Traditional handmade rugs have been produced in Iran (Persia) and the Orient for well over a thousand years and have become synonymous with luxury, beauty, and practicality. They are hand-knotted i.e., every knot is tied by hand, which makes for an authentic artisan product that genuinely reflects ‘the signature of the living spirit’. This hand-knotting imparts a quality of construction, which gives the better Persian and Oriental rugs longevity unsurpassed by inferior machine-made items. The sheer variety of designs and colours is enormous and ranges from highly traditional floral medallion designs to amazingly simple tribal rugs.
While the finest silk rugs and rarer antique wool rugs can be eye wateringly expensive, most rugs are well within reach of many home decorators or interior designers. This makes them a desirable option for the floor- whether that is wood, stone, or carpeted.
The initial cost of a good rug may well be higher than the customer imagined or is budgeting for, but the savvy person realises that the investment pays off in the long run.
Good quality- by these, I mean materials and evenness and tension of weave, rather than only those rugs with a high knot count – tend to look better with age. The actions of being polished by leather soles, socks, or bare feet bring out a sheen in the pile while the dyes are mellowed with age and light. This is the reason why antique rugs in good condition are so highly valued. No new reproduction can quite match it, although some productions of contemporary rugs are fantastic and come close. Of course, the price differentials will ensure that most buyers opt for new confidence that they are using and caring for the antiques of the future. The great thing about rugs is that there is a price point for almost everyone.
Persian and Oriental rugs are generally made using completely natural materials, which gives them many benefits. The wool for the pile is either handspun, which offers a larger, fatter yarn that suits village and tribal rugs with less intricate designs. If this wool is of good quality and left relatively long when the finishing shearing is done, the feel of the rug underfoot is wonderfully soft and comfortable. Silk piled rugs are the epitome of luxury, giving a thin, flat appearance that changes with every viewing angle. They come in a wide variety of yarn qualities – some so-called silk rugs are quite shoddy – as well as highly ornate floral designs and lustrous colours. A delicate silk rug will glow on the floor or wall.
Rugs from Iran (Persia) and Asia are made in every size imaginable, and if the perfect size does not exist, you can commission a custom one. They are woven as long, narrow runners for use in hallways (not the original usage, though), like circles, squares, octagons, and hexagons but most commonly as rectangles using the ratio of 3:2. This makes them extremely versatile for use in almost any home.
A good rug provides many practical benefits too. As well as a visual warmth, they are also excellent heat insulation, working best on stone, tile, or wood flooring. A thickly piled rug also gives sound insulation, masking footsteps and reducing the confusion of a babble of voices, especially in a dining room. The highly patterned rug, especially one with deep rich colours, also is very forgiving in hiding stains and dirt, and when thoroughly cleaned by an expert, will be returned looking like the day it was bought- albeit with signs of mellowing. With a suitable underlay and properly vacuumed, as well as any human and animal damage seen to immediately, the rugs of Persia and the Orient give you an individuality like no other.