Persian Rug Savvy
December 30, 2008 12:43 PM   Subscribe

Suggestions/tips on purchasing a Persian carpet.

I live in Seattle and would like some ideas about how to not get swindled purchasing a large Persian carpet. There are scores of these stores in downtown Seattle, so that's where I've set my sights so far. But I associate this adventure with the same dread of visiting a used-car lot.

Any tips, suggestions, recommendations?

And does anyone in Seattle have a store they'd recommend?
posted by zenpop to Shopping (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: What's your budget? A fine large hand-woven Persian (9/12+) can be very expensive. By "Persian" do you mean Persian from Iran or the more generic "Oriental?" New? Used? Hand or machine-woven? Since you have access to a lot of shops, I'd spend a few weekends going around talking to sellers and getting an education.

I took a small oriental to get cleaned this morning at Noor Oriental Rugs. I walked in, the owner's daughter appeared and brought me hot tea, and I spent an hour talking to Mohammad Nooraee about carpets and their maintenance.

Your local library is probably a good resource for basics and better illustrations than the net.

Oriental Rugs, A Buyer's Guide to Oriental Carpets
How to buy oriental rugs or persian carpets?
posted by psyche7 at 3:02 PM on December 30, 2008 [3 favorites]

As with any art, buy what you like. It's art for your floor, so your own happiness is what's most important. My crude understanding is that for the most part, older and hand knotted is more valuable than newer machine produced, pleasing colors and colors muted by age are preferred over the very loud/garish, but there are many variables involved in pricing a rug and reproductions abound. Look for patterns you like, check out the knotting and workmanship, check the underside to see if it looks genuinely old (if that's what you're going for).

If I were in your shoes I would hold off parting with a large sum of cash for a rug just as I would put purchasing a Titian in a gallery. Maybe visit a few stores and let them know you are thinking of buying an entry level rug to start a potential collection and see how they respond to you. A good sales person like a good gallery owner thrives on repeat sales and will help you learn a little bit in order to earn a new client.
posted by abirae at 3:31 PM on December 30, 2008

Also, you don't mention why you are interested in purchasing a Persian rug. As an investment? Because they look cool? To cover the hideous shag carpeting? What kind of wear will it get? Do you have pets? Antique rugs can be quite delicate. If you are just looking for something cool to put on your floor, you might get the best deal on a decorative reproduction at Ikea, Target or better yet on Craigslist.
posted by abirae at 3:37 PM on December 30, 2008

I've never bought one in person, but we bought 2 large and beautiful ones from . I was very impressed with them as a company, but at least you could search their site for a starter comparison.
posted by texas_blissful at 4:06 PM on December 30, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks psyche 7. Very helpful. It all depends on price. Could be more of a generic Oriental rug as well. It's not for collecting but for my living room. I'm aware they are not inexpensive. The links you offered are helpful, I plan to study those and then head off. Best. ZP
posted by zenpop at 4:28 PM on December 30, 2008


I contacted a friend who is on the cleaning and restoration side of the business for recommendations. Below is a somewhat edited version of his reply.

A good place to begin is at Driscoll Robbins. Driscoll deals a high end modern inventory mix which, while it may not be your taste or budget, is a good entre' to market realities and how the business works. Make an appointment to meet him and talk.

Next is Jon Terry of JH Terry Gallery. Jon deals in more 'tribal' goods, stylisticly the opposite of Driscoll's inventory. He is quite an interesting guy and has done old rugs for a long time.

If your friend wants to drive down to Portland he can visit Madison Millinger. Christiane Millinger runs a nice shop.

Hope this helps. If there are more questions just send them along, I don't mind. I really hate to see people have bad experiences in this business.

With that, I'd say you could contact him directly if you have more questions, just keep in mind he is a very busy person. His business is Robert Mann Oriental Rugs, ask for Bob.

Good luck.
posted by -t at 5:04 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you want Persian and you want cheap then go to Pakobel Rugs on Ebay. Excellent hand-knotted rugs for cheap. I recently got one that is 12x14 for about $150.00. It does have a bit of damage which is why it was so cheap, but Pakobel Rugs had excellent pictures of the rugs and the damage and so I knew exactly what I was bidding on. My dad has bought 3 or 4 other rugs from there and has also been very happy with them.

I really like hand knotted old asian rugs. The one I bought on ebay is at least as nice as the one I bought in Turkey and it was much cheaper and much bigger. If you want I can take a pic and send it to you.
posted by sulaine at 7:17 PM on December 30, 2008 [3 favorites]

« Older To move or not to move; that is the question for...   |   I can haz sexzy t1m3? Wiz scaredz of s3x catz? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.