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Essential Tips for Buying a Luxury Rug: What to Look for in Your Purchase

Updated: Feb 24

Author/ Jay Nehouray (Rug Icon Owner)

1. Value

“What you pay is what you get.”

Warren Buffett famously said, "Price is what you pay, value is what you get." Reputable rug merchants determine the prices of their rugs based on market value, which is influenced by several factors, including but not limited to, age, workmanship, and material.


Antique rugs, typically aged 80 to 100 years, are valued based on factors such as rarity, origin, age, and the degree of wear on the pile. Some may be modified to match modern color schemes and décor.

Vintage rugs, aged at least 40 to 50 years, are valued similarly to antique rugs, considering the same factors. Like antiques, some vintage rugs are adjusted to complement contemporary styles.

New rugs, produced recently in various countries like Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, and Turkey, are primarily valued for their materials and craftsmanship. Premium brands factor quality into their suggested retail prices.


Hand-Knotted Rugs $$$$

Artisan weavers meticulously select and hand-knot yarn over a foundation on the loom, crafting intricate designs. Each country and region is renowned for its unique knotting techniques, resulting in exquisite hand-made rugs, also known as hand-knotted rugs. This labor-intensive process yields a durable product that can be cherished and passed down through generations. Due to the intricate nature of the designs, these rugs are more costly than other types.

Hand-Woven Rugs $$$

Artisan weavers skillfully weave yarn over a foundation without knotting, creating beautiful hand-made rugs known for their unique textures. This method, which includes styles like Kilims, Flatweaves, Durries, and Hand-looms, can be completed in a shorter time frame than hand-knotting, leading to a lower cost compared to hand-knotted rugs.

Hand-Tufted Rugs $$

A blend of machine and handwork, hand-tufted rugs are crafted by stretching special fabric tightly over a frame. The design is then traced onto the fabric using a tufting machine operated by a specialist. While these rugs can be produced more quickly than hand-woven rugs, they are typically less expensive due to the less intricate manufacturing process. Most hand-tufted rugs are backed with a heavy fabric or non-skid pads.

Machine-Made Rugs $

Created entirely by machines, machine-made rugs can closely resemble hand-made rugs due to advancements in technology. Some top producers even add hand finishing touches, such as side hand binding or hand-serging, and hand-woven fringes, to enhance their visual appeal. However, these rugs can often be identified by their plastic-like appearance on the back, though newer models may be more challenging to differentiate for those without experience.


Each rug comprises two main components: the foundation and the pile. The foundation provides the structural base of the rug, while the pile refers to the visible surface fibers. Examples of materials commonly used in rug making include:

Traditionally, rug foundations are crafted from Cotton, Wool, or Silk, while piles are composed of a range of materials, from Natural fibers to synthetic blends. Some piles may consist of blended or multiply yarns, offering a diverse array of textures and durability. It's evident that the choice of material significantly influences the value and cost of a rug, as higher-quality materials can escalate its price.

2. Reputable Rug Merchant 

A business with Transparency, Quality, consistency, Good citizenship, Good communication and Good Customer Service. Ask your family and friends who have the same taste in rugs and design to see if they had good experience purchasing their rugs and if they are willing to share their information, this would be one of many ways to visit a trustworthy rug dealer. If that can not be an option, a little research would help you get a closet rug dealer with the highest rating online to visit for your next purchase.

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