Oriental Rugs – Selecting a Good Investment

An oriental rug can provide a look that is luxurious and exotic regardless of the décor of the room. However, many people are unaware that oriental rugs are also a good investment as they hold their value and are often passed down through generations. In order to be sure that the Oriental rug purchased is a good investment, it is important to keep a few tips in mind when purchasing the rug.

Understand How Oriental Rugs are Made

Oriental Rug


True oriental rugs are woven on a loom from strands of wool, silk and cotton . The rugs foundation consists both a warp and weft yarn. The warp yarns run the length of a the rug and terminates as a kilim or fringe at ends of a rug. The warp yarns run the width and interlock with the warp yarns, these two yarns are the foundation of hand knotted Oriental rugs. A loom is used to provide a stable platform for the master weavers to create their works of art.


Each rug design requires a cartoon or a weaver who chants the design pattern from memory. If a cartoon is used it’s placed on the loom slightly above the the eyes of the weaver.

The Knots

There are two basic knots used, the asymmetrical and the symmetrical. Each knot is “tied” or looped around two warps. Oriental rugs can have as few as sixty knots a square inch to as many as sixteen hundred. Its go’s without saying , a silk Persian rug with sixteen hundred knots a square inch holds a much greater value than a Chinese rug that may have sixty or a 120 knots per inch. The more time a weaver spends on a rug the more value it holds. Some rugs may take a master weaver more than two years to create , working ten hours a day seven days a week and others can be completes in just days.

End Finishes

Once the weaver is finished with a rug, it’s ready to come off the loom and the warps are cut. To prevent the rug from unraveling the warp yarns must be finished. There are several different ways a rug can finished on the ends. Fringes can be knotted or secured with a chainstitch immediately after the last row of knots while others have plain weave with no fringe and just a kilim. Remember the end finishes of a rug may be completely different on both ends.

Side Finishes

Side finishes will very from one rug to another. Sides of Oriental rugs can be overcast using one single color, multiple colors, barber pole or sometimes weft wrapping will be done.

Chemical Wash

Believe it or not this process started in the late 19th century after merchants discovered that older rugs sold better than new ones.Chemical washing speeds up the natural aging process, making rugs more appealing to consumers. Remember just because a wool rug looks old doesn’t mean that it actually is! Chemical washing products can also provide a soft hand to the wool fibers and a sheen which is also pleasing to consumers. Another more politically correct term is (Luster Wash) Most Oriental rugs are washed in their country of origin but some are done here in the United States prior to being sold. Chemicals are not used in the process of Oriental rug cleaning or washing.

Tea Wash

Sometimes rugs are treated with tea, herbs or an assortment of chemicals and or synthetic dyes thus giving an antique appearance. This treatment can cause problems when home spot cleaning is done by the consumer, it is wise to contact a professional rug cleaning professional before attempting to remove spills or stains from a rug that has been “tea washed”.

Inconsistencies in color


Sometimes you will notice color change in the field of the rug and this is due to differences in wool and or the dye batches. The color change will always be a parallel line with the weft yarns, from left to right of both sides of the Oriental rug. Abrash can ad value by providing character.

Woven Oriental Rugs are Sustainable

Natural fibers such as wool, silk and cotton are biodegradable, sustainable and therefore friendly to our environment. Wall to wall carpeting is made from pertroleum products, on average carpeting is torn out of homes every ten years and placed in our landfills. A fare quality woven Oriental rug will last 30 to forty years if cared for properly and a fine hand knotted Persian rug could survive over 100 years, passing through four generations of your family. A professional rug cleaning company can assure the longevity of your valued treasures. Oriental rugs have the potential to last decades, with out proper care and maintenance woven rugs can end up in the landfills with carpeting.

The Wool

The origin of the wool used is critical because this will determine a rugs appearance, resilience and it’s ability to withstand years of abrasion. Most wool used in the Middle East is a combination short fine crimpy wool and very coarse fibers providing good resiliency and durability. The soft luster of an aged which has not been chemically washed is created by the foot traffic over the years or decades; However a chemically washed creates luster.

Knot Density

One huge litmus test in determining the quality of a Oriental rug is knot density and the height of the pile. Fine wool rugs usually have between 300 to 500 knots per square inch and the pile height is very short.

Remember, to factor in the cost of cleaning when choosing to purchase a used Oriental rugs. Professional rug cleaning companies will charge from $2.00 to $7.00 a square foot to restore beauty and Value.

Be sure to choose a professional oriental rug cleaning service to keep all your Oriental rugs looking like new for many years.


What Our Customers Are Saying

We have a large contemporary wool rug. Light on color and had many coffee spills. Bryan and his team are amazing! Kind, very knowledgeable, excellent communication and customer service... Read more about Dolores W reviewRead More

Firstly, my rug came back looking fantastic. Second, the service was great. They clearly told me what to expect, timing, and building a service proposal for my rug and situation.... Read more about Cody H reviewRead More

I showed up with a rug I essentially destroyed myself. They very nicely told me I messed up and told me the risks of trying to get it cleaned... Read more about Dented LRead More

Steam Sweepers did an excellent job cleaning 3 area rugs. Extremely satisfied with the results and with the friendly professional service. Highly recommend!!... Read more about Steve E reviewRead More

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Drop Off Service!

We make area rug cleaning easy for you. Whether you own a large Persian rug, a hand-knotted Chinese rug, a department store rug or maybe a house full of smaller woven rugs such as Karastan’s, we would be happy to schedule a pick-up. We service our hometown of Bellingham & Mount Vernon, all cities and townships in Whatcom, Skagit, and Island Counties. We meet our customers from San Jaun Islands in Anacortes. Also, a limited reach into Snohomish County, Stanwood. If your home is on the I-5 corridor between Blaine and Smokey Point our pick-up services can make rug cleaning easy for you.