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Rug Identification Process

    We truly enjoy getting new hand-knotted rugs to share and sell. One of the exciting aspects about Oriental rugs is learning the distinct differences between them, which can help in identifying the origin of the rug.  Every rug is different and so are the people that make them.  Here is part of the process we use to verify the origin of a rug.


The design of a rug is often the first clue to where a rug originated from, but we can't rely on this alone since many villages and cities around the world produce reproduction rugs.

Some designs are repeated enough that you may find a similar design in a book of plates, however, you should expect there may be differences in the colors, motifs and borders.

Whether you find a design that looks similar or not, it's time to gather more information. If you found the design, take note of it. If you didn't find a design, we'll come back to that when we find more information.

The Flip Side

Hopefully at this point you have some clue to the design of the rug. When you flip the rug over and look at the back side, you want to examine a section of the rug including:

  • 1.) Fringe

  • 2.) Selvedge

  • 3.) Weave

Qashqai Carpet with wool fringe and a barber selvedge pattern.

Looking at the fringe can possibly give many clues to the origin of a rug. When you're observing the fringe, you're looking at the warps that extend through the whole length of the rug.

What material are you looking at?

Is it cotton, wool or silk...maybe goat hair? 

If you're looking at a dark colored, bristly fringe, you may be identifying a Luri rug with goat hair warps.

Cotton is typically white but is still found in different shades.


Silk typically has a yellowish tint to it. 

Wool is typically undyed for the fringe and comes in a variety of different shades. Sometimes multiple shades of wool are spun together to make warps, common by the Qashqai tribes of Southern Iran. If your warps are a dark gray wool, it's possible they were made from recycled wool in Afghanistan that gets dyed for rug production. 

Luri Goat Hair Fringe

1.) The Fringe


5.) The Selvedge

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