5 Signs That an "Oriental Rug" Might Be A Fake
Congratulations! You've finally decided to take the plunge and purchase an authentic Oriental Rug for your home. Who wouldn't want a beautiful piece of handmade art to admire for years to come? Oriental Rugs are an investment with very long lifespans. You and your family will have the pleasure of enjoying it, and walking on it, for years to come. Your treasured Oriental Rug will be able to be proudly passed down from one generation to the next.
Authentic Persian & Oriental Rugs are Timeless
Persian and Oriental Rugs are a classic and timeless addition to any room, adding such warmth, texture and charm to your home. The quality of an authentic Oriental Rug is second to none. They've been around for centuries, exuding their radiant beauty into the homes and hearts of many people worldwide.
But where to begin? With so many choices to choose from, endless options of colour and designs, a person could easily become overwhelmed when purchasing a rug. Some salespeople and rugs could be very misleading, even fooling a well-trained eye. It can be difficult to determine a machine made from an authentic handmade Persian Rug. A rug can "often be imitated, but never duplicated". Nothing compares to the real deal, and with a few tips and things to look out for, your Persian and Oriental Rug buying adventure will be less daunting.
Here are some things to look out for while on your rug buying journey...
1. How does the back of the "Oriental Rug" feel?
In order to really get acquainted with your rug, all of your senses must get involved. Feeling and examining both sides of the rug is an important step. One of the signs of a machine made rug is the back, yes the back. If the back of the rug feels hard and is not pliable or at all flexible that is not a good sign. A real handmade oriental rug would have a back that would be softer and also pliable, being made of cotton or wool. The back of the rug in question should also mirror the design of the rug that's presented on the front. Buying a rug with a blank or white backing, or a hard feeling back means that its main materials will more than likely be made of acrylic, nylon, plastic or polypropylene. These are petroleum products that will release VOC fumes into your house. Not a safe choice for your home.
2 Does the Oriental Rug have Bleeding Colours?
A beautiful and authentic Oriental Rug will be dyed with real natural dyes. After all, when the ancient art of rug weaving started, there were no such chemicals dyes available. They were simply not invented yet! The natural dyes on a genuine rug will be able to withstand stains, spills and heavy traffic, and will become even more beautiful and lustrous in time. To test a rug in your possession you could perform the damp cloth test. To test the dyes you will need a clean white damp cloth. You'll need to first get the cloth damp, and then place the cloth on top of the rug and leave in on the rug in question all night long or about eight hours. If the dye has transferred on to the cloth, this means that the dye is not stable or colour fast. Of course, this option can only be done if you have the rug in your home, or have a rug dealer that offers no obligation trial period or a money back guarantee. An authentic handmade Persian or Oriental Rug will be rinsed off and washed after it has been completed. By doing this cleaning of the rug it ensures there is no bleeding of the dyes. The cleaning of a newly created handmade Oriental Rug is often washed by hand and makes your rug feel even more plush and soft. Having said all that about the dyes, I do own a very vibrant and colourful kilim rug that I absolutely adore, even though I know it's not made with natural dyes. But looking at it every day hanging on the wall gives me great joy!
3. Does the Oriental Rug have a real fringe?
Look very closely at the fringe. If the fringe is not knotted right into the rug that is also a red flag. A fake rug can sometimes have a fringe that is sewn on or even glued to the rug. The fringe that is knotted into the rug shows us that it was originally attached to the rug by the loom, this shows us that they were warps of the rug. It's not just for decoration, the fringe actually holds the threads together. The fringe is a structural part of an authentic Oriental Rug. If you pull on the fringe of a well made real oriental rug, it will not come off, if you test out this theory and end up with strings of thread or clumps of some sort of glue, it's a very good indication the rug is more than likely a fake.
4.Hand Tufted vs. Hand Knotted
A true oriental rug is made by hand. One single rug could take a weaver, many weeks, months, and even closer to a year or more to complete. Each and every rug is meticulously hand-knotted and never done with the use of a machine. The human touch of this art is what makes it so precious, unique and valuable. If you happen to see the words 'hand tufted" on a rug, please know that this means it was done by a handheld operated tool, and not actually knotted by a weaver. A hand tufted rug is made by punching the strands of material through a canvas. Most often the material is not real wool, but a synthetic fibre. The canvas can be of cloth or plastic and usually have the design already outlined and ready to be punched in. It makes me think of a paint by number painting. I'm sure most of us would much rather an original painting. A hand tufted rug will also be much less money than a hand-knotted rug and will not last the same amount of time.
5. Is that Oriental Rug Incredibly Cheap?
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is! An authentic Oriental Rug will never be a cheap thing. A weaver is a highly skilled artist and those hours of dedication and passion will never be cheap. Neither will the high quality of the natural materials used. The artists hours must be accounted for. That's why when you buy an authentic Oriental Rug you can expect to pay a reasonable amount of money for it. If a rug is unusually cheap it's most likely a machine made rug, made with synthetic or cheap materials. Even if you do decide to knowingly buy a machine made rug, it's durability will never match that of an authentic Oriental Rug. You can expect your machine made rug to last a few years, if that, and it will most definitely show all of the wear and tear. These rugs are just not made to withstand any heavy use. Unfortunately, they are very disposable. On the other hand, if you invest in an authentic Oriental Rug you will reap the rewards. Your rug will not only be beautiful, but robust and durable. A real Oriental Rug is made to last a lifetime!
I'll leave you with a quote,
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness."- Oscar Wilde