Differentiating Between Persian and Oriental Rugs at Your Rug Store

The differences between Persian rugs and Oriental rugs are so subtle that even self-professed rug connoisseurs have been found guilty of using the terms interchangeably. While such confusion is common, familiarizing yourself with the differences before browsing the rug varieties at your favorite Los Angeles area rug store can help you avoid buying a fake rug or a rug that is advertised as something it’s not.

Defined By a Country of Origin
Perhaps the most noteworthy difference to distinguish a Persian vs Oriental rug is the country of origin. Persian rugs have a rich and storied history reaching back thousands of years, but most of the Persian rugs we find today come specifically from Iran. It’s difficult to find an authentic non-Iranian antique Persian rug at your local rug store. However, some tribal varieties have been known to originate from indigenous weavers of Pakistani origin.
Finding Persian Rugs in Your Local Los Angeles Rug Store
Although cotton varieties exist, Persian rugs are typically woven from rich wool. If you find a silk Persian rug in the inventory of your local rug store, you’ve found a rare treasure. The prized Silk Persian rug is scarce and much more fragile than its wool counterparts. Buying such a luxurious rug can elevate your home’s design, but will require specific cleaning and maintenance.
Another hallmark of an authentic Persian rug is its incorporation of traditional designs that have been adorning these rugs since ancient times. There’s a language communicated in these motifs that can say a lot about the rug. It takes a well-trained eye to understand the design and symbols of Persian rugs, but deciphering these motifs is not the only way to know if you’ve found an authentic Persian rug. Simply discerning that these intricate patterns exist within the rug can often be enough to prove that the rug is handwoven and help you tell the difference between a Persian vs Oriental rug.
The Easiest Way to Not Mistake an Oriental Rug for a Persian Rug
If you’ve found a “Persian” rug that was woven in non-Iranian Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan or Turkey and extending out as far as India, you’ve discovered an Oriental rug. In most cases, you can just check the label on the back of the rug in question to find its country of origin.
Senneh Knotting vs. Ghiordes Knotting
The knotting used in weaving a rug can also be used to differentiate between Persian vs Oriental rugs. Persian rugs are carefully crafted utilizing a single-looping knot system, often referred to as a Senneh knot. Oriental rugs are hand-knotted, relying on symmetrical Ghiordes knots as opposed to the asymmetrical Senneh variety. If you’re unfamiliar with the Senneh and Ghiordes knots, your local rug specialist should be able to point out the difference. Hand-knotted Oriental rugs are vastly different from hand-tufted Oriental rugs, which take advantage of a gun-like tool, thus sacrificing handwoven craftsmanship.
A shopper must be discerning when evaluating the rug varieties at any of their local Los Angeles rug dealers. Low-quality rugs can easily find their way in among the much more valuable handwoven pieces. Likewise, online retailers can mislead buyers through misinformation or intentional deception. Getting as much information about the rug’s origin as possible before finalizing any purchases is the best way to ensure you get the type of rug you want and need. If you are looking for a Persian rug for your home, browse our large selection or get in touch.
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