Don’t let the wool be pulled.
The first thing to keep in mind when shopping for a new Persian knotted rug is that not all carpets are created equal.
When looking for a good Persian or Oriental Rug you must first ignore its given name, this in fact tells us very little about its true quality. What is important on the other hand, perhaps the most important consideration, is the characteristics of wool used for the pile.
The quality of wool can vary from each sheep and area to the next, depending on the breed of sheep, climatic conditions, pasturage, and the particular customs relating to when and how the wool is shorn and processed. Different areas of a sheep’s fleece yield different qualities of wool, depending on the ratio between the thicker and stiffer sheep hair and the finer fibers of the wool.
When sourcing wool for our Indian designer carpets we use Bikaner or Tibetan wool, shorn in the spring or autumn periods to produce wool of finer and more translucent quality – ideal for fine carpet weaving by offering a soft to touch and highly durable carpet with lots of sheen and vibrancy.
Lower grade wools often used in lesser quality commercial carpet weaving is know as “skin” wool, which is removed chemically from dead animal skin – most typically this is New Zealand wool as a by product from the meat industry.
Machine made or tufted carpets (often confusingly termed as hand made) on the other hand tend to be mass produced goods using much lower grade materials altogether, often synthetic or at best skin wool.