Just as you might buy a painting or sculpture as a form of investment AND décor, you might also invest in an Oriental rug. However, the very same sort of research and knowledge has to exist if you are to make a good choice. For instance, you wouldn’t buy a painting that you liked, believing it will serve as an investment. Instead, you would need to research the artist, interest in their work, and whether or not any particular painting would be able to increase in value over time.
So, if investing in Oriental rugs is your goal, one of the first things to do is begin to learn more about them.
How Are Oriental Rugs Produced?
If you walk into any big box store, you’ll see that they have area rugs available. These are not the kinds of rugs that can serve as investments because they are machine made, and often from synthetic materials or blends.
Oriental rugs, however, are made on looms and most often hand woven or hand-knotted. They feature horizontal rows known as weft threads and vertical rows known as warp threads. The warp threads are what become the fringe on the rug. However, the pattern of any authentic Oriental rug comes from the weaver tying knots with weft threads and joining two warp threads at the center.
Recognize the Parts
To invest in a quality rug also means knowing what you are looking at, such as what is the top or bottom, the back or front, the different areas of the patterns, and so on. Taking the time to learn that all rugs have a direction that the pile faces is important. It is created when the weaver pulls down while cutting the yarn at the end of each knot. This makes the rug look darker from the “bottom up” and lighter from the “top down”.
The background of a carpet is known as the field, and the areas around the edges are the main borders. Knowing what sort of field colors and patterns, borders, medallions (central motifs) and other design elements you want, can help you make the right choice. However, it can also help you determine the origins of the rug.
Understand the Condition
Though many people invest in a rug for its decorative value, they might also look at that rug as a financial commitment. Generally, the larger the rug, the more valuable. The older the rug, the higher the value, but it is the condition that makes the biggest difference.
If the rug has been well tended and is “healthy”, it has more value and more enduring value. Wool that is soft and smooth is worthy of the investment, while hard or brittle rugs will not increase in value.
There is much more to know about investing in an Oriental rug, but once you understand a few basics, you can use that knowledge to begin searching for the ideal purchase. Don’t settle for a rug because of value, be sure you love the looks of it and can commit to the proper care and upkeep that allows this work of art to appreciate over the decades.