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Monday, August 23, 2010

A Few Facts On Persian Rugs

We've been in the carpet and rug cleaning business for a number of years. Not too long ago, I was at our processing facility and saw a beautiful, expensive, and elaborate rug. It got me thinking about my own (not so expensive) rugs and when did people start putting carpet and rugs in their homes. Then I asked myself this silly question (not being a rug connoisseur) "Do Persian rugs really come from Persia?" Turns out they do.

In trying to answer my question, I stumbled on to a number of sites outlining the history of the Persian rug. Interestingly, I never could exactly figure out when the art of rug making began, but I did see a number of sources that sited a rare finding in 1949. Two Russian archaeologists discovered the oldest knotted carpet frozen in the tomb of Scythian chiefs in the Pazyrk Valley. Using radiocarbon testing, they dated the rug back to 500 BC.

The Persian rug seems to rise and fall in popularity and production depending upon which dynasty was in power. It is believed that the industry peaked around 1500 - 1700. Sizable workshops were built for highly skilled workers who worked creating elaborate carpets using silk with silver or gold threading. Also during this time, rugs started being exported to European cities where they were appreciated for their artistic beauty. Most rugs found in museums today are from this period.

Today the Persian rug is still considered to be a timeless work of art. Iran exports 30% of the world's market, and there are an estimated 1.2 million weavers in Iran producing rugs for both domestic and international markets.

I started putting together a list of suggestions to help in the purchase of a Persian rug when I stumbled onto an article from 'This Old House'. Here's the link. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,203414,00.html I hope you find it helpful should you be shopping for one. If you'd like to talk to someone locally, you can visit the folks at Abu Rugs & Home. http://www.abuorientalrugs.com/. And if you are curious about how they are cleaned, check out this YouTube video done by Greg, our resident rug expert. http://www.youtube.com/user/acleanerworldcarpet#p/u/5/0uV9TaFd9nQ

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