lady relaxing on oriental carpet

What is the difference between Persian and Oriental rugs?

To put it in a statement, every Persian rug or carpet is an oriental rug but not every oriental rug is Persian. Because, when we talk about oriental rugs, the rugs might be made in any of the Asian provinces namely, Iran, India, China, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. On the other end, a Persian rug is the one that is made in Persia which is now known as Iran.

Even when we talk about Persian rugs, many different types of Persian rugs are made in different weaving styles, made in different parts of Iran, and based on their design such as vintage, traditional, transitional, and modern. Thus, based on different traits and aspects of rugs, the following are the characteristics of a Persian rug.

Traits of a Persian rug:

Authentic Persian rug quality:

In comparison to all other Oriental rugs, Persian rugs are considered to be of the highest quality. Even in the Persian rugs, the ones that are authentic vintage Persian rugs have patina on them i.e. if the wool of the Persian rug is fatty and over time it creates a silky appearance and such rugs are highly valued in the market.

Design variation:

While oriental rugs have varied designs, traditional Persian rugs have patterns including floral, central medallions, and geometric tribal patterns. While there are hundreds of types of Persian rugs available in the market, each Persian rug has its own set of designs based on the area of Persia it is made. For instance, Persian carpets of the Isfahan region are made mostly in a floral pattern and are inspired by the tile work in mosques. The Tabriz-made Persian rugs have a medallion and Qum is renowned for its pure silk rugs.

Materials used in Persian rugs:

Although all the oriental rugs are made from wool, goat hair, silk, and cotton, Persian rugs that are made from 100% pure wool or 100% pure silk are considered authentic and of the highest quality.

Knots counts:

One major difference between Persian and oriental rugs is that authentic Persian rugs are hand-knotted on looms and are mostly asymmetrical whereas oriental rugs are tied with asymmetrical Ghirodes knots.  

Hand-tufted vs. Hand knotted:

If you are looking for an authentic Persian rug, make sure that the Persian rug is Hand-knotted and not hand-tufted. While the former are made by skilled weavers where they tie each knot by hand, the hand-tufted rugs are tufted with a punching gun and they do not have the same quality or shelf life of that of a hand-knotted Persian rug.

Imperfections make the perfect match:

One of the best ways to identify a Persian handmade rug is by looking at the back of the rug! Since these rugs are made in normal woolen looms, there are ought to be certain imperfections on the back of the rug. Also, the back of the rug will feel soft compared to oriental rugs.

Vigilance and research is the key:

Since the Persian rugs are of high value and are high-priced antiques, you must research a bit about where the rugs were made and when. Also, keep in mind all the above-mentioned points when you plan to preserve the rug for future gains.