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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Dying Art of the Persian Rug

I worry that in our fast-paced, mass-produced society, we’ve lost interest in and sight of quality.  Let’s take furniture for example.  Every time we look for a new piece of furniture, it seems like so much of it is lightweight, not durable, and made of inexpensive wood veneer.  I am thankful that my husband is quite the craftsman because on a number of occasions when I’ve seen something I like but discover it is poorly made, Matt builds it for me.  How about appliances?  Recently, we had to purchase a new refrigerator.  Matt, being the curious guy that he is, started asking the delivery man lots of questions about home appliances.  I mostly tuned out the conversation because, well, I’m a woman, and I’m really not interested in how an appliance works – I just want it to work.  But I do remember him saying that they don’t build things like they used to.  He told Matt some story about a 1950’s refrigerator and ended by saying that refrigerators these days last about 8 years.

Now it seems that same mentality is impacting the handmade premium rug industry.  According to an article Greg Henderson, General Manager of A Cleaner World Rug & Carpet Cleaning, sent me, this holds true at least for the Persian rug market.  Below are a couple of excerpts from The New York Times article entitled, “The Persian Rug May Not Be Long for This World.”

‘But now, Mr. Sedghamiz said, the end is near. Ultimately he said, it is modernity — that all-devouring force that is changing societies at breakneck speed — that is killing the Persian carpet, Iran’s pride and joy. “People simply are no longer interested in quality.”  Or in paying for it, he might have added.’

‘“These days, everyone is seeking quick satisfaction and simplicity, but our carpets are the complete opposite of that,” Mr. Sedghamiz said.’

Just like the countless hours Matt has spent and the numerous tools and materials he has purchased to build my end tables, buffet table, and entertainment unit, an authentic Persian rug also requires a significant investment in labor and materials.  Rugs.tenthousandvillages.com stated that the amount of time invested completely depends on the type of rug, but they gave an example of a 9’ x 12’ Persian rug that has 500 knots per square inch, saying it would take 4-5 artisans working 6 hours a day 6 days a week roughly 14 months to complete.

The coolest piece of furniture Matt has ever built was an entertainment unit for the family farm house.  But this unit isn’t your ordinary piece of furniture; it is a hand-crafted work of art, made of wood salvaged from an old cabin on Matt’s uncle’s farm.  Priceless.  It is a piece that will stay in the family for generations.  He will be proud to pass it on to Gray, along with its story.  A hand-crafted Persian rug is also a timeless piece, each one with its own story, and it can add color and excitement and enhance a room’s décor like nothing else.  More importantly, it will be a cherished item that you will be excited to hand down to your children.  If you are in the market for an Oriental or a Persian rug, before you head to Rugs R Us and purchase a mass-produced rug, think about these reasons for buying an authentic Persian rug:
  1. Because they are really well constructed, they will last for years.
  2. If it is properly cared for, it will increase in value over time.
  3. It will enhance your home’s décor and will never go out of style.
  4. It is something you will always be proud of.
  5. Not only will you have a beautiful rug, you will also have a story and a piece of history to go along with it.
  6. Someday you can hand it down to your children, and they will be excited to receive it.
If you’re thinking about purchasing an authentic, hand-crafted Persian rug but you don’t know where to start, email Greg or give him a call at 336-804-0045.  He will gladly answer any questions you might have and help you get started.

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