Why are Turkish rugs so expensive?

There are a number of determining factors that go into the price of Turkish area rugs. The size and the shape of the rug, the materials used in the weaving process, the brilliance of the dyes, even the color and the design of the rug—which can tell us a lot about the piece’s region of origin— all have a bearing on the cost. Finally, the technique of how the rug was made can speak to the quality of the piece and thus, drive the price up.

What are Turkish rugs made of?

Most Turkish rugs for sale are made from three materials – wool, cotton and silk. Sometimes you can find a rug which combines all three. The type of material plays a large part in the cost of the rug you plan to purchase, as does the technique with which each material was prepared. Classic Turkish rugs are made of handspun yarns, while more contemporary pieces will often be made from machine-spun yarns. The former drives up the price of the rug, due to the time that was needed to prep the weaving materials by hand.

How to clean Turkish rugs at home?

When cleaning Turkish area rugs at home, you want to be gentle yet thorough. There are some do's and dont's whether you're performing routine maintenance every couple of weeks or you're addressing an emergency spill that threatens to stain the rug.

Vacuuming a Turkish Rug

Do vacuum your rug every couple of weeks. But don't use the beater bar in the cleaner head, use one of the brush attachments instead to pick up dirt, grime, and dust that has collected in the fibers. If you're still too timid to go with a vacuum, you can sweep the rug with a broom. This will be especially effective on the fringe at the sides.

Using a Cleaning Solution on Your Turkish Rug

The solution you select for cleaning the rug is important. Go with a neutral PH liquid cleanser and always avoid alternative cleaners with caustic chemicals. You don't want to use excessively hot water either. A squeegee can do the task of removing dirt and suds from the rug and never go against the direction of the fibers, always with the fibers.

Rinsing Your Rug

Once you're finished, a spray bottle with some water will help to rinse off any detergent left behind. Just be careful you don't make the fibers too wet. This will make it harder to dry the rug and could lead to damage to the fibers.

Drying the Rug

Be sure the rug is completely dry before laying it back down on the floor. Moisture can lead to mold and mildew which damages the weave of the rug. Dry the rug in an area with plenty of airflow, use a fan or two to help expedite progress. Do not use heat. Heat does not help the rug dry faster, it only helps to build moisture.

Lifting Stains and Odors

When a spill happens, grab some paper towels or a clean washcloth and blot up what's been spilled, but don't wipe as this will only drive the stain into the fibers of the rug. After you've soaked up the excess liquid, mix a little warm water and white vinegar and apply to the area where the spill was located. If you're having trouble and need something a little stronger, introduce baking soda into the mix and slather some of that on the rug. Let sit for about an hour and then pick it up.

What is the difference between Persian and Turkish rugs?

The most significant difference between the two is found in the knots. Each rug has a distinct technique by which the knots were created. Turkish rugs are made with a double knot, Persian rugs made with a single knot. Aesthetically, most Turkish rugs feature geometric and straight patterns, while Persian rugs feature curved patterns that resemble those you would find on an Oriental rug.

The Turkish knot, also called a Ghiordes knot, is a symmetrical knot typically used in thicker rugs, and most frequently found in pieces from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, and northwestern Iran.

The Persian knot, or Senneh knot, is asymmetrical: one half is tied tightly around a warp and the other half is left loose, allowing for knots which can be more tightly pressed together. This high knot density makes them ideal for rugs that feature highly-detailed and complex motifs. It’s most commonly used in rugs from India, Pakistan, and eastern Iran.

How are Turkish rugs made?

For hand-knotted rugs (as opposed to kilims, or flatweave rugs), the knot is formed around two warps, each end of the pile thread is woven around both warps and then drawn down. Turkish area rugs have been made this way throughout history and it's the handwoven technique along with the compelling patterns that continue to capture the imagination of rug owners across the globe. Turkish rug weavers have passed down this remarkable symmetrical knotting technique from one generation to the next.