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Tips for buying and caring for your Persian carpet

You don’t need to have been raised on the stories of Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and the Genie to see magic in Persian carpets.

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Persian carpets are beautiful and timeless: they’re sought-after décor features for many Australian homes.

They can also be quite expensive. So how do you tell the real McCoy and make a wise investment, selecting an authentic Persian rug that’s also a decorating statement?

And if you have a real Persian carpet, how do you care for it?

We sought the expertise of Tony Green, from The Rug Studio in Hobart, Tasmania, who has 40 years’ experience in floor coverings and is the master franchisee of Elite Carpet Cleaning for Tasmania.

While The Rug Studio sells all type of rugs, Tony specialises in aged Persian collectables and he’s shared his top selection and care tips.

What to look for when buying an authentic Persian carpet

  1. Authentic Persian carpets are hand-knotted. The tighter the knots, the better the quality.
  2. Flip the rug over to examine its back. Real Persian rugs don’t have a cloth back. You’ll be looking at the back of a tapestry.
  3. Authentic Persian rugs are one-offs because they are handmade. No two will ever be exactly identical. So if you are looking at a pile of carbon copies, you’re not looking at the real thing.
  4. Reputable dealers of authentic Persian rugs will provide a ‘certificate of authenticity’. This not only provides the country of origin but also the rug’s story.
  5. Pure wool is the most durable of the Persian rugs. It can withstand foot traffic. It’s made to be used and admired. Rub the palm of your hand across the face of the rug. It should not feel overly dry or stiff.
  6. Pick the rug up by the edge and see how much it weighs. A hard wearing rug will have some ‘body’ to it.
  7. If the shop sign says ‘Was $10,000. Now $4,000’ be wary. You pay for what you get.

“Good quality wool used in woven Persian wool rugs will actually improve the more it is walked on and will develop an antique patina or sheen,” rug expert Tony Green says.

How to care for your authentic Persian rug

If your rug seller says ‘steam clean away’, the likelihood is you have a synthetic machine-made Persian lookalike, says Tony Green.

The giveaway? Older Persian rugs use herbal dyes. Carpet cleaning professionals like Elite Carpet Cleaning will do a spot test first.

To care for your real Persian rug, Tony Green recommends:

  • Keep out of direct sunlight or rotate the floor covering so that sun exposure is evened out
  • Regularly vacuum your rug.

Handy hint – vac both sides to remove any moth or carpet beetle eggs.

With good advice, handy tips and knowledge of care, you can ‘make some magic’ as Genie would say, and live happily ever after with your Persian rug.

 
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