Rug Buying Tips

Visual Attributes

Hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn in a finished rug gives each piece a subtle variation in color tone. The quality is known as abrash and it often creates a kind of wave effect to the eye.

This quality enhances the charm of a rug. Without the inherent variation, the piece can look stiff or have a contrived appearance, almost too perfect, with the exception of Savonneries, Aubussons, Needlepoints and Tapestries that have always been made without color variation.

If, when looking at the rug you are considering, you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, your rug possesses some very positive attributes.

  • When you look at a rug, does it come to life?
  • Does it have richness and depth?
  • Is the texture appealing?
  • Do the colors emanate a delightful variation?

Practical Consideration

How well a carpet stands up to wear, and how tolerant it is to cleaning and maintenance, is an important indicator of quality. Inferior wool will wear faster and may not hold up in cleaning.

You'll most likely want to have your rug cleaned by a professional every two to three years, therefore your selection should be capable of standing up to constant use and regular cleaning.

You do not have to worry about colors running or changing when you have a high-quality rug cleaned or need to remove a stain. When a rug incurs a stain, soak the stained area immediately with water and press with a sponge or towel. Gently rub the area with lemon juice and re-absorb. Repeat this process until you have removed as much of the stain as possible. If necessary, call a professional cleaner. There will be no danger of color change on a rug made of good wool and stable dyes.

Certificate of Authenticity

Quality rugs are often accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, attesting to the genuine construction and materials for every rug. The information on the Certificate of Authenticity will match any identifying signature or emblematic information on the piece itself, and certifies that you are the original owner. Should you wish to sell your rug, a Certificate of Authenticity will enhance its value

Getting Started

On a room-by-room basis, determine the look you want to create on your budget. There is a wide variety of rugs to choose from at many price points.

Design & Color

First determine the mood you want for a room, e.g. formal or casual. The design personality and color of the rug selected will create the desired feeling for the room.
  • Formal rugs can anchor a room with a calming effect
  • Casual and fun elements are great for a family room
  • Bold medallions make a dramatic statement
  • Elegant fine lines and subdued colors have a quite pleasing effect
  • Vintage patterns are a traditional way to reminisce about their time and place
  • Pure colors are more formal and elegant, while Abrash (the blending of two or more colors) creates a broader color pallet and can be easier to decorate with
  • Rug patterns can work with the existing designs and fabrics in your room


  • Prioritize your rug purchases according to room size and importance
  • Each rug acquired will lessen your choices for future rug selections
  • Accent rugs and runners are easier to coordinate with the main rug than vice-versa

Room size

Room layout, size & walls will limit the dimensions for a comfortable fit.


A furniture setting suggests the minimum size rug needed that will create an island effect to visually hold the pieces together. There are no rules about on or off the edges. Simply, what feels right and functions best.


Foot pathways should avoid pivot points at the edges of rugs.


Use a tarp or sheet folded to size to determine your preferred rug sizes or mark the rug size on the floor with masking tape. Some areas can use a room size rug or an assortment of smaller rugs.

Types of Rugs

There are three types of rug to consider purchasing
  • Handmade, Flatweave or Knotted pile
  • Hand tufted
  • Machine made, Axminster or Wilton

Other factors that influence price
  • Materials wool, cotton, silk or synthetic fibers
  • Complexity of design
  • Number of colors used
  • Dying technique (vegetable or synthetic)
  • Knot count
  • Age and condition of antique and semi-antique rugs

Use of room & rug

  • Amount of traffic and soil
  • Are you looking for a piece of art for your floor that will last for a lifetime or a decorating accessory for the short term


  • Handmade weaving from natural fibers make an inviting soft appeal
  • Pattern clarity is achieved by using tight smooth finishes
  • Tribal artifacts, pillows and tapestries can be components of a well-decorated room


  • Area rugs are movable from room to room and house to house
  • Quality materials and construction will insure longevity of both the look and value of a fine rug
  • Handmade oriental rugs will last for generations with proper care and maintenance

Standard rug sizes

Handmade rugs will vary slightly.
2'x3'    5'x7'    9'x12'
3'x5'    6'x9'    10'x14'
4'x6'    8'x10'    12'x15'

Runners widths:  2'3, 2'6, 2'8, 3'
Runner lengths:   6', 8', 10', 12', 14', 16' and longer
Rounds:   6', 8', 10', 12' diameters
Squares:   6', 8', 10' etc

Custom rugs can be made in any size.

Color swatches

Please bring your color swatches and fabrics with you when shopping. Also include wood stains, ceramic tiles & counter top samples. Having these samples will help guide and make you a more confident shopper.

Come in and see our selection of rugs in various styles!

Or click a topic below to
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Rug Making
Rug Designs and Type
Rug Buying Tips
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