Once you start looking for rugs, you will find that there are many different price ranges, depending on how the product is made. The top of the line is the hand-knotted carpet, made of silk or wool. This is a very laborious technique and can take months of work to make one. It is the most expensive type of rug on the market, priced between $ 1,000 and $ 10,000 or more, depending on size and quality. It is often described as a Turkish or Persian carpet, although it could be produced in many parts of the world.
But there are many cheaper options. Many machine-made rugs use a weaving or tufting technique that replicates the style of the Persian rug. These tend to be less expensive because they use less manpower. But depending on the manufacturer, they can still be durable and beautiful.
The latest technology is machine printing. It is now possible to print designs on nylon and wool and this technology allows you to create new styles, such as watercolor patterns. Often they shouldn’t imitate a traditional Persian rug, but instead have attractive and colorful designs. And they’re very affordable with prices sometimes starting at under $ 100 for a small rug.
Finally, for the past 10 years, rugs made with organic fibers such as sisal or jute have been in vogue. They are relatively inexpensive because the materials are cheap and can be machine made. People think these rugs are easy to maintain, but Karolian points out that it often isn’t. Fibers absorb liquids and food can get stuck inside. It is best to leave them in areas away from food, such as an office, for example. “They can be really cute if you can’t afford a rug that is the right size for your space,” she says. “They are cheap, even large in size, so you can define your space however you like without spending too much money.”
ALWAYS MEASURE YOUR SPACE
When shopping from the sofa, you may be tempted to skip measuring the room in which you expect to lay the carpet. Websites feature rugs next to furniture, so it’s easy to believe you understand the size of the piece you’re looking at. Don’t be fooled. Always measure. “The carpets are very difficult to return,” says Karolian. “If you get the wrong size, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you get stuck with a rug you can’t use.”
If you really don’t know what size to buy, Karolian recommends this helpful apartment therapy manual. There are many creative ways to use both large and small rugs, but in some cases an incorrectly sized rug can make the room seem smaller than it is or make interaction with the space uncomfortable.
IF YOU HAVE A VERY LOW PRICE, IT IS PROBABLY NOT ETHICALLY PRODUCED
One last thing to consider: if you are considering purchasing a hand-knotted rug and find one that is much cheaper than others of its size, it may have been made using unethical work practices. Because carpets require such expensive manual labor, children are sometimes forced to make them in horrible conditions. Harvard academics published a study in 2014 documenting slave labor and child labor in the Indian carpet industry. If you’re interested in purchasing a hand-knotted rug, check if it’s certified by Good Weave, an organization that checks supply chains to make sure the rug is ethically made. “If the price looks too good to be true on a new hand-knotted rug, it probably is,” says Karolian.