Is this rug real?
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
A while back, a new customer asked me to come by her home and do a consultation with her. I would guess that she was somewhere in her early 40's and was looking to get a new hand knotted rug in her family room. She moved up from the city a year ago, and her apartment there had a mix of Ikea, Pottery Barn and T.J. Maxx. She felt that she wanted to have a more " grown up " look and wanted a better rug in her new home.
She showed me her rug that was going to be replaced, and that's when I heard her ask; " Is this rug real?" Well, yes... it is a rug and it did cover a lot of her floor, but I guess what she was trying to determine is if it was indeed a hand knotted one instead of a machine made.
The answer to her question as, " Well, kind of…". She had a hand tufted rug that is commonly made of wool, but it is not knotted. These rugs have been a less expensive option to the hand knotted varieties, and I have lived with my share of them over the years. My first company that I worked for, Edward Fields, did hand tufted rugs. They are custom colored, custom sized and pricey! A Fields rugs last for decades because of their backing but for the most part, as shown in picture below. Typically these types of rugs are going to have a life expectancy of about ten years.
Picture below shows the backs of both hand knotted rugs and machine-made rugs.
I will not let you fall asleep with the details on both of these types, but in simple terms, for a hand knotted rug ( India, Pakistan, Nepal, China, Morocco, and of course Persian!), the smaller the knots... the tighter the rug... the better the rug. Since of course the vast majority are made of wool, pretty much any type of hand knotted rugs SHOULD last decades. If Rover constantly has an accident on it...or if your philodendron is on it with water sometimes spilling over, or if the dreaded moths attack that shortens their lives. Above, as the knotted example shows, is how a machine-made rug is made. There are many domestic and imported manufacturers who produce these. Still my favorites are the Karastan's and in my Einstein Moomjy days in Paramus in the 1990's, I sold gobs of them! Their Multi Panel Kerman still remains a classic, and it is probably in its 60th year of production with over 50 colors in it ( I visited their plant back in the 90's and they actually counted and named all the colors in that rug.) Besides Karastan, there are nice machine mades offered by Couristan, Nourison, Loloi and others.
I love my tribals and adore kilims and dhurries. These are woven rugs (flatweaves) shown in picture below and in the drawing, which follows it.
Many of these kilims and dhurries are woven so that they are reversible. Just about all of them will be made of wool. Because of their construction, when they are cleaned, they MUST be blocked so that they will not buckle on the ends and lose their shapes.
Wool snob that I readily admit to being, I pretty much love any style of rug! If you have any questions about your rug, just send off a picture and I can give you some information on it.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
To all, Happy Holidays and all the best for the upcoming year.