Oriental Rug Identification – Tips on How to Identify Your Rug

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December 14, 2016
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Oriental Rug Identification – Tips on How to Identify Your Rug

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Below you will find tips on how to identify an Oriental Rug.

  • Hamadans – made in several hundred different villages in Iran. Main distinctions are tied with a symmetrical (Turkish) knot, they have a cotton wraps and wefts, one row of wefts between each row of knots, are often finished on one end with a simple fringe and the other with a webbing/no fringe.
  • Tabriz – made only in Persian city. This rug is woven with the symmetrical knot, there is an exception for a rare Turkbaff Mashed.
  • Pakistani “Bokharas” are based on cotton foundations. Their Turkmen prototypes are woven on wool foundations but there is an exception for some very few pieces.
  • Qashqa’is, Kamsehs and Afshare are rugs of many of the tribal and village rugs from southern Iran. They have multicolored or “barber pole” selvages.
  • Afshars are in a squarish sizes. What also identifies these rugs are either a symmetrical or asymmetrical knots.
  • Cochineal, a dye denied from an insect! Usually a red color with a bluish or purplish hue. In Persian rugs it is found only in Masheds and occasionally in Afshars. All of which are made in eastern Iran.
  • Karabaughs – the only Caucasian rugs! In these oriental rugs cochineal is commonly found.
  • Cochineal is often found in old Indian rugs.
  • Modern Indian rugs – can be distinguished from Pakistani rugs by their very heavy body and also stiff handle. Another important distinction is their fat weft threads, and the fact that their selvages are added after the rugs are woven and and not an integral part of it.
  • Manchester Kashans– made around the turn of the century in Kashan, Iran with the same wool now used to make, for instance, Pakistani Bokharas-this is, machine spun wool from Marino sheep. Another way to identify them is by their very self wool pile and by their single wrapped magenta silk selvages.
  • Turkmen– these rugs are tied with asymmetrical knots. The only exception is Yomuds. Occasionally one sees Tekkes that has a few rows of symmetrical knots, located inside their selvages.
  • Bidjars are known to have the heaviest bodied rugs.
  • Armenian Immigrant rugs, those are the ones brought out of Armenia after the breakup if the Soviet Union by immigrants and merchants. Main recognition of those rugs are the full pile and hanging devices sewed to the backs of the rugs. Those are usually small cloth loops. Strangely, the full piles of these rugs often is accompanied by severe damage to the foundation (holes in the body of the rug eroded corners).
  • Old Turkish rugs – these can be distinguished from other by the fact that their wool weft threads are not twisted.
  • Lillihans, like Hamadans, Lillihans have Sarouk-like designsand are single-wefted on a cotton foundation. The distinction here is the woven with an asymmetrical knot.
  • Qashqa’is usually are made with red or pink wefts.
  • Romanian usually are made with light blue wefts.
  • Karadjas are single-wefted.
  • Sennehas are usually not woven with the asymmetrical knot, and tired with the Turkish symmetrical knot.
  • Ahars – the most curvilinear of all the Heriz products, these rugs are very heavy-bodies as well.
  • Borchalous can be recognized by featuring the color black.
  • In a case where the rug was woven before the World War 2, it is neither a Sum nor a Main.
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