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Persian and Oriental rugs are often referred to interchangeably. Oriental rugs are handmade carpets made in Asia, such as Iran, India, Pakistan, and Nepal. Persian rugs, on the other hand, are the ones made only in Iran (formerly known as Persia) and named after the city in which they were created. Most oriental rugs use Persian designs, but have recently created designs of their own. There are many different qualities in both Persian and oriental rugs as the wool may or may not be hand-spun, dyed by vegetable or chemical colors, and woven in different densities.
The fact is that only handmade rugs appreciate in value (or at least hold their initial value) as opposed to machine-made carpets. So look at your purchase of a handmade rug as an investment. If you are shopping for an exact size, keep in mind that measurements do not include the fringe. Although many factors affect the value of a rug, we believe that the foremost is whether or not you really like the design and color combinations in a rug. You are the one who is going to live with it. Any handmade wool rug is going to be around for many years, so take your time when choosing one, and do not hesitate to ask any questions you might have.
It basically refers to density of knots, and stands for the number of “knots per square inch”. If you count the knots in one inch (from the backside of the rug and in the direction of the width) and multiply it by itself, you will get the KPSI. Note that this calculation may result in slightly different numbers if sample areas are taken from different portion of the rug due to the fact that the rug is handmade. Also if you know the “raj” for a rug, here is the formula to get its KPSI (raj is a unit of measuring knot density in Persian rugs, the number of knots in 6.7 cm in the direction of the width): [(raj/7)*2.54]^2 = KPSI
The weaving of any handmade rug is a difficult and tedious process which, depending on the quality and size of the rug, can take anywhere from a couple of months to several years to complete. To begin making a rug, you need a foundation consisting of warps which run the length of the rug and wefts which pass under and over the warps from one side to the other after each single row of knots is woven. Weaving begins by passing a few rows of weft threads through the bottom portion of warps to form a base to start from. Knots are then tied around two adjacent warps according to a map (cartoon) to create the intricate patterns in the rug. As more rows of knots are tied to the foundation, the pile of the rug is formed. Between each row of knots, one or two threads of weft are passed to tightly pack down and secure the rows. Once the rug is completed, the warp will be cut off the loom; the finished product will then be washed, and stretched to keep it flat on the floor. (please see our blog for additional information)
There can be slight variations in color (called abrash) in any handmade rug. This is due to the fact that limited amounts of wool can be dyed in each session, and when more wool is needed, the new batch of dye will rarely produce the exact same color. Wool is a natural fiber and any variation of its color is part of its beauty and uniqueness. As for the design, you might encounter minor differences in a “flower” as compared to its counterpart in a symmetry point. Such irregularities are not considered a flaw. There are very few rugs on which one single weaver has worked from start to finish, and weavers have their own styles and habits in their work. You are looking at a handmade rug after all.
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Over time, exposure to light and air will make a softer tone in natural dyes whereas chemical dyes will show signs of slight fading. Any color of natural dyes contains hues of some other colors and is therefore more sparkling, and more interesting to look at. Experienced dyers can achieve great results by mixing different chemical dyes, making the fiber indistinguishable from those dyed by natural colors. The fact is that chemical colors are much easier to work with and produce more accurate and predictable results.