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The truth about Oriental Rugs

If you've ever done a simple search for area rugs online, you've likely been presented with an overwhelming assortment of options, thousands and thousands of results, from modern rugs to antique rugs, contemporary styles and traditional styles, cheap rugs and unbelievably expensive rugs. What you were looking for, maybe an 8x10 wool rug for your living, has quickly become a maze of options to sift through and how do you know which one is the right one? How do you know which one is going to be a great quality, rug that will last for many years and look beautiful for just as long?

We'd like to help you learn how to figure that out in this post.

It is an unfortunate fact that some rug dealers, both online and those you might shop with at a rug shop, try to pull the wool over the eyes of shoppers (oun intended!) by selling low quality machine made rugs to consumers as if they were hand-knotted wool rugs, and if you are a shopper with an untrained eye, you may not know the difference until it's too late. Machine made rugs can look nice, absolutely, however, you will learn in 3 to 5 years that your rug that once looked just fine has already began to look worn and in need of repairs and the cost of those repairs are often more than the rug is even worth -- this doesn't happen with hand-knotted, wool rugs. But with some minimal upkeep practices, you can expect your hand-knotted wool rugs to last 30+ years without needing any major repairs.

A few things to look for when shopping for a genuine, hand-knotted, 100% wool rug are:

1. Buy from reputable rug dealers:
Look for the dealer to have positive reviews from real, satisfied customers. Reputable rug dealers will be willing to answer questions and educate you on the details about rugs you are interested in. At Main Street Oriental Rugs, we have hundreds of 5-star reviews from customers that we've built trust with, We value the relationships that we've cultivated with our customers, both in person and through our online shop, and it is our goal every day to provide excellent service and high quality handmade rugs.

2. Look at the weave
When shopping for a rug, it is important to take note of the weave. Flip a corner of the rug over and observe the back. A hand-knotted rug will have small knots on the backside -- the smaller those knots are, the finer the quality of the rug. Medium to small to very small knots are going to be the best quality rugs and will indicate that the rug can hold up to lifetimes of use and foot traffic while remaining visually attractive.


(A quarter shows how small the knots are in this finely woven Persian rug)

3. Look at the fringe
A true hand-knotted Oriental rug is woven in a way that the rug's fringe is a natural extension of the foundation of the rug itself. An indication of a machine made rug is the the rug's fringe is stitched on separately -- you don't want this.


4. Feel the rug
There is a distinct difference in the feel of wool and plastics, like polypropylene, the material used to create most machine made rugs. If you are shopping online and don't have the opportunity to touch the rug you are interested in, be sure to review the rug details and look for words like man-made fiber, polypropylene, viscose, acrylic, polyester, or nylon and avoid those rugs. And if you don't see a mention of the fiber content at all, don't hesitate to inquire with the dealer to ask what the rugs are made of.

At Main Street Oriental Rugs, we follow the philosophy of Mark Twain: Always tell the truth, that way, you never forget what you said! We present all of our rugs truthfully from size to fiber content to age and we are ALWAYS happy to answer any and all questions honestly to ensure our customers know what they are purchasing and that they will be happy with their purchase long-term.

We thank you for reading, until next time!

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