How can I tell a quality handmade rug?
Knots per square inch
A quality area rug should possess the following: tight weave, soft luxurious wool, good design layout, and vivid colors. Often people only look at the weave or “knots per square inch” and ignore the materials and colors used. While knot count or KPSI is a good indicator of rug quality, it should not be the sole factor while shopping for quality area rugs. There are other attributes that should be considered.
Feel the wool. The softer it is, the finer it is. You are looking for a high lanolin content here. Kaoud Carpets & Rugs are mostly woven using 100% New Zealand wool which is considered some of the finest wool available. Feel the density of the pile. The harder it is to separate the wool, the better your rug will look over time as it will resist wear and matting. The rug must also be attractive and the colors should flow together peacefully and vividly.
Its a little known fact that finer hand knotted area rugs improve with age. This is due to the idea that as we walk on them the knots along the foundation get tighter from the increased tension placed on them. That is also why you see antique rugs that have been around for generations looking so go for their age. When taken care of properly with regular cleanings, a fine quality hand woven area rug will provide many years of comfort and joy under your feet!
If this question was asked twenty years ago, the answer would be Iran. Since then though, India , Pakistan , China and Turkey have far exceeded quality standards and are now making exceptional qualities after learning the trade from Persian weavers. It is not dependent on the country, but rather on each individual rug. Each country makes varying quality levels of rugs. Therefore in our opinion its best to evaluate each and every rug on its own merit and not by the country of origin. For example you can most certainly have an area rug hand woven in Pakistan or India for that matter that is actually finer and better quality than some area rugs from Iran. It really all depends on the weavers hand at the time and the particular raw materials used in the process.