Christmas Sale

Up To 80% OFF

Decoding Value: How to Determine the Worth of a Persian Rug

Home Design Ideas August 208 min

Art lovers and collectors are attracted to Persian rugs, but how to judge and evaluate the price of rugs remains a challenge for many. This blog reveals the secrets behind assessing the value of these fine rugs and helps you distinguish between precious masterpieces and ordinary pieces.

Olivia Jones Olivia Jones

Difficulty in Assessing Prices

Persian rugs have fascinated art lovers and collectors for centuries, showcasing intricate designs, 2231 rich colours, and exquisite craftsmanship. These rugs are more than just floor coverings; they have cultural and historical significance as well as great value and collectability. However, I believe that even an expert in Oriental culture would find it difficult to accurately assess the market price of each Oriental rug.

Are Oriental and Persian Rugs the Same?

It is important to use the correct terminology when assessing the value of a rug.

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are completely different. Persian rugs are made in the Middle East, specifically in Iran, which was formerly considered Persia. Oriental rugs, on the other hand, can be made in the Middle East or in other Asian countries such as India, Egypt, China, Pakistan, and Iran.

Persian rugs are a subcategory of Oriental rugs.

In other words, Persian rugs are Oriental rugs, but not all Oriental rugs are Persian.

Why Handmade Persian Rugs Are So Expensive?

The most unique feature of handmade Persian rugs is that each region has its own style in terms of patterns, motifs, and colours, and as a result, a wide variety of handmade rugs are created in different regions of Persia.

However, regardless of the differences in colours, designs, and styles between regions, all handmade rugs are made from high-quality materials that come strictly from natural sources. The only materials used are expensive wool, cotton, and silk, and you will be hard-pressed to find a handmade Persian rug made from cheap fibers, nylon acrylic, polypropylene, or any other synthetic material.

Handmade Persian rugs are also expensive because of their intricate hand-knotted construction. 100% Hand-knotted rugs are made using an ancient process, knotted one by one by some of the most skilled rug weavers in the world. The result is a beautiful, durable, and magical rug that will last a lifetime and be passed down from generation to generation. Each rug is a unique work of art, and to own a rug is to own a piece of history.

What Are Some Factors That Determine the Value of a Persian Rug Upon Appraisal? 

1. Origin and Source

Differences in the origin of Persian rugs can greatly influence the variation in their value.

Rugs from well-known weaving centers such as Tabriz, Isfahan, and Kashan in Iran or cities such as Istanbul and Anatolia in Turkey tend to be more valuable because of their historical importance and the unique weaving techniques associated with those areas. If the provenance of a rug is well documented and its history and ownership can be traced, this adds to its authenticity and can increase its value.

2. Materials and Craftsmanship 

Most people know that antique Persian rugs made of quality materials such as silk and wool are much more expensive than machine-made ones made of man-made materials such as new-age fibers and nylon.

At the same time, the more experienced and skillful the weaver is, the more expensive the quality Persian rug will be. When producing a large rug, multiple weavers need to work simultaneously and in sync to create an even weave. In these cases, the cost of labor is higher compared to a regular handmade rug.

3. Design and Motifs

Rugs featuring intricate floral patterns, intricate medallions, and elaborate borders often command higher prices due to the skill required to create them. Rare and unusual motifs, as well as depictions of animals or historical events, can significantly enhance a rug's value by making it a sought-after collection.

Persian rug pattern with red and yellow as the dominant colour

Coincidentally, I recently came across a brand of machine-woven Persian rugs named "Rugitall." Their designs, mirroring the beauty of handmade rugs, certainly piqued my interest.

Machine-woven rugs are far less valuable than handmade Persian rugs, but we must recognize that aesthetically, these vintage-style rug patterns are of high value.

4. Knotting Craft

Hand-knotted Persian rugs are usually more valuable than machine-knotted rugs because they cost more in labor and require meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail. Among hand-knotted rugs, those woven using traditional techniques such as Persian or Turkish knots tend to be more highly regarded because of the labor-intensive processes involved.

Furthermore, in antique handmade Persian rugs, knot density—measured in knots per square inch (kpsi)—serves as an indicator of quality. A higher kpsi signifies a finer level of craftsmanship, which invariably suggests a higher potential value.

If you want to learn more about handmade knots, please click on this picture.

the specific structure of a hand-made knot in a rug

5. Age and Condition

The value of Persian rugs increases with age. Historically, many traders refrained from selling their rugs immediately upon completion, opting instead to let them age and thereby command a higher price.  Ancient rugs are coveted not just for their durability, but also for the graceful manner in which they've matured. Years of use and exposure have imparted a natural sheen, patina, and a blend of colours, a beauty accentuated by natural dyes and oils. Such a blend of characteristics is beyond the reach of synthetics.

But at the same time, old Persian rugs are also likely to have problems with wear and tear, holes, and hard-to-clean stains. All of these conditions can affect the price.

Determining the value of an Oriental or Persian rug requires a keen eye for craftsmanship, history, and artistic expression. To summarize the above points, these are the basic steps to test the value of Persian rugs (mostly handmade rugs in this case) that I have extracted from other websites:

  • Determine if it’s handmade or machine made.
  • Determine whether it’s silk or wool.
  • Evaluate its condition (stiff, soft, clean, dirty).
  • Count the knots on the back. Since each knot is a rug is tied by hand, a weaver can tie approximately 8000 knots per day, the more knots per square inch, the more valuable it is. As mentioned above, it can take up to 1 year to produce a 9’ x 12’ hand knotted oriental rug.  Guide to counting knots.
  • Design! This is a big deal because design will make a huge difference in the pricing. If the design is really fine and detailed, it’s a valuable piece.

Three Categorizations Based on Pricing

Based on pricing, Persian rugs can be divided into three categories: New Persian ones (Machine-made Rugs ), Semi-Antique ones, and Antique ones.

People's complaints

Many people have complained to me about the exorbitant prices of beautiful antique Persian rugs, and my point is that high-priced antique Persian rugs go beyond the definition of daily consumables and exist as valuable collectibles.

For example, the highest price paid for a rug was $330,000 when Sotheby's sold an antique Persian rug from the 17th century.

At the most basic level, the cost or value of a rug depends on what you (or the market) are willing to pay for it. Of course, people on a budget don't have to pay such prices to enjoy the beauty of these Persian rugs in their homes.

My Recommendation

For a sustainable choice, if luxury isn't your primary concern, I'd suggest exploring online retailers for machine Persian rugs. This way, you can select from a plethora of patterns, designs, and shapes, experiment with various styles without breaking the bank, and sidestep potential pitfalls associated with unscrupulous antique rug dealers.

the blossom green rug placed in the living room

Rugitall Machine Persian rugs boast a vast array of vibrant colors, exuding a high sense of quality and craftsmanship. I believe you'll truly appreciate them.

a rectangular granite luxury carpet placed amongst beige sofas

What's more, you can enjoy a 15 % discount when you buy it now!

Check Out RugItAll's Persian Rugs Collection

CATEGORY: Home Design Ideas

Table of Contents

Decoding Value: How to Determine the Worth of a Persian Rug

Decoding Value: How to Determine the Worth of a Persian Rug

Art lovers and collectors are attracted to Persian rugs, but how to judge and evaluate the price of rugs remains a challenge for many. This blog reveals the secrets behind assessing the value of these fine rugs and helps you distinguish between precious masterpieces and ordinary pieces.

Read More