Determine Oriental Rugs Value

hand-knotted persian rug

Affordable handmade rugs are a valuable item that everyone is considering to fit into their home decor budget. These amazing hand-knotted creations come from a long way from the Middle East and the artisan to your very own living room. Each one of these rugs has a unique and particular design that took a lot of time and dedication to be finished, which makes it a valuable artifact that everybody should consider. That being said, the first thing you need to know is that Oriental hand-knotted rugs are more expensive than industrial machine made rugs for many reasons explained in this article called Why Oriental Rugs Have Abrash?. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you won't be able to find affordable Persian rugs in the market or any authentic Oriental rug with excellent quality or very beautiful intricate designs for a reasonable price.

Many people get confused when they’re buying handmade rugs and sometimes they get overcharged on rugs that are not worth that price because they don’t actually know how to evaluate and identify all of the significant factors that determine the price of a rug. Further, prices change every year depending on available supply and demand. Nowadays, you also have to add the fact that price ranges will change due to what people want and what is “in fashion” or market trends.

Keeping this in mind, let's talk about a list of facts you must be aware and have at hand when you’re looking for an affordable Oriental rug with a high-quality value. There are seven factors to consider:  

1. Knot Density

2. Materials Used

3. Design Elements

4. Colors, blending and dye types.

5. Age

6. Rug Conditions

7. Demand and Availability

 
1. Knot Density: knots counts is when you numbered the nodes or knots per inch square. To do this, check the back of the rug and either do it by eye, use a measuring tape or using a quarter coin. Count in each direction, in a vertical and horizontal way and finally multiply this 2 figures together. Make sure that you find nodes colors by itself, if there are 2 colors per node then this particular rug is not fully depressed and you are seeing both sides of a knot. When having 2 colors node you must divide by two to get the actual knot count. Further, you should proceed and do this in different parts of the rug to be sure of the knot count result.

hand-knotted persian rug

 

Points

Knot Density

10

690 - above

9

575 - 685 knots

8

415 - 570 knots

7

320 - 410 knots

6

250 - 310 knots

5

165 - 240 knots

4

125 - 160 knots

3

85 - 120 knots

2

60 - 80 knots

1

30 - 55 knots

0

0 - 30 knots

2. Materials used: There are 3 types of material used on the pile and foundation of Oriental rugs such as wool, cotton, and silk. These types of materials differ in quality, for example, there is Kork wool, fine wool, dead wool, low-quality wool, good wool, Std. Wool w/ without silk, Shanghai wool w/without silk, cotton, mercerized cotton, silk. The better quality & combination of materials used on the pile and foundation, better the value of the rug.

 

Points

Materials

10

Silk Foundation / Silk Pile

9

Kork Wool on Silk / Fine Cotton Pile

8

Fine Wool w/without silk / Cotton Pile

7

Good Wool w/without silk / Cotton

6

Shanghai Wool / Cotton

5

Wool / Wool

4

Mercerized cotton / Low-quality wool

3

Dead wool / Cotton

2

Dead wool / Wool

1

Dead wool / Jute

0

Cotton foundation / Jute Pile

3. Design Elements: There are several designs when referring to hand-knotted rugs: Modern/ Contemporary, Tribal, All-over, Pictorial, Historical, Garden /Floral, Traditional/ Classic, Prayer, and Geometric. Most of them have a medallion on the center and some designs are all-over without a medallion. The more details you find in a design more valuable it is.

 

Points

Design

10

Throughout detailed curvilinear pattern on the entire background

8

Throughout detailed rectilinear or curvilinear patterns

7

Portraits, detailed pictures or figures / floral curvilinear designs

5

Reasonable curves / angles / all-over design / plain areas

4

Less detailed curvilinear / rectilinear design / plain spots

3

Repeating patterns and simple forms like a tribal Turkoman

2

Carved Chinese 120L or above

1

Indo Aubusson/ Savonnerie

0

Plain / One color rug


4. Colors, blending and dye types: Oriental hand-knotted or hand-weaved rugs are made with vegetable dyes from seed oils and other natural plants and elements. This element’s quality can be seen from how the rug has a bad antique wash or one of the colors pop out in a bad way, the rug has been overly toned down to how well several colors blend in perfect harmony, beautiful antique tones, top quality vegetable dyes or chrome dyes are being used.

 

Points

Colors

10

10 - 15 color shades combined in perfect harmony / Top quality vegetable dyes used / Antique tones

8

10 color shades combined in perfect harmony. Chrome dyes used.

6

6 or more color shades combined naturally / no colors jump into the eye.

4

4 or more colors blend well

2

4 or more colors blend well and one does not integrate and jumps into the eye like a hot or electric color.

1

3 or more electric/hot colors that do not blend together well / bad antique wash / overly toned down.

0

Colors with chemical washing / sun-faded colors / no possible to be repaired / one or two colors top.

 

5. Age: rare antique rugs are considered really valuable, but this also depends on how well preserved the rug is, its condition, details in the design, also where was made and other factors apply too. Only because a handmade rug is antique does not mean that the price will go incredibly up.

 

Points

Age

10

100 years old - above (categorized as antique)

8

60 - 75 years old (categorized as semi-antique)

6

40 - 60 years old (categorized as semi-antique)

4

30 - 40 years old

2

20 - 25 years old

1

5 - 15 years old

0

Recently made (categorized as new)

 

6. Rug conditions: There are several condition terms used to talk about handmade Oriental rugs. They go from good conditions, with several repairs, professional repairs, some sign of age, some worn areas, evenly worn area, low pile, to excellent conditions, no worm areas and no repairs needed. Finding a rare antique handmade Oriental rug in excellent conditions for a fair price is a catch that you can’t let go.

 

Points

Condition

10

“Like new” Excellent conditions, no repairs, no worn areas.

9

Excellent conditions / only fringe shows some age conditions / no repairs needed/ Full pile

8

Excellent conditions / hasn’t been washed for years /

7

Excellent condition / Some sign of age / some worn area

6

Very Good condition / Evenly worn / a few professional repairs

5

Very Good condition / some sign of age / Some low pile

4

Good condition / Some low pile / some repairs may be needed/missing fringe.

3

Evenly Low pile / some stains that can be removed/worn areas

2

Low pile / no serious stains / severe signs of aging and can’t be placed in high traffic areas in the house.

1

Needs major repairs / sides or ends of the rug are lost / permanent stains / major re-knotting may be needed.

0

Cracking foundation / Beyond Repair.

7. Demand and availability: Within the US there are several Persian rug stores and dealers in the market that will either be fair as to take advantage of a customer because they don’t have the information needed to buy a top quality rug. I would recommend, as I said in 10 Important Tips When Buying Oriental Area Rugs, check out the best-reviewed store, find someone that has at least 10 years or more in the rug market and finally be sure and examine the whole store looking for related quality products, even if you are buying only one rug. When talking about demand and supply you must take into account whether their products are low-end mass-produced rugs, average quality, high quality, rare or antiques not being produced in any real quantity.

 

Points

Demand & Supply

10

Very unique design / rare / antique

8

Unique / some rare elements / antique

7

Low production semi-antique Oriental Rugs

6

Semi-antique rugs still on production

5

Low quantity production on new high-quality rugs

4

Still in production high-quality rugs

3

Good quality rugs still in production.

2

Average quality type of rugs still being produced

1

Bazaar type of rugs still being produced.

0

Massive production design

 

Once you have collected and written down all the points for each category presented above, you will multiply each point in this way: knot density x 11 / materials x 7 / design x 6 / Color blending x 5 / age x 3 / condition x 2. The result must then be multiplied by the commodity market price which is constantly changing due to supply and demand. The final number will be the price /per square inch/ for that rug, all you need to do now is multiply the size of the rug by the final number. This will generate a more standard, normal retail price.

Once you have a little bit more experience in this matter, you will also find out what dealers are selling their products, more or less, of what they actually worth, but you have the power to decide what to do with the information you’ve just learned. If it’s a good deal and you’ve just found an amazing affordable Persian rug then you won’t be deceived because you already know its worth.


Let’smake an example of an exceptional tree of life signed Tabriz Persian Rug:

 

Categories

Characteristics

Points

Results

Notes

Knot density

160 KPSI

4 x 11

44

 

Materials

Kork Wool

9 x 7

63

 

Design

Detailed throughout

8 x 6

48

Pictorial design

Colors & Blending

10 or more colors blending in harmony

8 x 5

40

 

Age

20 - 25 years old

2 x 3

6

 

Condition

Excellent “like new”

10 x 2

20

Excellent Shape

Production and demand

Very Unique, rare, 4 seasons/ low production

8 x 2

16

Very unique but not antique

Total: Points sum x 0.CMP x size 10x13

220 x 0.4132 = 90 PSI

Commodity Market price is around 0.4132

90 PSI x size (10x13 = 130) → 90 x 130

Final

11.700 $

 

This is only an approximated, remember that you can compare more prices thus out there we can find many different styles, designs or conditions, but yet again this formula can also give you a general idea on retail prices. furthermore, it is important to add that the list above it’s a guiding formula for you to have an idea of what elements to consider when buying Oriental handmade rugs, the characteristic of a rug may change in different ways that you need to consider when setting the points in each category. For example: when talking about the condition, if it happens you find a rug that may be in excellent shape, no repairs needed, almost “like new”, but missing fringes or salvages, You could say this particular rug has 10 points in conditions BUT it may not be the case since it still has some other flaws that are not categorized on the list above, it could probably be 9 or even 8 points. What I’m trying to say is, It’s all relative. The idea here is not to go blindfolded into Oriental Rug Stores but to have all the information you need to get the best deals in the rug market.