Turkish Carpet

 Buying a Turkish Carpet

Turkish carpets have long been considered a desirable addition to any well-decorated home. They can be as much fun to buy as they are beautiful to look at. But whether you are lucky enough to be shopping in Turkey or simply buying one from a dealer closer to home, there are several things you should be aware of to insure you get the best carpet for your money. 

You will want to determine whether the rug was machine or hand-knotted. The hand-knotted version will be more expensive. You can certainly ask but to be certain, turn the rug over and look at the weaving pattern and knots on the underside. A machine made rug will have perfectly spaced knots while a hand-knotted rug will show some imperfections. The size of the knots does not determine quality, just the number of knots used. 

The number of knots per square inch of the rug has a direct impact on the quality and value of the rug. The more knots per square inch, the more expensive the rug. A rug of average quality will have roughly 150 knots per square inch. A higher quality rug can have 500 knots or more per square inch. Again, check the underside of the rug and look for closely spaced knots that are symmetrical. Also, if the pattern on the underside closely matches the pattern on the top of the rug, there will be more knots per square inch. This is also a good indicator as to whether the rug is machine or hand-made. A good dealer will be able to tell you the number of knots used. 

A good quality Turkish Carpet will use natural dyes that come from vegetables, flowers and even bugs! A less expensive carpet will use synthetic dyes. One way to determine the type of dye used is to run a slightly damp cloth over the rug. If colour rubs off then chemical dyes have most likely been used. While some rug dealers may not appreciate you using a damp cloth on their rugs it is a good test. However, to avoid any problems with the dealer, you can simply turn the rug over and see if the top and bottom are equally vivid and bright in their coloration. If there is a difference in colour intensity then chemical dyes have probably been used. Also, try spreading the fibbers apart with your fingers and look at the "root" of the fibber. If natural dyes have been used the colour of the fibber will be the same all the way to the root. A synthetic dye will result in a lighter colour at the bottom of the fibber than at the top. Since they come from nature, natural dyes produce colour that will last forever and will not fade. Therefore, the more expensive and valuable rug will be the one using the natural dyes. 

The type of fibber used in weaving the rug is very important. Traditionally, all Turkish carpets were made of silk. This makes even the smallest of these rugs very expensive. More affordable versions are made with wool or a combination of wool and silk and the very inexpensive carpets are a blend of nylon, polyester, cotton and acrylic. Even the quality of the wool or silk used can affect the price. Lightly scrape your fingernails over the carpet. While it is expected that a few fibbers will come loose when scratched, if you come away with a large handful of fibbers, this indicates a lower quality material was used. 

Pattern is not only a personal choice but can be an indicator of the quality of your rug. A floral or curvy pattern will require more knots per square inch to get the desired look whereas a geometric pattern with its straight lines requires fewer knots. While the floral pattern will usually be more expensive due to the work required in tying more knots, no one pattern is necessarily more valuable than another. It might be fun to ask the dealer about the "story' of the pattern. Many of the geometric patterns tell a story about the region and/or the weaver. 

It is important to check the condition of any rug you purchase, regardless of price. Turn the rug over and check for any areas that appear to have been restored or repaired. Place the rug in the sun where it is easier to spot any problems with colour, weaving patterns and repairs etc. 

Check the small details. Look at the quality of the fringe on the ends of the rug as well as any binding around the edges. A hand-made rug will have fringe woven as an extension of the rug while a machine made rug will have attached the fringe to the ends. Binding on a hand-made rug will have some visible and uneven stitches as opposed to a machine made rug that has perfectly stitched binding all around. Try the "smell" test. If there is a chemical smell, an acid wash may have been used. This type of wash can break down the fibbers of the wool, ultimately reducing the durability of your rug. 

A rug that does not meet the highest of these standards is not necessarily a "bad" rug. Your budget, pattern preference and size requirements will all determine the rug you choose to purchase. However, armed with a little bit of knowledge you can make the best investment possible based on your needs

Tags :

 Kilim Rugs, Large Rugs, Traditional Rugs, Kilim Stools, Turkish Kilim Rugs