How to check if a rug is an authentic Persian rug
Buying an authentic Persian rug is a bright, colorful and stylish way to brighten up your room while adding a bit of an unusual, exotic touch. A real, unique, handmade rug will be very durable and should last for years and years, so while it may cost a little more than the generic, mass-produced, machine-made piece from the rug store, it should last a long time longer and be a worthwhile investment. However, the United States embargo on Iranian products since September 2010, banning the importation of all Iranian products into America, including carpets, pistachios, and caviar, has made it more difficult to purchase authentic products. While it is perfectly legal to trade in rugs that are already in the country, it is illegal to bring new pieces into the United States. This has led to the proliferation of fake carpets that are not genuine “Persian” pieces. Therefore, it is very important to be able to determine whether or not the piece you are planning to purchase is an authentic Persian rug.
Many dealers will offer their rugs and carpets with certificates of authenticity. While this is a good start and you should never buy a rug without one, the certificate does not provide conclusive proof of the rug’s authenticity. If the seller is unscrupulous enough to sell you a fake Persian rug, he is probably deceitful enough to try to forge a certificate of authenticity. Genuine certificates will state the rug’s origin, size, age, price and date of purchase; if the facts in the certificate do not exactly match the details of the item purchased, then the certificate may be fake. This certificate is also useful for insurance purposes.
Always look at the back of a rug first when trying to determine its authenticity. You should be able to visibly see the rug pattern on the back of the rug as well as the front, but it should be obvious which side is which. On closer inspection, you should be able to spot slight imperfections: this is actually a good sign. As all authentic Persian rugs are handmade, they are bound to have slight imperfections due to the nature of the weaving process. If the rug looks too perfect, it’s probably a machine-made fake.
Check the carpet tassels. Tassels are another natural part of the weaving process, so they should be an integrated part of the rug and made of the same material as the main part of the piece. If the tassels are obviously glued on or don’t look like a proper part of the rug, then the rug is probably fake.
Try folding or creasing the rug: an authentic Persian rug should not be able to withstand a crease, and if your rug can, then it is probably not an authentic piece. The real item will always lie back with ease after being rolled or bent.
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