Oriental rugs have been known to last 200 years or more, while the most expensive Persian ever sold was auctioned at Sotheby’s for a staggering $33.7 million. It’s fair to say your rug won’t cost that much or return that much should you decide to sell it, but high-quality rugs are still a sizeable investment and finding a reputable Persian rug store is crucial to making sure the rug you buy is worth the price you pay.
Signs of a Reputable Persian Rug Store
Since you probably don’t have $33 million to drop on a single rug for your home – one that comes with an impeccable, verifiable pedigree – you need to know you can trust the Persian rug store you’re buying from. You can start your search for a trustworthy rug store by asking a few basic questions:
- How long have they been in business? – If they just popped up last week, take a pass.
- How long have they been in their current location? – See above.
- Can they tell you who their suppliers are? – If they won’t or are vague about it, hit the door.
- Have they been “going out of business” for several years? – Are their rugs perpetually “on sale”? If so walk the other way.
Often the best way to determine if a rug store is reputable is to take a close look at the merchandise. Modern oriental rugs fall into three basic weave classifications: those made by machine, those tufted “by hand” and those that are entirely hand woven.
- Machine-Made Rugs – These should be the easiest to spot because machine-made rugs tend to be garish in their perfection, displaying perfect symmetry and even colour from side to side, end to end. A quality Persian rug store may sell this type of rug, but it won’t be the main focus of the business.
- Hand-Tufted Rugs – Virtually no hands are involved in making “hand-tufted” rugs. They are created using hand-held guns that shoot fibres through a base mesh which are then fastened by way of an adhesive backing. Spot these rugs by turning them over. No truly handmade rug will ever have a backing of any kind. If the salesperson tries to tell you otherwise, head for the exit.
- Hand Woven Rugs – The truly hand-woven rug will be by far the most expensive and will likely display minor imperfections in shape as well as colouring and pattern distribution. “Why is it so expensive if it’s imperfect” you ask? Because the imperfection is often intentional and stems from the belief that only the Almighty is capable of perfection.
The owners or salespeople in a reputable Persian rug store should be willing to talk about themselves, their business and their suppliers. In fact, they will often be eager to teach you something about the production process and invest time in making sure you find the rug that is right for you. If all you get is sales pressure from the minute you walk in the door from salespeople who don’t want you flipping the rugs or asking questions you probably want to move on.
About Weavers +
If you happen to be in the Toronto area, visit Weavers Plus, one of the premium broadloom stores and persian rug stores in Toronto. We have a great selection of antique rugs, contemporary rugs, Persian rugs, modern rugs, Oriental rugs, and traditional rugs. We also offer services for rug repair and rug cleaning.