Step on it!!
November 29, 2004 6:32 PM   Subscribe

Art to walk on: Persian carpets are beautiful, exotic, and affordable, with a long, colorful history. I've turned my apartment into a palace. (That's me on the right.)
posted by Floydd (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I actually bought a rug at last year, via ebay. It's always tough to judge colors on screen from what you get in the mail, but it wasn't too far off and we got a really nice looking rug we don't have to sweat about if the cats every scratched it up. The rugs we liked in rug stores ran from $2k-4k and the rug we ended up buying online was only about $250.
posted by mathowie at 6:46 PM on November 29, 2004

Wow! awesome links, thanks Floydd. And from that fifth link - I do not talk about it much but when my friend Budd called a press conference and killed himself on National Television my life changed drastically. I got out of politics and quit watching TV. From this odd start I started studying Oriental Rugs. - That is one in-depth site. His menus are pretty much messed up for me in Safari though.
posted by tellurian at 7:14 PM on November 29, 2004

There is some controversy about finer persian rugs- the smallest knots (for those not in the know, more knots per square inch = better rug) can only be made by children.
Also, Iran itself is getting put out of the rug trade by the far east, which is able to put out a much higher quantity of rugs- that's why the prices for these rugs have been dropping steadily for years now.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:54 PM on November 29, 2004

For those insterested in social justice, sweatshops, and whatnot, consider RugMark.

Also, I read recently that, rather than 1,000+ knots per square inch, only 60 knots per square inch were necessary for a nice, quality rug. Which would bring the costs down significantly. But IANARugExpert.
posted by Alt F4 at 8:00 PM on November 29, 2004

Yeah, that'd be Budd Dwyer, tellurian.
I've got 10 (!) of these beauties from various parts of the world in my two bedroom apartment, from a 10' X 15' Kashan to a 2.5' X 4' Heriz. I've found two in the trash in the past year. I'm livin' like a pasha on a pauper's budget.
I'm no expert either, but I wouldn't buy a rug with less than 150 KPI, (Knots Per Inch) although I've got an 85 KPI Tabriz style that makes my feet very happy every time I walk on it.
posted by Floydd at 8:16 PM on November 29, 2004

You might also want to consider rugs from Worldstock. Worldstock is hosted by Overstock but is run by a young woman from Afganistan. According to an interview with her which I recently watched, she and her staff purchase Worldstock products in small quantities directly from the producers. She also refuses to buy from anyone using child labor. Her products come from several different countries.
posted by onhazier at 6:32 AM on November 30, 2004

Child labor and rug weaving, one take on it:

One of the enduring myths of the rug business is that "fine rugs are made by children because only they have the little fingers that can tie such tiny knots." In fact, precisely the opposite is true. The lowest quality, cheapest labor is child labor because children are so unskilled and inexperienced at the craft...
If a rug maker decides to cut corners on the quality of the wool, the dyes, or the weave of a rug, he is much more likely to try to find bonded labor to make the rug. The surest way to avoid a rug made with bonded labor is to buy a medium or better quality rug. Just a step or two up from the junkiest and cheapest handmade carpet means that you are buying a rug made by a person who has taken years to learn the craft. This rug was made by an adult who is weaving for the cash income the work produces.

posted by Floydd at 7:52 AM on November 30, 2004

Well, I'm no expert, but my wife is, and I have spoken with quite a few genuine experts (that is, people who are not rug dealers). And what I hear all the time is that knot count has nothing to do with rug quality. Instead, it's the quality of the materials - the wool and the dye - that determine how good a rug is. Forget the knot count.
posted by booth at 10:04 AM on November 30, 2004

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