By definition, an oriental rug is traditionally hand-knotted or hand-woven. They are true masterpieces, and truly investments you make within your home. Depending on the current demand of oriental rugs, the condition and age of the rug, yours could be either going up in value, or down.
There are seven elements that oriental rug experts agree are key to determining a rug’s value.
Have an oriental rug made of silk? You’re probably very well aware, then, that your rug is likely worth a whole lot more than a cotton-on-jute or low-quality wool rug. Fine wool and cotton will also raise the value.
Just as the quality of materials makes a difference in the value, so does the intricacy of the rug. Obviously a one-color rug will likely be worth considerably less than a intensely detailed, vibrant pattern that covers the entire rug.
Experienced rug cleaners, like Sincerely Yours in Columbia, can look at the back of an authentic oriental rug and get pretty close to estimating the number of knots. The more knots your rug has, the higher its value. For example, a rug with fewer than 65 knots is going to be pretty low in value, and a rug with 675 of more would likely be considered top-of-the-line.
If you look at your oriental rug and are “wowed” by its vibrant colors that come together like a fine tapestry, you likely have a high-quality piece in your home. These dyes are probably vegetable or chrome, and they all blend very well together. However, if your rug appears to have been hit with a bad antique wash, has some hot colors, or just has one or two tones, the value will be on the lower end of the oriental rug spectrum.
Oriental rugs are like antiques – the older they are, the more they are worth. However, don’t forget that condition matters! We will cover that in a minute. When it comes to age, you should understand that an oriental rug 10 years of age or younger is generally considered “new” by the rug industry, collectors and buyers. It is not until you reach the 50 years old mark, and beyond, that it starts to be considered an antique.
Any rug beyond repair, with severe cracking, and permanent stains, will suffer a major hit in value. Also, a rug not properly cared for over the years with proper cleanings or incorrect cleanings is in danger of losing some of its value. Collectors and buyers are looking for rugs that are like new – meaning they have been regularly cleaned, do not need any re-knotting, the fringe is in pristine condition, colors still vibrant, etc. Finding a rug in this condition is rare, especially ones that are considered antiques.
Just like the price of gold and gasoline rises and falls based on demand and availability, so does the price of oriental rugs. A rare antique oriental rug discovered during a time of high demand and low availability could fetch the owner a pretty penny. On the flip side, a low-end, mass-produced rug that’s easy to get your hands on will likely lack any substantial value.
At the end of the day, no matter the number of knots or harmony of the colors, the better care you take of your oriental rug, the more it will be worth when you are ready to sell it. Professional cleaners have the ability to make your rugs like new time and time again with solutions that will not harm your precious property.