such as Polypropylene, nylon, and acrylic.
While handmade rugs are known for their unique patterns, modern rugs are more uniform, with each having its specific differences. Because a power loom produces multiple designs a day, each looks the same and has to meet a standard of quality to make it to the showroom. Modern Oriental rug patterns are often based on traditional designs, meaning you get the same effect as an antiquarian area rug without the working hours and price tag.
A traditional Oriental rug, on the other hand, may have some quirks, a design error or difference here or there. For some shoppers, that’s the appeal — it’s an original piece of art. But for others, who expect precision from their decor items, a modern rug may be preferred.
But just because a modern rug is mass produced doesn’t mean it can’t be made to look old. At Luxe Weavers, they have many distressed rugs that give the same used charm that so many buyers are looking for, say, for example, like this Luxe Weavers Victoria Collection Blue Oriental Area Rug.
This brings us to the topic of care. Modern Oriental rugs typically can be kept clean with frequent vacuuming, an annual deep clean, or the occasional professional cleaning. It’s going to take more work to keep a traditional Oriental rug looking its best.
Like a rare wood, an antique requires oiling and dusting with particular products; an antique Oriental rug needs to be handled with kid gloves. That means calling on the professionals to ensure it’s properly cleaned should a stain occur.
If you’re on a budget, the traditional Oriental option may be cost-prohibitive. The rug itself is an investment, and then there’s the cleaning to consider and its additional costs.
However, a modern Oriental rug, especially from a vendor like Luxe Weavers, which specializes in selling sophisticated yet affordable area rug solutions, offers all the quality of traditional Oriental rugs without the cost.
Their inventory features dozens of gorgeous exotic Oriental patterns with Old World appeal, all priced fairly so that everyone can afford their luxurious look.
This just shows that buying an affordable area rug does not have to mean sacrificing sophisticated style.
Not when you have so many options at Luxe Weavers. The website is full of every possible color, pattern, and size of modern Oriental area rug, not to mention a host of other design options should you care to mix and match. There are abstract, modern, distressed, and patterned options as well, so you can find just the right motif for your home.