Welcome to our Monthly Newsletter!
We hope you will enjoy this month's articles. The topic is Handmade Rugs-Assessing their Value, Rug Terminology, Purchasing an Oriental Rug - 5 Guidelines.
If there is a topic you would like us to cover in one of our upcoming newsletters, please call us at 607-272-1566 or contact us by clicking here.
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In This Issue
ASSESSING the VALUE of HANDMADE RUGS
At ABC, we are asked to assess the value of handmade rugs (as well as machine-made rugs) on almost a daily basis. We have requests from clients to help them identify and determine the value of rugs they have bought, are looking to buy, or the ones they bring in or we have picked up to have cleaned in our plant. These rugs come from antique stores, garage sales, tag sales, auctions, thrift stores, rug dealers, relatives, even department stores.
The questions most often asked are:
1. Is this a machine-made rug or a hand woven rug?
2. If handmade, is it a true Oriental rug?
3. Is it worth cleaning, repairing, or even selling?
THE ACTUAL VALUE of a HANDMADE RUG
We will always inform the customer if the cleaning of their rug will exceed it's value. Sometimes, though, the dollar value is not as important as the sentimental value and we understand that.
The actual value of a handmade rug needs to be stated in the following context:
99.99% of all handmade rugs you see and those that are bought and cleaned today are actually what we call 'decorator rugs' and these rugs seldom appreciate in value.
Rugs can be bought at all different prices. Attaching an actual dollar value to a rug is the job of a Certified Appraiser. We would be happy to direct you to one of these professionals. Just contact us at (607)-272-1566 or here.
What most of our clients want to know is whether the rug they have or are interested in is a 'good deal' and we are happy to give them our best advice. When a customer asks us to give our opinion of the value of a rug, we are able to present a 'ballpark estimate' based on our combined years of knowledge of the rug industry.
At ABC we are always ready to offer advice but the best advice really is: If a rug calls out to you or 'speaks to you,' then you should purchase it if you are able.
HANDMADE or MACHINE-MADE?
Common sense would seem to dictate that a handwoven rug or even a wool machine-made in good condition would be more 'valuable' than one made of synthetic fibers. That is usually the case.
However, we have found that so many of our clients have no idea how to tell the difference between a handmade rug of wool, silk or cotton and a machine-made rug made of wool, cotton, nylon, olefin, polyester, etc.
It is our job to educate our customers about the rugs they want us to evaluate and that is what our staff has been trained to do.
The MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF RUG ID USED in ASSESSING the VALUE of HANDMADE RUGS
RUG TERMINOLOGY DEFINED
terminology can be very helpful to the consumer, especially when considering a
rug purchase. It can also help to determine what type of rug to look for to
find the best color, pattern, size, and durability of the rug you would like to
RUG TERMINOLOGY BY AGE
ANTIQUE - 100 years and older. Always check for dry rot or previous repairs. Inspect for excessive wear, broken foundation threads, and replacement fringes. Be wary of old rugs that look new! They may have been repaired or painted.
SEMI-ANTIQUE - 50 to 99 years old. These rugs are fairly easy to find today. To find a bargain, make sure to tell the rug dealer if you have seen a rug similar in age and design for less.
VINTAGE - 20 to 49 years old. These rugs will probably be sub-standard if they are post-embargo Persian rugs from Iran. However, rugs from other countries may be better than average for their own regions. Inspect for color runs or rugs that look like they have been unraveled and then shortened or overcast at the ends.
NEW- 0 to 19 years old. In this category you will find many tufted rugs which are held together with glue and not only will not last long but often emit a nasty odor from the off-gassing of the glue. Knotted or woven rugs without backings that are glued on will last much longer. Be aware that many rugs manufactured in the last 20 years or so have been made quicker, faster, and cheaper and are not meant to last for many years. An exception to this rule are some of the wool, machine-made rugs such as Karastan, still being made today in the U.S.
RUG TERMINOLOGY BY CLASSIFICATION
TRIBAL - These are small rugs, usually oddly shaped and coarsely woven. They are typically produced by nomadic people and the color palette tends to be limited with the designs being geometric. Examples are Beluch and Turkoman.
VILLAGE - Woven in utilitarian sizes, these rugs are occasionally misshapen and usually colorful. The quality of the weave will vary depending on the skill level of the at-home weaver. The patterns are more curvilinear than the tribal rugs but still quite geometric. Examples are Hamadan and Heriz.
CITY - These are the rugs that are woven by skillful weavers, in factories, on permanent looms with a foreman in charge to oversee the speed and quality of the weaving being produced. They are typically intended for export and they come in various 'American' sizes. They are fine in quality and fancy in design. Examples are Tabriz and Kerman.
PALACE - These rugs are huge in size, very complex in design, and very fine in quality. These rugs used to be woven by Royal commission and are a rarity. If a rug at a dealer is labeled 'Palace,' it is most likely simply a reference to the fact that it is an oversized, fine carpet.
RUG TERMINOLOGY BY COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
PURCHASING AN ORIENTAL RUG - 5 GUIDELINES
Are you thinking of purchasing an oriental rug but are concerned about how to go about choosing one? Does it intimidate you that some oriental rugs can sell at auctions for thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars? Are you worried you may end up having to spend more than a rug is actually worth?
With so many variables of color, design, and price, it is not an easy task to choose just the right rug for your decor and your pocketbook.
Here are 5 guidelines to help you:
#1 Always Go To A Reputable Dealer When Purchasing an Oriental Rug
You may want to stay away from 'going-out-of-business' sales or traveling auctions. Many of these rugs have been in floods, or poorly repaired, and some even painted to hide defects.
#2 Ask About A Return Policy
A reputable dealer will usually let you buy a rug and try it at home to see how it looks on your floor, in your home lighting, and how it fits into your own decor. If the rug turns out not to be what you wanted, you should be able to return it and receive a full refund.
#3 Browse, Browse, Browse
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