Are you mesmerized by precious and unique oriental rugs? If you are reading this blog post, you probably are! And we certainly agree that oriental rugs have a way of catching the eye like no other rug.
But, how do you tell if the oriental rug you are about to buy is truly authentic? Well, as rug experts for nearly 8 years now, we decided to create this blog post to help you out! First, we are going to describe what oriental rugs are. Then we will show you the delicate and quite amazing process of making these beautiful rugs. After that, we will answer some burning questions you probably have and give you some Sukhi tips when it comes to buying your next oriental rug.
Let’s dive right in!
What are the oriental rugs?
Oriental rugs have been used for centuries as a piece of art and aesthetics to make homes beautiful and artistic while also being practical. Many rug owners see them as a beautiful painting in their living space.
Often people imagine that oriental rugs come from countries of the Orient, such as the Middle East, India or China. However, the reality is that you can describe an oriental rug not so much by where it comes from, but more from how it is made! Indeed oriental rugs are made in a very special way. At Sukhi, we design and make our modern oriental rug collection in India!
Oriental rugs are not only a home piece, but a spectrum of different arts, cultures, traditions, faiths, folks, practices, and thoughts of people. Artists who made these beautiful rugs have been very much involved in the process of each cycle of these rugs, working so patiently and artistically to give life to these beautiful pieces.
In the West, there is a continuous and rising interest in this piece of art among the rug admirers, buyers, and connoisseurs. Hence the demand for more and more information about oriental rugs is increasing for the best selection, quality, price, purchase, care, origin, patterns, and overall ability to judge original oriental rug among the fake ones.
How are Oriental rugs made?
To really know how to differentiate an authentic rug from a fake one, we have to look at how authentic oriental rugs are made.
Oriental rugs are made up of various fibers such as wool of sheep, goat, yak, cotton, silk, jute, hairs of camel, and even horse. An oriental rug is woven by hands on a loom with warps, wefts, and piles made mainly of natural fibers. In more aesthetic rugs, silk, gold, and silver metal threads are also used. At Sukhi, we add bamboo silk, a sustainable and eco-friendly material, to our rugs to add a dazzling sheen to our products.
Each rug is made by hand, resulting in each having a unique design or pattern. These designs represent the thoughts and imagination of artisans, particularly by the tribal artisans. When you buy an oriental rug, you truly are buying a story being passed on from generation to generation. This makes these heirloom rugs priceless!
After rug artisans weave the rug, its borders are fastened and the pile is clipped to get a smooth and even surface. Finally, the rug is cleaned and washed, ready to find a new loving home!
How to make sure an oriental rug is handmade?
A really easy way of spotting if an oriental rug was made by a machine is checking its edges. Since, authentic oriental rugs are hand-made, it is expected to see minor flaws and uneven lengths. Basically, if your rug looks flawless or too perfect, you might be looking at a machine-made one!
You should also be seeing this unevenness in the knots of the rug as well. Simply flip the rug over and look closely at the way the knots were made. An individual knot cannot be detected at the machine-made rugs while you can detect the individual knots at the handmade rugs.
And as a general rule of thumb, have a look at a few different rugs with the same pattern. No two handmade oriental rugs should look the same. You should be able to spot small differences which make each oriental rug design unique and remarkable.
4 Important things to consider when buying an authentic oriental rug
To guide you on how to pick your oriental rug and make sure you are finding the right rug for you, here are some factors that are very important to consider:
When it comes to oriental rugs, you will often be given the choice to buy a hand knotted or a hand tufted rug. While there are a few differences between these two types of oriental rugs, there is a simple way to tell which is which. Start by flipping your oriental rug over. You should be able to see the same pattern and colour on the backside of your oriental rug.
Here’s our gorgeous Rajendra rug to illustrate our point. See how vibrant and detailed the pattern is even on the other side of the rug
Authentic hand tufted rugs have a foundation added to their backing and are not made by tying individual knots. This makes for a more affordable rug which is as beautiful as the hand knotted one!
The next thing you should judge is the weight of the rug which should feel heavy. Of course if you are buying your online, this might get a little more complicated. But if you are on our Sukhi website, you can simply reach out in our chat box or by email and ask us about the weight of your desired rug! We love sending our customers more information and pictures whenever we can!
And if you look at an authentic oriental rug lying flat on the floor, you will notice that it’s edges and borders don’t curl. So next time you are rug-shopping, make sure to keep an eye out for that!
At Sukhi, we make our modern oriental rugs by using high quality 100% wool from New Zealand. A good way to know if the wool is of good quality is to burn a slight surface of the rug with a matchstick and observe the black spot it leaves. If the burnt residue is brushed off without leaving even the slightest patch then it is of top quality. Also, the burnt residue leaves a peculiar smell and can be easily recognized!
You can also rub your hand over the surface of the rug with the nap and notice a feeling of electric smoothness the same as when you feel when stroking the back of a cat in cold weather.
Authentic oriental rugs are often described as luxury rugs by connoisseurs around the world. With the high quality material, complexity of the design, incredible craftsmanship, and aesthetic finish, they tend to be on the higher end with a higher price tag. If you feel like the price of your oriental rug is unrealistically low, you probably found yourself a fake oriental rug. At Sukhi, our lean business model allows us to offer our precious rugs at affordable prices.
Another important thing to note is that, oriental rugs become more valuable with age, unlike machine-made rugs that are worn out and lose value with age. This is because colors used in old oriental rugs become more harmonious with time and give them a great appearance. Decorating your living space with an oriental rug as centerpiece is the best investment you can ever make for your home!
Buy oriental rugs the ethical way
As advocates of ethical buying, we pride ourselves on keeping strong ethics at the core of our business and in everything we do.
Ethical buying essentially means that you are ensuring workers have decent working conditions, raw materials being used are sustainable and renewable and as a consumer, you are being offered better prices. When supporting ethical products, you make a difference in the world.
Unfortunately in the world of rug-making, we sometimes see unethical and abhorrent industry practices employed for manufacturing these rugs by using child labor and severely underpaid workers from the developing world.
When buying your new rug, you want to make sure the rug is fair trade. If you want to learn more about this topic, check our blog post on the importance of fair trade in the world!
Industry and consumers can fulfill their social responsibility and leadership to ensure that these beautiful home products always come along with fair and ethical practices.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post and will be referring back to it when you are buying your next oriental rug! At Sukhi, we take authenticity, quality and fair trade seriously. So we invite you to shop for rugs online on our website or check out our visualizer to see exactly how your next rug will look like in your home!