What’s the Difference between Persian and Oriental Rugs?
A high-quality Persian or oriental rug is renowned for giving a luxurious look and feel to your home interior. Persian and oriental rugs have special popularity because of their elaborate designs, rich colors, and intricate patterns.
Handmade with all-natural materials and dyes, these rugs offer the highest quality and durability. Highly sought-after and often collectible, these rugs generally command high prices.
So, before making the purchase, it’s best to have a clear idea of the differences between Persian and oriental style rugs. Although, they are traditional and look similar, understanding the differences will help you to make an informed purchase and buy the right kind of rug.
Country of Origin
The main point of difference between Persian and oriental rugs is their country of origin. Oriental rug can originate from just about anywhere in Central Asia and the Middle East, including countries like China, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, India, Iran, Turkey, Tibet, and Egypt.
Persian rugs, on the other hand, can only come from Persia (present-day Iran).
So, basically, all Persian rugs are oriental rugs, but not all oriental rugs are Persian.
Designs and Patterns
Persian rug designs are usually symmetrical and include four primary patterns: all-over, compartment, central medallion and one-sided. Using warm-toned colors like orange, red, yellow, gold, indigo, and greens, these rugs often feature imagery like husks, pomegranates, jugs and crosses. The combination of using rich colors with the unique designs makes these rugs appear vibrant in your home.
Oriental rugs have designs that represent the cultures and traditions of the country they originate from. For instance, an oriental rug from India tends to contain flora and fauna patterns, while a rug from China may include traditional Buddhist motifs and a palate of traditional colors.
The type of knots used can also help to differentiate oriental rugs from Persian rugs. Persian rugs use an asymmetrical knot known as a Senneh knot, whereas oriental rugs are generally made using symmetrical knots known as a Ghiordes or Turkish knot.
Another difference lies in how many knots are weaved per square inch. A Persian-styled rug is hand-knotted by weaving between 160 and 500 knots per square inch, which is why it is said to be the highest quality oriental rug in the world.
A Persian rug is typically made from camelhair wool, Manchester wool, and kork wool, which is collected from the sheep’s neck, belly, and underarms and is considered as the highest grade woollen fibre with a naturally high lustre and long-staple fibre.
Oriental rugs are also woolen, but often feature a significant cotton content and even some silk.While cotton and silk can add some softness and appealing visual touches, they are less durable materials than wool. This means that these rugs will not last as well as pure wool Persian rugs, being more susceptible to wear and tear and dye deterioration.
So, if you are a rug collector and are looking for the best quality and longest lasting rug, then a Persian rug will be your ultimate choice.
Hand Washing Process
The softness of the rugs depends on the hand washing process that is done on the rug. Persian rugs are finished using a traditional hand-washing technique, which many people believe contributes to their unrivalled softness. Most oriental rugs don’t undergo this washing process, and so often don’t feel as soft.
The Bottom Line
So, if you’re thinking about investing in a high-quality rug, you can’t go wrong with any traditional, hand-made oriental rug. But if you really want to invest in the best, then you have to go with the Persian rug. Ultimately, however, it comes down to what best suits your tastes, your interior decor and your budget.