Why Rug Identification is Important

When I do rug cleaning courses, invariably a student will say, “Just tell me how to clean it. Why do I need to know what the rug is?” Unfortunately, rug identification is not really understood by many cleaners. The ability to correctly identify commonly encountered rugs is a component of a cleaner’s product knowledge that is essential to a successful business. 

You do not have to know the difference between a Bibikabad and a Bijar to be a great rug cleaner, but basic rug ID skills distinguish a rug cleaner from the true professional. 

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Turkish Rugs

This time we are going to look at rugs from Turkey. We have not discussed rugs from this country before and it seems time we do. One of the reasons for getting a feel for rugs from this country is this summer we are taking a group of rug enthusiasts to Turkey to visit the weaving villages, including Eastern Turkey and Mount Ararat. Later this year, through this column, you will have the chance to see how Turkish rugs are made. 

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Persian Hamadan Rug

The United States imposed a ban on Iranian products in 1987 in response to clashes in the Persian Gulf. Since the embargo ended two years ago, the floodgates have opened and the United States has seen new Persian carpets arrive literally by the boatload.

The quality of Iranian rugs is all over the map. They have been described as “the good, the bad and the ugly,” but more on that at a later date. What we need to keep in mind is that rugs are fashion. Most rugs will decline in value. What was paid for a Kerman rug in the mid 1960s will not be paid for the same rug today. Those colors are not “in” now. What matters in today’s market are color and design, not country of origin.

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Road Map to Rug Identification

In past pre-cleaning inspection articles we discussed the potential to make costly mistakes when working with the expensive rugs of your clients. 

Problems with rugs stem from their construction, dyes, after-market treatments, pre-existing conditions and the effects of cleaning on the texture of the face yarns.

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American Sarouk

The last three installments of “The Rug Cleaning Specialist” have looked at key Persian rugs. This review would not be complete without including rugs from the Sarouk area.

  • Sarouk 1

    Close-clipped and tightly packed pile of fine yarn

  • Sarouk 2

    A sort of imitation of Axminster design – with simple sprays of flower patterns all over the carpet

  • Sarouk 3

    The knots are asymmetric and the wefts are blue, with the field of the rug containing small floral sprays

  • Sarouk 4

    The rug, as it wears and loses pile, can develop a mottled look

The town of Sarouk (Saruq) is located about 25 miles north of the city of Arak in western Iran. “Sarouk” is also used to denote the finest-quality rugs woven in the general Arak region once known as Sultanabad.

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