How to hang your rug on the wall.

Rugs are art and great art hanging on your walls can give your space warmth and depth.  There are five main options to consider when it comes to hanging your rug.  Today, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of each.

 

Option 1 – Carpet Tack Strip

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This is a wooden strip with little nails that stick out of it at an angle.  The stripping is generally used to hold wall to wall carpeting to your floor.  It is very inexpensive and very effective at hanging many rugs.  You simply screw the strips into the studs of your wall.  For most rugs the total cost to hang your rug will be under $10.00  

This process usually works great unless you rug is very fine in which case it could potentially cause some damage.  If that’s something you are worried about, we recommend option #2.

 

Velcro

 

Option 2 – Sew Velcro stripping to the back of your rug

This is how many rugs are hung in museums. It is very effective and simple to hang. A strip of Velcro is sewn to a strip of canvas which is then attached to you rug. Then the opposing strip is attached to a 1×4 board which is screwed into the studs of your wall.  The total price will vary depending on the size and quality of your rug, generally anywhere from $30 to $50 per linear foot of stripping.

 

 

 

Option 3 – Have a sleeve sewn onto the back of the rug and use a rod to hang it

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The sleeve is made of canvas and hand sewn to the back to your rug.  You could pick up a rod from any home supply store or buy one specially designed for rugs.  This creates a very strong hold against your wall that will work for years.  Also, it leaves a decorative finish at the top of your rug giving it a little more of an accent.  The price for the sleeve is much like the Velcro, $30 to $50 per linear foot.  The cost of the rod will vary greatly depending on the size of your rug and the style of the rod.  

Clips

 

Option 4 – Hanging clips

Here at Serafian’s we generally recommend against this option as long term it can damage your rug.  We can however well you some simple metal clips which can be used to hang your rug over a 1×4 attached to your wall.  It is a simple process but with time, the rug will sag between the points where it is clipped.  On average, you can expect to pay around $2.00 to $5.00 per clip and will need 1 clip per foot on the rug.
Hanging Boards

Option 5 – Hanging Boards / Clamps

Similar to clips, but much safer for your rug are hanging boards or clamps.  In short, these are two decorative boards designed to be clamped together and hung.  The rug in squeezed in between them along the top.  This can add a decorative and unique look to the rug as the boards themselves can be shaped, carved, painted, or stained to add interest and depth to the rug.  Hanging boards can work very well for thinner weaving techniques used in Navajo or Kelim rugs, but aren’t always effective when it comes to thicker “Pile” weaving styles.  Prices for these can vary greatly.  Generally they run between $10 to $100 per linear foot.

When you are getting ready to hang your rug, take a little time to asses you desires and budget.  It is important to note that the prices we are quoting here are good general guidelines.  They can vary depending on locality and material availability.  Ultimately the right choice for hanging is up to you, the customer.

 


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

Hand woven rugs, a dying art form in a changing world

The one thing you can say with certainty about the world today is that it is changing so quickly that very little is truly certain. The last hundred years have seen significant changes in nearly every industry. Modernization happens fast and with it comes great benefit to our society. Unfortunately, this benefit is often coupled with the loss of skilled labor, hand crafted goods, and traditional techniques. As sad as we at Serafian’s are to say it, weaving is proving to be no exception to this.

Right now, the question is not “Will traditional hand-weaving die off?” so much as it is “When and how will hand-weaving die off?” In the last ten years alone, we have seen significant dropoff in production from China, Persia (Iran), and India. The internet has changed the game of retail in ways few could have predicted. The impact of globalization is being felt keenly by the weaving industry. War, politics, and economics have created vast changes and challenges and there is little doubt that weaving has been heavily impacted by these factors. By far, the biggest factor in this change is the blooming and modernizing economies of the Middle and Far East.

Woman working at the loom. Oriental Muslim national crafts. Focus on the fabric.
Hand weaving is one of the most time consuming and labor intensive art forms on the planet..

Economic realities change fast. This is doubly true for countries with emerging economies. As an art form, weaving is very time consuming. Rugs are built literally one knot at a time, each thoughtfully placed and tied in by hand. A large hand woven rug can easily take over a year to make. By contrast, that same rug may only ever command a top price of a few thousand dollars. When you take into account the markups of various retailers and wholesalers, for an entire year’s worth of work, a skilled weaver may end up taking home less than one thousand dollars. It becomes easy to see how in a burgeoning economy the job of weaving eventually makes less and less sense.

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Every step in the weaving process takes both time and skill.  Even the “simple” act of dyeing wool is an art form in and of itself.

On the other side of the coin, but equally devastating to the hand weaving industry, are machine woven rugs. A large machine woven rug can be finished in a matter of hours instead of months or years. A machine woven rug will easily cost a third or less the price of a similarly sized hand woven rug. While the quality is not the same, their rapid, repetitive, and commoditized production actually lends itself to our modern internet driven marketplace. This creates even further pressure on the hand weaving industry, forcing many weavers to look elsewhere for employment.

While it is difficult to predict exactly when hand weaving will die out, it is easy to see its end on the horizon. There aren’t many art forms out there that are as time consuming and labor intensive and weaving. With so much time and effort behind the weaving industry, modernization, simplification, and change become inevitable. While it will be sad to see these treasures of the middle East disappear, it is easy to understand the forces behind this change. Time keeps moving forward, the world keeps changing, and one thing that is certain certain is that the weaving industry will change with it.


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By Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

 

Know your fibers! – What to look for and be aware of when shopping for your ideal rug.

When you are looking to buy an oriental rug, is your first thought, “What material is this rug made out of?”. If not, it probably should be. For centuries, the standard has been to weave rugs out of wool or silk. Both of which are great fibers. Here at Serafian’s, we have seen how the industry has been changing in big ways. Over the course of these last years new fibers have found their way into the marketplace. In additional to wool and silk, we are seeing a lot more rugs made of both olefin and viscose.

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Knowing how long a fiber will last under traffic is an important questions when buying an oriental rug.

 

Wool and silk are by far the best fibers for rugs. Both wear incredibly well over time, insulate and protect your floor, and are even stain resistant on their own. Wool in particular has been has been the weaving standard for centuries. An average wool fiber has lanolin, the sheep’s natural oil, present in it. This helps to give the wool both body and pliability. A wool fiber can bend and flex hundreds of thousands of times over its life. This flexibility is key to its durability as a fiber. When properly cared for, good wool in a rug will last a century or more.

In the middle of the spectrum is olefin. Olefin is plastic that has been refined to look and feel like carpet fiber. The upside to this fiber is that is often comes from post consumer plastic, essentially recycled materials. The empty water and soda bottles that clog our rivers and oceans can be stretched, spun, dyed, and reused to make colorful decorative rugs for your floor. The downside is that it just doesn’t have the lifespan of good wool rugs. Where wool remains flexible for its whole life, olefin eventually begins to become stiff and will more readily start to break down. Where a wool rug will last a century or more, a good olefin rug is usually made to last 10 to 15 years. However, olefin rugs tend to be very inexpensive and while not as long lived as wool rugs, are generally a very good value for the money.

Lastly, at the bottom of our list, is viscose. Unfortunately, viscose fibers are a recent and very popular trend. Viscose is treated plant fiber that has chemically been made to look and feel like silk, but beware as this imposter is anything but! Silk is much more difficult to make in quantity and much higher in quality than viscose. Like wool, silk is a protein fiber that will last for years. By comparison, viscose breaks down quickly, losing its luster and plushness. This is due to the fact that plant fibers in general tend to lack the flexibility. Where protein fibers such as wool and silk will bend and flex, plant fibers such as cotton, jute, and viscose will much more quickly break down. This leads to an average life span that is much shorter.

Let the buyer beware. It is very common to see viscose rugs called silk by unscrupulous or even unknowing retailers, but there is a sure fire test to know which fiber you are looking at. Cut and take a small amount of the material in a set of pliers, burn it, and smell the smoke lifting off it. Viscose and similar cotton fibers smell like paper when burned where silk smells like burning hair. Where good wool and silk rugs can last for a century or more and olefin will last for a decade or two, I expect that most Viscose rugs will have an average life span of 5 to 10 years before real problems start to develop.

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A Good wool rug can last for generations.  Olefin rugs will tend to wear out after ten to fifteen years and viscose rugs with likely wear our within five to ten.

For this reason, when you look to buy a good rug, it is always important to ask what it is woven with. Knowing what material your rug is made out of will quickly tell you a lot about its longevity. By no means is this the only factor in durability, but it is without a doubt the most important.


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

 

A Buyer’s Guide to Hand Woven Rugs: How to Quickly Judge Quality in Hand Woven Rugs

When it comes to hand woven rugs, it can be tough to know exactly what you are looking at. In truth, while there are many factors that go into determining the quality of a rug, there are four to focus on.

First is knot count, or knots per square inch. In a hand woven rug, each not is tied one at a time, and much like the pixels on your computer screen, the number of knots per inch affects the resolution of the design in the rug. Most rugs are woven at 100 to 150 knots per square inch. Some of the finest rugs in the world are woven at 1,000 knots per square inch. The number of knots in a square inch tells you not only how fine the rug is, but also, how much time and work went into the rug. If a rug has twice as many knots, it took at least twice as long to weave. For this reason, knot count, more than any other factor, affects the price of your rug.

So how can you tell how many knots per square inch? To count the knots, use a ruler and examine the backside of the rug. In most rugs, each square you see is an individual knot. Simply count the number of squares both horizontally and vertically across the length of an inch then multiply the two numbers together. It’s important to note there are two types of knotting common in hand weaving. Asymmetrical (Or Persian) knotting leaves a single square on the back for each knot. However, the style of knotting known as symmetrical (Or Turkish) knotting leaves two squares on the back for each knot. If you notice that every single knot seems to have a twin, you are probably looking at a rug that uses the symmetrical knotting techniques. For these rugs, simply take whatever knot count you came up with and cut it in half.

The second factor to look at is thickness. As a general rule, the thicker the pile on a rug, the longer it takes for the rug to wear out. This is the easiest of all the factors to judge. It is simply defined by the heights of the pile. As a nice side benefit, thicker rugs tend to be softer underfoot and much more comfortable to walk on.

Third on our list of factors is weave density. Like thickness, this factor greatly affects the durability of your rug. Density is determined by how tightly packed together the fibers of your rug are. When a rug is more densely woven, the fibers provide each other with more support which helps to prevent excess wear from use and also keeps dirt from settling into the foundation of the rug where is grinds at the roots of the weaving. To test density, take your fingers, and try to run them into the foundation of the rug. The more difficult it is to do this, the more densely woven the rug is.

The fourth and final factor is wool quality. A good wool has an oily and supple feel, where a poor quality of wool will feel dry and “brashy” to the touch. A good wool will be more able to bend and flex though years of heavy use, where a bad wool will break apart under traffic and tends to wear out much more quickly. This is probably the most difficult of the four factors to judge, but the general rule is that a good wool feels good to the touch, while a bad wool, not as much.
Just remember to look out for the four big factors, knot count, thickness, density, and wool quality. Generally speaking, as long as you keep these in mind, you will have a good idea of what you are looking at when buying a hand woven oriental rug.


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

What’s Hot in Home Decor for 2017

Social media has changed the way we decide on what’s hot and what’s not. Ten years ago, fashion was what the industry told you it was. Today, fashion is what we, as a community, make it. In 2017 what’s trending is anything eclectic and rustic.

If there are “Looks” that can be called the forerunners of 2017, they would be Industrial Farmhouse, Rustic Americana, and once again Boho Chic. Each of these styles brings a unique mix of traditional, contemporary, and personal styles.

Boho Chic epitomizes personal style and choice. Rich with color, bold, and full of unique character, Boho Chic was the go-to fashion pick of 2016 and will remain big in 2017. Decor in a Boho Chic home springs up from a single focal design point, like a colorful rug, a bright and beautiful wall hanging or tapestry, or even a unique statuette. From there, the sky’s the limit. Bright and bold, jewel tones, flowing fabrics, and disparate design elements are at the heart of Boho Chic. If you love it, it works, that’s the bottom line. Fill your space with color and kitsch and you have achieved that Boho chic look.

Similar, but with it own distinct twist, is Rustic Americana. A more aged and classic look, Rustic Americana opts for a slightly more conservative and muted design approach. Painted wood furniture, rescued looks, and warm earth and wood tones form the basis of Rustic Americana. Think old and American. Don’t be afraid to let your inner patriot out a little when decorating with this theme. American flags can be hand painted onto nearly anything from dilapidated wooden furniture to old metal toolboxes. Quilted fabrics, aged wood colors and textures, hooked and braided rugs, and (of course) the stars and stripes really pull the look together. Much like with Boho Chic, a space can be brimming with unique and stylized pieces.

Then lastly is my personal favorite, Industrial Farmhouse. Much like Rustic Americana, this look combines aesthetic of reused items and the warm feel of wood and earth tones. However, it has an overall much cleaner look incorporating a lot of metal, white, and grey tones. As the name implies, this look uses a considerable amount of metal. The look uses mixes of metal and wood showing up in furniture, accent items and accessories, and even in unique spots, with items like paper towel and key holders. Brass, copper, and steel tones all work together to create a very distinct and clean, yet cozy feel. Stark white counter tops and couches are used alongside colorful accents. Simple and elegant rugs such as the Magnolia Home line from Joanna Gaines are used along side rich blue and rust pillows or throws with simple geometric patterns create depth and color.

With both Boho Chic and Rustic Americana, the look can be almost cluttered. Think of it as organized chaos. There is tremendous space to create and develop one’s own personal style. With Industrial Farmhouse, the look is more structured, but clean and inviting. The space can feel very relaxed and open while at the same time cozy. While the first two invite you to get lost in the eccentricities of the decor, the latter invites you into the room to kick up your feet, take a deep breath, and just relax.

In 2017, there’s a “hot” look for your home, whatever your personal aesthetic is. From eclectic and kitschy, to clean and comfortable, 2017 is going to be a great year for making your space beautiful, fun, and most importantly: you. Happy New Year!


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com