How to Determine the Authenticity of Oriental Rugs

Whatever Oriental rug you choose, you are likely to have it for a long time, possibly even passing it down to future generations. This is because Oriental rugs are known for their longevity– if it’s authentic that is. There are many things to consider when investing in an Oriental rug, and it’s not always a simple task to choose the best carpet for you and determine whether it’s top quality.

That’s what we’re here for! We take educating our shoppers, in Albuquerque and across the country, very seriously. It’s important to feel confident about your choice in Oriental rugs. That is why we put together a few tips and guidelines for judging the quality and authenticity of a rug.

Judging the Authenticity of Oriental Rugs

What you’re looking for are hand-woven Oriental rugs made from the best wool in the world. It’s not as difficult to find as you may imagine. A few things to consider when purchasing an Oriental rug are:

Tightness of the Weave

What you want is a rug with a tight weave. A tighter weave is one that expresses the design as clearly as possible. This is referred to as its “pile.” This is the term to describe the density related to knot count and affects the longevity of a carpet. The tighter and denser the pile is, the better the rug will withstand wear. Are you unsure about a particular rug? Take your fingers and try to wiggle them into the pile. Is it difficult to work them all the way to the bottom of the pile? If so, the carpet is dense and likely to wear well.

Iranian Wool

Synthetic rugs are made from materials like Polypropylene, Nylon, Acrylic, and Polyester. An authentic rug will be made from the best materials. In fact, one of the most important factors in the longevity and beauty of a rug is the quality of the wool. We have found that the best carpet wools in the world come from Iran. The best Iranian wool is called “kurk“. Kurk comes from the first shearing of lambs between nine and 14 months old, and only from the neck and under the arms. Kurk has a feel almost like velvet, but is exceptionally strong. Iranian rugs have always been the most sought after rugs in the world, and it’s clear to see why.


An authentic rug will be hand-knotted. Only an authentic Oriental rug will offer the strength and structural integrity of a true hand-knotted rug. When the back of the rug is hard plastic, this means that your rug’s top pile is made from a synthetic material and the hard plastic back is holding the rug together. 

The fringe on hand knotted oriental rugs not only is a design element, it is a structural element. When the rug is being hand knotted, the fringe is the first element on the loom. The fringe is a part of what’s holding the rug together. Manufacturers add fake fringe to a rug to make it appear hand knotted. If you flip an inauthentic rug over, you’ll see that the fringe is either glued or sewn on. This is one of the easiest ways to determine if your oriental rug is not authentic.

If you have any additional questions, we’re always here to answer them. Contact us or stop into our Albuquerque store! 

6 thoughts on “How to Determine the Authenticity of Oriental Rugs

  1. This was very informative! Thank you for taking the time to explain this. A good rug is an exceptional work of art and you get what you pay for.

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