Oriental or Area rugs: Learn the difference, make an informed decision!

When you decide to buy a rug for your home, usually two names come to mind: Area rug or an Oriental rug. Let us clarify things for you so you can make an informed decision.

An area rug is simply a carpet or rug that covers a part of the floor of a room. So, by definition, all Oriental rugs are also area rugs, which means when you buy an Oriental rug you are also buying an area rug. It is that simple.


If this is the case, does that mean all area rugs Oriental rugs? The answer is no. The typical area rug might be a machine-made rug, not an Oriental rug. For an area rug to be Oriental, it must be made completely by hand. It must be hand-knotted or hand-woven in one of the many traditional weaving areas in the Middle East or Far East, such as Turkey, Iran, Nepal, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, or some of the southern regions of the old Soviet Union.

All authentic Oriental rugs are one-of-a-kind. Most Oriental rug design patterns are passed down from generation to generation, and are composed mostly from memory. In fact, even if a weaver tries to duplicate the work of another weaver, somewhere in the rug and expert will be able to find many small deviations from the original. This means that all Oriental rugs are unique works of textile art.

Dyes used on these rugs are often organic, obtained from plants and insects. The dyes produce unique color tones, which become more muted in very subtle ways as the years go by. Collectors pay enormous sums for older, quality Oriental rugs, even for fragments of important pieces. In 2002, an important auction house in London sold a small portion of an old Kerman rug for nearly $70,000. There happened to be an unusual detail in the design of the border. This was mostly because there happened to be an unusual detail in the design of the border.

So if you are thinking about buying an area rug, why not go for the real thing? Buy an authentic Oriental rug and beautify your home for many years to come. It will become a family heirloom, whereas a machine-made rug will just become filler for a landfill.

"Just got our rug for the family room and want to tell you how it has changed that room. Wow! Nice warm, cosy feeling. Great!"
Nancy, Lake Surich, IL