(Posted on 02/11/13)
CONTRARY TO POPULAR MYTH, assessing quality is not difficult as it might first appear; armed with a little basic information, anyone should be able to distinguish a good from a poor quality rug. Obviously, there is some truth in the old maxim that 'you get what you pay for', but as in many other areas of life, price and value are not always synonymous, and you should be very wary of accepting without question that something is necessarily better because it cost more. Quality is determined by combination of aesthetic and structural considerations.The first step in assessing quality Look at the back of the rug. This is necessary not only to judge the fineness and regularity of the knotting, but also to discover whether there are any repairs or signs of damage which are not noticeable from the front. On a good rug, the design should be clearly visible on the back, and it is often easier, particularly in long pile carpets, to see any faults in the symmetry or articulation of the motifs.Quality of the dyes This can only be properly tested in a laboratory, but all dyes used today are both permanent and colour-fast. Provided the colours look attractive when the rug is purchased, the overwhelming probability is that they will only improve with age.To test whether a rug lies flat Always lay the rug on a flat and even surface, and after smoothing it out, carefully view it from all sides to see if there are any ridges or troughs. Repeat the viewing process after walking across the rug a few times, as this will show how it responds to use. Then run your hand across the surface in order to detect any bumps or depressions not visible to the eye. A certain degree of unevenness is acceptable in nomadic and some village items.