Buying an Oriental Carpet
Text by Linda Wright / Styling by Yukie Mclean
Paige Albright, owner of Paige Albright Orientals, specializes in a wide variety of antique Oriental rugs and believes, "There's a story in every stitch." She admits rugs are practical, providing insulation, but notes her clients are more influenced by their beauty and history.
The stitches of the famous Pazyryk Carpet certainly have tales to tell. Found in 1948 in Siberia, the rug is credited with being the world's oldest surviving woven carpet. Literally frozen in time, it is thought to be from the 5th century BC, and it's debated whether it originated in Armenia or Persia (Iran), two prolific centers of carpet production. Along with Turkey, these areas are still hubs for the carpet business today.
"Rugs are classified by the name of the regions where they were woven," Paige explains. "An example would be Oushaks from Turkey." Carpets are also categorized as city rugs and tribal rugs. City rugs have more knots per inch, and therefore designs are more detailed. Tribal rugs are coarser with fewer knots, and the patterns are often geometric.