How to Buy Oriental Rugs!

Contemporary Rugs in the Bay Area

Also offering Tufenkian & Tibetan Rugs
Here we will do our best to help you distinguish between the rugs you see in the local low-cost warehouse type stores and authentic hand woven imported rugs.

How are rugs priced?

Several major factors determine the price of an oriental carpet. Since all of our rugs are hand knotted, the first and most major expense is labor. The longer a rug takes to make, the more expensive it will be. We determine the labor time by counting knots per square inch. The more knots per square inch, the more intricate the design. The more intricate the design, the longer the rug took to make. The longer the rug took to make, the higher the price. But high price shouldn’t be confused with quality. Keep that in mind as you shop.

Which country makes the best rugs?

I wouldn’t say any country stands out from the rest. Good and bad rugs come from all countries. If you compare the best handmade rugs every country has to offer, they would all be of comparable quality. The most important factor in the quality of a handmade rug is the quality of the wool.

Why are handmade rugs so expensive?

We don’t think they are. Handmade rugs are meant to last for generations. If you take that into account, they’re actually the least expensive floor covering you can buy. We have 8 x 10 rugs that cost less than $1000. If you compare that price to the total price you’ll pay to replace machine made rugs that fall apart every few years, $1000 will seem like a bargain!

Where do your rugs come from?

We import directly from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Iran. Importing directly gives us several advantages. We can hand-pick every rug we stock, so we can guarantee that we get the best rugs every producer has to offer. Direct importing also helps us keep our prices low. Two very good reasons to buy your handmade rugs from us.

Is child labor used?

We are part of the CARE and FAIR program, which ensures that no child labor is used to produce any of the handmade rugs we carry. Our producers in Nepal and Pakistan put a great deal of their profits back into the local community to support schools and education. CARE and FAIR has taken great strides to help develop these countries.

Why do rugs have color change throughout them?

This color variation is known as “abrash.” The wool used to produce these rugs was dyed with natural dyes that came from plants, vegetables, fruits, nuts and insects. Since the wool was not all dyed at the same time, there is an inconsistency in colors. This is very common, and most clients like this variation, especially when trying to match colors to fabrics.

What’s the difference between natural dyes and chromium?

Both have their advantages. Natural dyes aquire a soft patina over the years, which is difficult to achieve in new rugs. Though there are not as many colors to choose from, they are usually more vibrant and distinct. Natural dyes are much more subject to sun fading, so be sure to rotate your rug to get even exposure. Chromium dyes are far less succeptable to sun fading. They don’t change colors over the years, which, again, has its advantages and disadvantages. Chromium dyes also offer a more diverse color palette.

Can I get a good deal at a going-out-of-business sale?

Probably not. Most going-out-of-business sales are bogus. Legitimate rug dealers are constantly battling to fight these scams. Most of these sales are staged by rug dealers trying to offload inventory they couldn’t sell otherwise. I can’t say you won’t ever get a good deal from one, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the odds are certainly against it.

Do I need rug pads?

Not necessarily. I have never seen a situation where a rug pad helped a rug last longer. Pads are good for two things. If you want the rug to feel more comfortable, a nice thick pad can help. I usually recommend this for family rooms in homes with children. The other thing they’re good for is to keep a rug in place to prevent anyone from slipping. If safety is a concern, a pad can help.

Why should we buy a rug from The Oriental Carpet?

Service, selection, and price.
We’re one of the oldest rug dealers in the San Francisco Bay area, and our commitment to those three ideals is what has helped us last. We have clients who have shopped here for years. They come back again and again for cleaning, repairs, appraisals, and new purchases. Their children have grown up on our rugs. We don’t think of them as customers. We think of them as family. We think of our employees that way, too. All of them have been with us for 7 years or more, and all of them are eager to welcome you into the fold.