Oriental rugs will add timeless beauty to your home, will coordinate with any dcor, and enhance any room, hallway, or entrance. They are also a favorite option when decorating home offices, and are a particularly good choice for high traffic areas because of the intricacies of their designs, which hide wear and tear.
The term “oriental” refers to rugs produced on the continent of Asia, such as Persian (from Iran), Indian, Chinese, and Turkish rugs. Imitations of the popular oriental patterns are also available and produced by manufacturers such as Nourison in the USA, and Sphinx, also in the USA but with its parent company in Egypt.
Making rugs by hand is an ancient art and the old designs reflect the religious and ethnic structures of the times in the countries or areas of origin. Many of these ancient designs are still produced today, sometimes hand-woven and hand-knotted, other times woven by machine.
The most traditional patterns are those with a floral or garden motif, or geometric or curvilinear designs around a central medallion or a central painting-like scene. Oriental rugs used to be constructed only with such natural fibers as wool, cotton, silk, or goat and camel hair, or blends of these materials, but now you can find them made with less expensive synthetic materials such as olefin (polypropylene), nylon, polyester, and acrylic.
Wool rugs remain the first choice in durable, soft, dirt-and-fire resistant, warm rugs, but synthetic reproductions make oriental area rugs more affordable. They come in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes round, oval, rectangular, and, of course, the popular runner.
How to Choose Oriental Rugs for Your Home
Decide on how you are going to use each area rug. Is it going to define furniture groupings or unify all the elements in the room? Is its primary use to protect a floor or a carpet? Is its prime function to add warmth and comfort? The use of the rug will dictate its size and shape. As well, you should keep these points in mind:
The colors should be harmonious with other colors in the room.
If the center of the carpet will be visible, medallions or central scenes are good choices, but if the center will be fully or partially hidden under a table or other furniture, it is better to go with a repetitive design or an elaborate and interesting border.
A family with health problems will appreciate rugs with natural fibers since they have the advantage of not releasing chemicals into the air as synthetics do.
Very colorful and busy designs can make an oriental rug the focal point in a room, but if the room is already colorful with intricate drapery and upholstery fabric designs, choose simple designs and subtle colors.
If you are going to use two different rugs in one room, make sure the colors and patterns blend and complement each other.
Important Cost Considerations
It is not as difficult as you may think to find good quality, cheap area rugs with oriental designs. When you shop online, you deal directly with online retailers who can offer discount and warehouse prices because there are no storefront costs and no middlemen to pay. As well as shopping online, here are other considerations that can make the oriental rug of your dreams affordable:
An antique rug is the most expensive and should have documentation attesting to its authenticity; imitations are much less costly.
Natural fibers are more expensive than synthetic.
Hand-made, hand-woven, and hand-knotted rugs made by weavers are more durable and much more expensive than machine woven and knotted.
The number of knots per square inch indicates its quality, and a higher number means a higher cost.
Very intricate and rare designs are the most expensive.
The country or area of origin affects the price.
Whether you spring for a genuine antique oriental wool rug that has been hand woven and hand knotted in Iran, or you choose a polypropylene machine woven rug with an oriental design manufactured in North America, you will be adding beauty, warmth and comfort to your home. Enjoy!