Oriental Rugs and Runners

Oriental Rugs are nothing but rugs made in oriental countries for symbolic purposes and is used for home or locals and even exported widely. Oriental rugs are made of different materials like silk, wool, or cotton.

Oriental rugs are produced in an area popularly known as the “Rug Belt,” covering from Morocco across North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, and northern India. The countries mainly included in this are north China, Turkey, Tibet, Iran, the Maghreb in the west, and Pakistan in the south, and the Caucasus in the north, India.

The oriental rugs are often called as Islamic Carpets. And those carpets that are originated from Iran are known as Persian Carpets.

Oriental rugs
Oriental rugs

Where Do Oriental Rugs Come From?

Mainly oriental rugs are handmade exclusively in Asia. Countries like Iran, China, Russia, India, Turkey, Tibet, Pakistan, and Nepal are known to be the biggest exporters of oriental rugs.

Persian rugs are also a type of Oriental rug that is only made in Iran (Persia).

Is Oriental and Persian Rug the Same?

A Persian Rug is nothing but a carpet or a rug hand-knotted and produced exclusively in Iran, formerly Persia. The Persian rugs have more intricate details as Iran’s artists are exceptionally skilled in creating detailed designs on the rugs. People consider Persian Rugs to be of higher quality because of its higher knot counts.

On the other hand, most Persian Rugs are Oriental Rugs, but not all Oriental Rugs are Persian Rugs. Oriental Rugs are produced in oriental countries like India, China, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, etc. except Iran. 

How Are The Oriental Rugs Made?

The warps, wefts, and pile are mainly made of fibers obtained naturally, such as wool, cotton, or silk. Some carpets have woven metal threads of gold or silver to make it more sophisticated and expensive.

The pile usually is of handspun and machine-spun strings of the yarn knotted into warp and weft foundation. These pile threads are generally dyed with either natural dyes or synthetic ones. Once the weaving is done, the rug’s borders are fastened and clipped to avail flat and even surface. 

Oriental rugs

Are Oriental Rugs Only Handmade?

Oriental rugs are not only handmade, but some are even machine-made. An electronically powered machine produces them. The design is first illustrated on a computer. A punch card system is used to make the design. For machine-made rugs, there are a variety of qualities.

The Axminster and Wilton loom machine-made rugs are the best to choose from. The ones made of wool and produced in Belgium are the finest in the machine-made rug category.

Hand-Knotted Or Machine Knotted?

The easiest way to identify a hand-knotted rug from a machine knotted is that the design in the hand-knotted rug is as clear at the backside as it is on the front side. At the same time, this is not the case in a machine knotted rug. Also, in a handmade rug, each one is unique from the other. There would be some or the other difference, even though the slightest. And most notably, in a handmade rug, the fringe part is not sewn to the rug.

How to Know That They Are Real?

In a fake Oriental rug, the back would have a hard-plastic covering like polypropylene, nylon, acrylic, polyester, etc. Such materials are low cost and do not stay for a long time. It is just aesthetically pleasing for a shorter period. The colors of the fake ones are easily transferred when damped. The side fringes are glued on. The faux oriental rugs are for sure not hand-knotted. The handmade ones have a charm of their own, which of course, the fake ones lack. 

How to Know Their Value?

The larger the size, the more it requires materials in it and hence higher the price. The knot density also affects the cost of the rug. 

The more complex and tighter it is, the more costly. Rugs made of silk are the most expensive. Designs are also an essential factor. The more intricate and colorful a rug is, the more is its price. The costliest oriental rugs are the ones that are considered to be antiques. 

Are They The Most Expensive Rugs In The Market?

The most costly Oriental rug was sold at an auction in 2013 for 33.7 million dollars, which is equal to buying four top Ferrari cars. Some of the Persian Rugs are expensive because it has come down generations after generations in a family.

The most crucial fact that oriental rugs are purely and intricately handmade makes them worth their high prices. Owning a handmade oriental rug is buying something one of a kind. Weavers spend hours and days behind making one single unique piece. Their hard work and time are worth being paid for. 

Oriental runners

Are Oriental Rugs Appreciating Or Depreciating Over Time?

The taste for sophistication and aesthetics will always remain or instead increase over time. Traditional oriental rugs never go out of trend; they will never be depreciated. Instead, oriental rugs increase their value because of their durability, making them stay for decades and become an antique piece. Antique rugs are costly, even today.

Maintenance of Oriental Rugs over Time

There are few tips for maintaining oriental rugs so they can stay on longer-

  • Rotating regularly or at least once in a year or two.
  • Not allowing direct sunlight to fall on the rug may cause the color of the rug to fade drastically.
  • The oriental rugs have fringes at the end, which may get tangled very quickly, and to avoid that, it is essential to flip the rug to let the ends straighten naturally.

 Cleaning Of Oriental Rugs

  • Vacuuming them is the most recommended and easiest way to suck out the dirt from the rugs. Be careful not to use a very high suction power as it may pull out the delicate threads over time.
  • In case of stains, dab the stain with a dry cloth to soak up the liquid.
  • Professional washing of the rugs is highly recommended as they are delicate and costly, and no one would want to destroy it by cleaning them with untrained hands. After every three to five years, it is supposed to be professionally washed to clear out the soil build-up. 


Characteristically Persian Rugs have a very thick pile; sometimes, even as 160 knots per square inch, they are incredibly sophisticated with color and highly intricate designs. Oriental rugs are a gem that will never lose its charm.