Acquiring a handmade rug is not an easy endeavour, for two reasons: One, because a handmade rug is a lifetime investment and must be to the buyer’s absolute liking. And two, because it is not an inexpensive, spur-of-the-moment purchase, since, as a work of art, it is quite valuable.
The rug you choose does not necessarily have to be an expensive investment piece. You may become enchanted even by a plain little rug, which you will happily admire in your home or office for years to come.
A necessary prerequisite is to purchase from a reputable seller with a permanent business location and a deep knowledge of the merchandise. Stay away from opportunistic and casual purchases because you run the risk of ending up with a worthless piece, instead of the work of art of your dreams.
The quality of a rug is determined by several factors. The main one, which also determines the duration of a rug’s life, is the quality of the raw materials used in its construction, e.g., cotton, wool and silk. Wool may be obtained from sheep that are well cared for, or not; wool from sheep from specific areas is more durable over time. Cotton and silk also come in different qualities.
Certainly, it is not true that silk is not durable – after all, it is used in parachutes! However, it does require special care and cleaning.
Persia still lays claim to the myth of the land of great rugs, although this does not always reflect reality. Today, all across the Orient, rugs are being made that are of great quality and of bad quality; there are beautiful and ugly rugs, valuable and worthless ones.
The main criteria for assessing the value of a rug are the design, the fine craftsmanship, the beautiful architectural structure, and the quality of the materials.
A reputable trader with a deep knowledge of handmade rugs is obligated to provide you with accurate and useful information about a rug’s durability, and mostly about its value.
Handmade rugs of any provenance, quality standard, value, and design aesthetic are works of art, and as such they have value, not price.