Oriental Rug Appraisal & Persian Rug Appraisal
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40 years of
Expert Rug Appraiser
The value of an Oriental Rug is determined by the
following eight characteristics:
Rug Labor Rate
Rug Man Years
Rug Recognized Artists
1) Materials Used in
Persian and Oriental Rugs
Oriental Rugs are
created primarily from quality wool or silk, which is knotted into a
cotton foundation. Wool is a critical factor in the quality of an Oriental
Rug. The wearing characteristics of the wool are dependent on several
factors, such as climate and pasturage. Intensive use of a good wool
Oriental Rug over the course of time gradually polishes the wool, and
create a wonderful sheen as the natural oils come to the surface. In fact,
an older rug sometimes looks as though it is made of silk instead of wool.
The Persian lamb is widely known for its excellent wool. However, Turkey,
the Caucasus, Turkestan, India, Pakistan and China all produce wool fully
equal to that from Persia. The hill regions in these countries, where the
climate is often cooler, produce sheep that provide stronger and more
Oriental Rug Wool is
classified into three categories:
I) Live Wool: is
wool sheared from living sheep
II) Dead Wool: is removed from a sheep’s
III) Used Wool: Is re dyed wool that is recycled
from cloth and used in low-grade rugs.
Durable and soft, live Oriental Rug wool retains
its lanolin and essential oils, which adds resilience to a rug. The best
live wool captures the light and diffuses it among its fibers. The
chemicals used to remove dead wool can be dryer, and more abrasive. When
used in rugs, the colors may seem cloudy when compared to live wool, as
light is reflected off the surface. Oriental Rugs made from dead wool do
not wear as well and lack resilience.
2) Dyes of Persian and Oriental Rugs
The dyer is highly respected for his skill and
deserves credit for the beauty, clarity and depth of color in an Oriental
Rug. In the Orient nearly every rug-making family has their own special
formula for the dyeing of yarn, which has been handed down through several
Three basic categories of dye are used for Persian
and Oriental Rugs:
I) Natural Dyes
II) Aniline Dyes
III) Chrome Dyes
Natural dyes, the preferred choice among many top
rug designers, give the yarn a natural sheen. They are made from flowers,
roots, berries, bark and insects, as well as from minerals or metals such
Aniline dyes are acid-based synthetics. They are
most typically used with poorer grades of wool and lower quality rugs. The
harshness of these dyes result in wool that is stiff, hard and brittle.
Chromium dyes have been developed over the last 40
years. In quality they are now almost equal to vegetable dyes. They are
colorfast in washing and will not harm wool. These dyes offer the rug
designer a much wider variety of shades and colors than natural dyes.
3) Colors of Persian and Oriental Rugs
Oriental tradition attributes a specific meaning
to each color in an Oriental Rug. Tonality, shading, placement and
arrangement of color are also important factors. The meanings expressed in
these designs are an integral part of the Easterner’s beliefs about life
and order in the universe.
4) Design of Persian and Oriental Rugs
Distinct types of patterns in Oriental Rugs have
developed in various districts. By identifying the pattern of the field
one can distinguish among four basic types:
I) Medallion Design
II) All-over or repeat
IV) Niche and tree
Medallion: This design features a field in a
solid color, or with small designs surrounding a central medallion.
Repeat: A repeat design consists of a dense,
repeating geometric pattern that is cut off at the borders of the rug.
Representational: The third major group,
representational, depicts people and animals, often in story situations.
Niche and tree: Uniform from a style aspect, the
patterns in Niche and tree may vary considerably.
A main border and narrower secondary border or
guard surrounds typical field designs in Oriental Rugs. Chinese Oriental
Rugs, however, include a number of special types outside this
classification. Rugs produced by nomadic tribes may differ from those made
by the settled population in that they are woven more intuitively without
reference to any pattern or drawing. These are generally smaller, with
geometric and stylized design. Settled weavers usually work from a
pre-designed pattern or cartoon and are thus able to produce carpets with
richer, more varied designs.
5) Labor Rate of Persian and Oriental Rugs
The labor rate for weavers can vary widely from
country to country where Oriental Rugs are produced. The labor for an
Oriental Rug with the same knot density and man-years crafted in Iran will
cost ten times as much as the cost of a comparable Oriental Rug woven in
6) The Art of the Persian and Oriental Rug
The creation of an Oriental Rug contains the
artist’s statement to all mankind—a testimony that he lived, loved and
triumphed over his harsh environment. The colors are the emotional
feelings the artist has within himself—these artists dwell in regions
where bright flowers and plants are practically nonexistent, so they must
use their imaginations to communicate the beauty that is born in their
7) Oriental and Persian Rugs for Investments
As with paintings and other fine art objects, a
quality Oriental Rug will increase in value. However, as these rugs will
become prominent features in the homes of their owners, they should be
purchased first for their beauty, and the satisfaction they provide.
From an investment perspective, Oriental Rugs
provide two main source of return:
Utility: Money that would otherwise be spent for
wall-to-wall carpeting, which has no resale value, can be invested in a
beautiful Oriental Rug.
Value appreciation: as time passes and Rugs are
classified as antiques, their value may increase considerably.
Over the last decade, Oriental Rugs have averaged
a steady 10% appreciation per year, a rate that surpasses most other types
8) Liquidity of Persian and Oriental Rugs
Oriental Rugs are the exception to the rule that
the greater the degree of liquidity of an asset, the lower the return.
Quality Oriental Rugs enjoy a great degree of liquidity while offering one
of the highest returns on investment due to the increasing demand caused
by public awareness of their value. Since the supply of these rugs has
decreased, while interest in them has expanded around the world, Oriental
Rugs continue to keep their promise as investments.