The wonderful world of rugs
When it comes to selecting a handmade rug you may feel a little overwhelmed. There are so many to choose from!
You'll find a rich variety of oriental rugs available from rug stores and online stores. The best way to get to know the world of handmade rugs is to look at the various types and get a feel for the patterns and colors.
It's a bit like getting to know wines - at first there seems so much to learn, but as you progress they fall into different patterns and regions. The main distinction is the country, because these rugs are the result of hundreds, if not thousands, of years' culture. Then there are differences from region to region, even from town and village.
There are a number of very practical things to consider when chosing your rug.
Any rug which which is used on a floor should be thick and heavy enough not to crease up or turn up at the corners, otherwise you may easily trip over it. Very stiff rugs can take some time to lie flat.
Carpets for use in wet areas such as bathrooms and shower rooms should always be small so you can dry them easily. And if you think there's going to be a lot of splashing then don't use a handmade rug in that situation.
If they're designed for use on the floor they need to be up to the job. If it's an area which is going to take a good deal of wear, such as a hallway, then the rug needs to have a dense weave. If you're using a flat weave kilim, for example, do make sure it's tough enough for the job.
If you place a rug on a carpet with a deep pile, the rug may 'run' in the direction of the carpet pile. You can buy special pads or underlay which you place under the rug to prevent this happening. Similarly, if you place your rug on a smooth floor, you can buy a pad which is designed to stop the rug moving.
Think Color and Style!
What colors are you looking for? Something bright and traditional from a classic Persian or Turkish rug? Or a more modern, soft effect from a Tibetan rug? What about the down to earth geometrics of a rug from the Caucasus? Or a Mexican or Navajo rug?
Take your time and find out what's available. Visit rug stores. Browse the rugs on display, examine the weave, talk to the dealers. Get to know the different styles, colors and designs.
It's a fascinating world.
Before you go careering off to buy the wonderful Persian rug you've seen - and which is just made for your home - check the price. They can vary from a few tens of dollars up to many thousands.
And size is important. For a given quality of rug, a rug four times the size (in area) will take four times as long to make, and therefore will cost four times as much.
So measure the size you need, but be prepared to get something a bit smaller or larger, because it's highly unlikely you'll find one that matches exactly.
Or in other words, buy from a reputable dealer. If you see oriental rugs for sale at huge discounts from people you've never heard of, beware. And if you're considering buying an antique oriental rug, don't ever buy from anyone but a reputable dealer.