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10 Characteristics of Turkish Rugs You Need to Know Before You Buy

A Turkish rug can make a beautiful complement to any home, but there are some issues to be aware of when you are purchasing one. You want to be sure you are buying a high-quality, handmade Turkish rug that will last you a lifetime. Here are 10 characteristics to consider.

1. Price

When shopping, don’t tell the seller how much you are willing to spend. You can negotiate a great deal, but start out only by asking what the rug will cost.

2. Size

Size will affect the price quite a bit, so it’s helpful to measure the space where the rug will live so you can make sure you buy the right size.

3. Material

Turkish rugs are made from only the most high-quality materials. Hand-spun wool and silk are much more valuable than cotton or wool-cotton combinations. You will notice a difference between a silk rug and a cotton rug immediately.

4. Color

Turkish rugs come in many different colors, so it’s really up to you to decide which color scheme will best suit your tastes. Look for a rug that uses natural dyes, which tend to hold color longer so they won’t fade. Chemical dyes can look more washed out.

5. Type

There are four basic types of Turkish rugs: Hali, Kilim, Cicim and Sumak. The Hali is a thicker rug, but the other three are all flat weaves made without knots. They are often used as wall hangings and smaller rugs.

6. Style

Many experts can look at a rug and immediately know the region it came from and the story it tells. The stories are usually those that the creators, generally women, want to tell. Look for the story in a Turkish rug so you can understand its significance.

7. Age

Older carpets are more valuable than newer ones because they are antique works of art. Newer carpets can still be high quality but don’t have as much inherent value as older ones.

8. Handmade

Handmade rugs are more expensive than machine made, but the difference in quality is clear. Very few carpets are handmade today, so they are rare finds. A handmade rug may have some imperfections, but those only heighten the overall aesthetic.

9. Region

Ask where a rug originated. Not all of them come from Turkey. Some come from Anatolia, Persia, Afghanistan and other neighboring countries.

10. Backstory

Every Turkish rug will have its own story. You can learn about the region they were made, the age of the rug, the people who made them and what was going on in their country at the time it was made.