Identify Oriental Rugs and Persian Rugs

Identify Oriental Rugs and Persian Rugs

With the following features, you can recognize a real Handmade Oriental Rug within minutes. The first recognition criteria determine whether the carpet was hand-knotted over a period of several months or whether it was produced by a machine within a few hours. In addition, we give you the most important characteristics to recognize a high quality Persian or Oriental rug.

What are the Most Common Pitfalls When it Comes to Recognizing a Real Oriental Rug?

The biggest mistake would probably be to confuse a machine-made rug in an oriental design with a hand-knotted oriental rug. Industrially produced rugs are generally made of synthetic fibers. They have a much smaller color variety and comparatively lower quality, which is produced in just 2-3 hours. In comparison, an oriental rug is hand-knotted over a period of several months and is therefore much more robust and durable. It consists of natural sheep’s wool which in some cases is even completely dyed with vegetable dyes. Here we have listed all the important differences in detail.

Another trap is the quality and origin of the hand-knotted carpet. Persian rugs, for example, are considered to be the highest quality and most famous oriental rugs. It is precisely for this reason that they are also knotted and copied outside of Iran (formerly Persia). Although these imitations are often of good quality, they fall short of the high standard and traditional Persian knotting style. China and India are countries known for their long tradition in carpet knotting, but they also imitate special Persian patterns. Thus, imitations from India have an “Indo-” in the name and are significantly less expensive than a real Persian rug.

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Identify a real hand-knotted Kazak rug

Unique Pieces

Each Kazak Rug is a unique piece according to tradition. The knotter always brings its own interpretation or taste into a rug. Even if a certain design is compiled, an experienced knotter will not be able to re-compile it 100%. That is why you have to be careful if a certain carpet is available in different sizes or quantities. Traditionally, a certain oriental rug is not knotted in different sizes but exists only once. This is exactly where the charm and character of a hand-knotted rug lies. Machine-made rugs are computer designed and made in a 1: 1 scale. They are usually available in different sizes and quantities and are completely identical.

The Symmetry

In general, it can be said that no handmade rug is completely symmetrical. On the one hand, the shape will always be a bit irregular. On the other hand, the design of half a carpet cannot be reproduced exactly. A knotter sits on a carpet for months and cannot repeat the small details or 1: 1 adornment. But that’s exactly what a machine does. She creates completely symmetrical patterns and shapes.


In short, a real oriental or Persian carpet does not have sewn fringes. The fringes form the end of the warp threads and are therefore an integral part of the carpet. If you see on the back of the rug that the fringes have been sewn together, it is unlikely that this is a real oriental rug.

The Regularity of the Knots

On the back of a rug, you can see the individual knots, provided the rug is knotted and not woven. Knots give experts a deep insight into the knotting method, smoothness, effort, and quality of the carpet. Hand-knotted rugs are never perfect. This is seen particularly well in knots. Irregularities and minor flaws are quite normal on the reverse side of oriental rugs, including Persian rugs.

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The Material

In particular, traditional oriental rugs are made only of natural material such as sheep’s wool, cotton, camel hair or pure silk. The surface (the hair) is usually made of sheep’s wool, while the back (the warp) is often made of cotton or sheep’s wool. The very high quality rugs are made entirely of natural silk, which can be recognized by its beautiful shine. Machine-made rugs can also be made from wool, but they are often made at least in part from synthetic fibers. Especially at the rear, savings are made and cheap material is used.

Knot Density

The density of the knot is used to determine the fineness of a carpet. You can imagine the density of knots as the resolution of a screen. The more knots a rug has, the more detail and the more beautiful the workmanship. However, it also takes a lot more effort, skill and time to tie. It is therefore also used to identify high quality Persian rugs. Here you will find all the information about measuring and estimating knot density of an Octagon Area Rug

The height of the velvet

Besides the density of the knot, the height of the pile, that is, the thickness of the carpet is an indicator of its value. The thinner a hand-knotted rug, the higher it’s quality. Only very experienced knitters are able to make a very thin and flat mat.

Brooklyn Long

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