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Which Oriental rug is best?

If you want to invest in a rug that will become the centerpiece of any room in your home, an Oriental rug is an outstanding choice. Just as fine art adds elegance to your walls, a fine rug can elevate the look of your floors. 

If cared for properly, an Oriental rug can hold its value and become a treasure that remains in your family for generations. While taste is subjective, the Oushak Oriental Rug by Rugsource is a top pick due to its superior quality. 

What to know before you buy an Oriental rug

What is an Oriental rug?

Oriental rugs come from the Orient. Specifically, rug weavers in this region span Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Caucasus, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India. These regions are also typically referred to as the “Rug Belt.” 

Authentic Oriental rugs are hand-knotted and boast regionally specific patterns, dyes, wools and silks. Most rug makers use local plants and insects to make their dyes. However, in a few regions, rug makers import their wool from New Zealand because their sheep are of superior color, texture and durability to what is locally available. 

Oriental rug vs. Persian rug

Oriental rugs are made in any country located in the “Rug Belt,” whereas Persian rugs are made only in Iran. While it might be tempting to see the prices attached to many Persian rugs and assume they’re higher-quality, this isn’t necessarily the case. Currently, there’s an embargo on Persian rugs. Therefore, their prices famously reflect their scarcity in the United States. This is why many buyers ultimately decide to go with Oriental rugs instead of Persian rugs. 

Value

Each rug’s durability, knot density, design intricacies and color variations hinge on how much work was put into its creation. Thus, the accumulation of those features indicates each rug’s value, as it can take years and sometimes decades to create a single hand-knotted Oriental area rug.

What to look for in a quality Oriental rug

Handmade

While you might find that some manufacturers claim their machine-made rugs are of equal quality to hand-knotted rugs, this isn’t the case. The best Oriental rugs are made entirely by hand, which is an essential aspect of their artistry. It also ensures that each handmade oriental rug is a unique work of art and is one of a kind. For example, many rug weavers in small villages improvise unique designs for each rug, just as an artist would for a painting. 

Material

The best Oriental rugs are made from 100% natural fibers. Ideally, you should look for 100% wool, 100% silk or a silk and wool blend, though you might find that some rug makers use a cotton warp so they can knot more wool or silk onto the rug. While each method has its trade-offs, note that a cotton foundation tends to absorb more dust and is less durable than one made from wool or silk. 

Knot count

Just as thread count is essential to the quality of cotton sheets, knot count is equally vital to the caliber of an Oriental rug. Ideally, you want an oriental rug with a knot density of around 100 knots per square inch. The most premium oriental rugs boast a knot count above 100 knots per square inch. Some weavers even wet the wool to obtain the most knots per square inch, thus creating a more durable rug. 

How much you can expect to spend on an Oriental rug

Since the price of a hand-knotted Oriental rug is determined by materials used, knot count per square inch, condition, size and dyes used, the best oriental rugs fit for most living rooms start at around $8,000.  

Oriental rug FAQ

How do I know if I’m buying an authentic Oriental rug? 

A. Narrow your search to reputable department stores that back up the authenticity of their products. Since they’re all one of a kind, you can’t compare customer ratings for individual rugs, so you should also find the seller’s ratings and use that as a guide.

What’s the best way to keep my new Oriental rug in great condition?

A. Try placing it in a low-traffic area of your home, where it doesn’t get direct sunlight. 

What are the best Oriental rugs to buy?

Top Oriental rug

Rugsource Oushak Oriental Rug

Rugsource Oushak Oriental Rug

What you need to know: This is a world-recognized Oushak (Ushak) Turkish rug that boasts an iconic star and medallion design.

What you’ll love: It’s about 10 feet by 18 feet, hand-woven in 1915 from a 100% wool pile and foundation. It boasts 120 knots per square inch and a vegetable dye stain in rich red, blue and amber shades. 

What you should consider: While the colors are stunning, they might be too vibrant for some homes.  

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

Top Oriental rug for the money

Rugsource Oushak Wool Orange Oriental Rug

Rugsource Oushak Wool Orange Oriental Rug

What you need to know: This is a stunning handmade Turkish Oushak rug in orange, gold and cream. 

What you’ll love: This is a pre-1900s antique hand-woven Turkish Oriental rug. Its geometric medallion center boasts star and medallion framing. It’s made from 100% wool with 140 knots per square inch. The final size is about 11 feet by 15 feet.  

What you should consider: While this rug is stunning, it does show signs of abrash/fading on the corners. 

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

Worth checking out

Canora Grey Dalhart Hand-Knotted Wool Rose Oriental Rug

Canora Grey Dalhart Hand-Knotted Wool Rose Oriental Rug

What you need to know: This is an antique floral green, rose, blue and beige oriental rug hand-woven in India. 

What you’ll love: This rug was made between 1880 and 1890. It’s hand-knotted from 100% wool with 85 knots per square inch and a pile height of 1 inch. It’s just under 6 feet by 12 feet. It boasts a lotus center with medallion framing. 

What you should consider: While this rug’s design, age and quality make it incredibly valuable, its knot density is on the lower side for the price. 

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

 

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