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How much is your Rug Worth?

First of all, let’s set the parameters for evaluating what your oriental rug, Persian rug, antique oriental rug, or hand knotted area rug is worth! Rugs are a commodity. As such, price is based on available supply and demand. Since oriental rugs wear out, antique oriental rugs a few in number so the price will increase. Not all antique rugs go up in price! You may ask why not, or why didn’t this antique oriental rug go up as much as that oriental rug? To get to the answer, we have to look at a number of factors to determine the worth, or value of a particular oriental rug. By generally accepted definitions, an oriental rug is defined as one that is hand knotted, or hand woven. This means a Navajo rug is a true oriental rug, and subject to the same criteria as a typical oriental rug in determining it’s true value. Down below we will discuss the key elements for determining “what an oriental rug is worth”. We will set a system for hand knotted rugs below, but the same criteria may be used for hand woven flat rugs and kilims. We will exclude all area rugs that are machine made, hand hooked, and tufted, as these rugs fail the test of being hand knotted, or hand woven, and as such, lack the essential characteristics needed to be evaluated in this way. 

What Factors Affect Oriental Rug Value?

  • Knot density (a higher number of knots per square inch increases the value of the rug)
  •  Age (antique rugs are worth more than newer rugs)
  • Condition (rugs with little wear and tear to the fibers fetch a higher price)
  • Size, style, and design (a large, intricately patterned rug featuring many colors has higher value than a small, plain rug)
  • Materials used (for example, silk is higher in value than wool)
  • Country of origin and demand (rare rugs that are popular among collectors but hard to find can be worth a great deal)

All of these factors and more must be evaluated to arrive at a fair market value for a hand-knotted rug. The appraisal process requires an in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of rug production and what’s going on in the rug market right now.