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Can I use a silk rug on the floor? Generally, no. Rugs fashioned from silk are among the finest and most delicate types of Oriental rugs, and are usually meant to be displayed by hanging on a wall. A reputable dealer will make sure you understand this from the start.

Do I need a pad for the rug? There's no law that says you must buy a pad for a fine Oriental rug. But there's no substitute for a pad's ability to help your rug hold up under the rigors of the household environment. Pads are necessary to prevent skidding or slipping, help cushion the impact of foot traffic, and insulate your rug from the floor.

Do I need to clean a rug? If cared for properly, a fine Oriental rug can last for generations. Periodic cleaning will greatly increase the chances of a rug retaining its beauty and value over many years, and a knowledgeable dealer will emphasize this aspect of rug ownership right from the beginning.

How do I clean the rug, and how often? To preserve your rug's beauty and value, it should be professionally cleaned on a periodic basis. An established dealer will either have a cleaning plant on the premises as a part of the business, or will have ongoing relationships with others who provide this service.

Can I vacuum an Oriental rug? If you're just picking up loose dirt, the answer is generally yes, though I advise customers to only use a machine with a beater bar. Regular vacuuming between cleanings will help prolong your rug's life, but remember - a fine Oriental rug is a hand-made work of fabric art, and care must be taken to treat it gently in all phases of cleaning and maintenance.

What are knots per square inch? Knots are what are used to hold the pile of the rug to the warps, or fabric base. In a fine Oriental rug, the knots are hand-tied, and visible by curling the base and looking between the fibers. Fine silk rugs can have as many as 800 knots per square inch.

What are the best quality dyes? There's no simple answer to this question. A knowledgeable dealer will be able to explain the difference between vegetable and chrome dyes, how their use has changed over the years, and outline the advantages of both.

What country makes the best carpets? This is another question to which there's no simple answer. A knowledgeable dealer will explain that certain regions specialize in certain styles of carpet. The dealer should ask you for more details about what you're looking for and generally refrain from making broad statements about carpets from a specific area.

Can you have a rug custom-made? The answer should be yes. A reputable and established dealer will have the connections with distributors, importers, and manufacturers to accommodate orders for rugs in special sizes, patterns or designs.
Do you store rugs? An established dealer will proudly explain how he or she stores rugs for customers. It's not as simple as just putting them in a locker - rugs need to be stored in certain ways so they aren't susceptible to damage, and examined regularly.

Can you appraise rugs? Almost every Oriental rug dealer will claim to be able to appraise rugs. Ask if they're certified - a certified appraiser is proud of the expertise he or she has accumulated and the industry recognition it symbolizes.

What about insurance? An established rug dealer should be very attentive to your insurance questions and be able to offer advice about how you should proceed. Valuable Oriental rugs are often covered by the "fine arts" portion of a homeowner's policy, and a knowledgeable dealer should be able to help guide you through the questions related to this issue.

How is the value of a rug determined? Each Oriental rug is a unique handmade creation of fabric art. There are many factors that go into determining its retail value, especially if it's a preowned rug - age, condition, country of origin, quality of the wools, dyes, and knotting. Establishing a value is as much an art as a science, and not everyone is qualified to do it competently.

How much should I pay for an Oriental rug? Only you can establish a budget for your Oriental rug purchase. My advice, however, is to be flexible, and don't look at the price tag more than you look at a rug. Experienced rug dealers will tell you they see it all the time - a customer falls in love with a rug and winds up purchasing it, even if it has no relation to the amount of money he or she expected to spend. You're going to live with the rug for a long time, so make sure you get one you'll love having in your home.

Is there such a thing as a perfect Oriental rug? A knowledgeable dealer will explain to you a time-honored tradition among weavers of fine Oriental rugs. Every rug has an imperfection deliberately woven into it. This is done according to custom, because only God can create something that's perfect, and it would be arrogant for mere mortals to aspire to the same standards.
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