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Handmade Oriental Rugs - Shopping Tips III

When you have calculated the value points for the six factors, record them on the chart below. This is under column one. Multiply this number by the number in column two. Enter the product in column three. Put the sum of column there in the box marked total. With this figure, you have a way of comparing the appropriate quality of carpets.

Value Points
Knots 12  
Material 7  
Design 6  
Colour 6  
Age 3  
Condition 2  



Rug prices are usually quoted per square feet. In Pakistan, prices of handwoven rugs range anywhere from Rs.70 per square foot to 300 rupees per square foot, depending, of course on density of knotting and other vital factors. You can arrive at the price of the entire rug by multiplying the length of the rug by its width and further multiplying it by the number of square feet in the rug.


Check out our Soumak rugs collection at http://alrug.com/soumak-kilims.html


For example, if your rug is 5.5 feet long by 3 feet wide the square footage is 16.5 ft. If you are measuring in inches, multiply the length in inches by the width in inches and divide by 144. This will, again, give you square footage. To calculate square meters from feet, divide square feet by 10.76.

It is generally agreed that the value of Pakistani rugs increase about 10-15% per year. Thus, in ten years at 10% a year a rug would be worth 2.6 times its present value, a return on investment of 160%. However, inflation will account for a portion of the ten-year price increase. Nonetheless, the genuine growth is still impressive. This growth trend is not new but has been going on for generations. Isfahani carpets, which are thought to increase in value at 25% were being sold in 1938 for $1 per square foot. Today they cost $600!

It is also interesting to compare the growth of rugs with other popular investment articles. In the period June 1969 to June 1979, rough diamonds, old master paintings and rare coins increased about 12% annually, while stamps and gold increased about 20% annually. Old Baluchis, on the other hand, increased by an average of 35% per year over the same period.


More rugs have been destroyed by myths than by months. The first is that 'old and apparently worn-out rugs are worthless'. Sometimes, all that is needed is a good wash and some minor repairs. However, not every old Oriental rug is worth of fortune. So, assess your rug carefully or have it valued by an expert.

A plain silly myth is that 'all Oriental design carpets are genuine handmade Orientals'. This just isn't true. 'Oriental design' only means that the design originates in the East; there are plenty of machine-made rugs being produced in the Orient too.

'The thicker the rug, the stronger it is'. This may apply to machine-made rugs but is not true for Orientals. The strength of the Orientals comes, rather, from the quality of the materials used and the firmness of and density of the knots.

One final myth states that 'An Oriental rug will last forever'. If you have chosen the correct rug and are taking good care of it; this myth, can prove to be correct.


Courtesy: Nazneen Zafar, A Practical Guide to Pakistani Rugs, Liberty Books, Karachi, 1992