Determining the Value of Your Rug
Our appraiser determines the value of an Oriental Rug by the following eight characteristics:
Materials Used in Persian and Oriental Rugs
Oriental Rugs are created primarily from quality wool or silk, which is knotted into a cotton foundation. Wool is a critical factor in the quality of an Oriental Rug. The wearing characteristics of the wool are dependent on several factors, such as climate and pasturage.
Intensive use of a good wool Oriental Rug over the course of time gradually polishes the wool, and create a wonderful sheen as the natural oils come to the surface. In fact, an older rug sometimes looks as though it is made of silk instead of wool.
The Persian lamb is widely known for its excellent wool. However, Turkey, the Caucasus, Turkestan, India, Pakistan and China all produce wool fully equal to that from Persia. The hill regions in these countries, where the climate is often cooler, produce sheep that provide stronger and more pliable wool.
Oriental Rug wool is classified into three categories
Live wool is wool sheared from living sheep. Dead wool is removed from a sheep’s hide chemically. Used wool is redyed wool that is recycled from cloth and used in low-grade rugs.
Durable and soft, live Oriental Rug wool retains its lanolin and essential oils, which adds resilience to a rug. The best live wool captures the light and diffuses it among its fibers.
The chemicals used to remove dead wool can be dryer, and more abrasive. When used in rugs, the colors may seem cloudy when compared to live wool, as light is reflected off the surface. Oriental Rugs made from dead wool do not wear as well and lack resilience.
Colors of Persian and Oriental Rugs
Oriental tradition attributes a specific meaning to each color in an Oriental Rug. Tonality, shading, placement and arrangement of color are also important factors. The meanings expressed in these designs are an integral part of the Easterner’s beliefs about life and order in the universe.
Design of Persian and Oriental Rugs
Distinct types of patterns in Oriental Rugs have developed in various districts. By identifying the pattern of the field one can distinguish among four basic types:
Medallion: This design features a field in a solid color, or with small designs surrounding a central medallion.
Repeat: A repeat design consists of a dense, repeating geometric pattern that is cut off at the borders of the rug.
Representational: The third major group, representational, depicts people and animals, often in story situations.
Niche & Tree: Uniform from a style aspect, the patterns in Niche and tree may vary considerably.
A main border and narrower secondary border or guard surrounds typical field designs in Oriental Rugs. Chinese Oriental Rugs, however, include a number of special types outside this classification. Rugs produced by nomadic tribes may differ from those made by the settled population in that they are woven more intuitively without reference to any pattern or drawing. These are generally smaller, with geometric and stylized design. Settled weavers usually work from a pre-designed pattern or cartoon and are thus able to produce carpets with richer, more varied designs.
Labor Rate of Persian and Oriental Rugs
The labor rate for weavers can vary widely from country to country where Oriental Rugs are produced. The labor for an Oriental Rug with the same knot density and man-years crafted in Iran will cost ten times as much as the cost of a comparable Oriental Rug woven in Pakistan.
The Art of the Persian and Oriental Rug
The creation of an Oriental Rug contains the artist’s statement to all mankind—a testimony that he lived, loved and triumphed over his harsh environment. The colors are the emotional feelings the artist has within himself—these artists dwell in regions where bright flowers and plants are practically nonexistent, so they must use their imaginations to communicate the beauty that is born in their soul.
Oriental and Persian Rugs for Investments
As with paintings and other fine art objects, a quality Oriental Rug will increase in value. However, as these rugs will become prominent features in the homes of their owners, they should be purchased first for their beauty, and the satisfaction they provide.
From an investment perspective, Oriental Rugs provide two main sources of return:
Utility: Money that would otherwise be spent for wall-to-wall carpeting, which has no resale value, can be invested in a beautiful Oriental Rug.
Value Appreciation: as time passes and Rugs are classified as antiques, their value may increase considerably.
Over the last decade, Oriental Rugs have averaged a steady 10% appreciation per year, a rate that surpasses most other types of investments.
Liquidity of Persian and Oriental Rugs
Oriental Rugs are the exception to the rule that the greater the degree of liquidity of an asset, the lower the return. Quality Oriental Rugs enjoy a great degree of liquidity while offering one of the highest returns on investment due to the increasing demand caused by public awareness of their value. Since the supply of these rugs has decreased, while interest in them has expanded around the world, Oriental Rugs continue to keep their promise as investments.