Monday, December 3, 2012

What is a Persian Rug? What is an Oriental Persian Rug?

Sometimes a simple definition can help one understand a subject better.

A Persian rug: a hand woven rug or carpet made in Iran.  The term carpet in relation to this subject denotes a larger size but often the terms are interchangeable.  An antique Persian rug indicates an age of 100 years or more, strictly speaking.

Persia was officially renamed Iran in 1935 according to Merriam Webster's Geographical Dictionary.  If you look at this map of the former Persian Empire you can see that the borders were quite different in ancient times and have continued to change throughout history. My point being, if an antique rug was woven in 1850 in what was then classified as Persia it would still be considered a Persian rug, even if that location is not exactly within the current Iranian borders.

Oriental rug is the more general term for handwoven rugs and carpets.  An Oriental rug can be from India, China, Romania, Egypt, Afghanistan, Turkey or numerous other countries where they are woven.  Additional common terms in use are: Afghan rug, Chinese rug or Turkish rug but these are all, also Oriental Rugs.  

Is there such a thing as a Persian Oriental Rug?  Yes.  This would be an Oriental rug woven in Iran.
The term Persian Oriental rug is not widely used but logically applicable.  I noticed recently a number of searches with this phrasing so just thought I would comment on it.

Are machine woven rugs made in Iran?  Yes.  Very surprising but true.  Just do a simple search on Google for Iranian machine woven rugs and you will see numerous manufacturers.

If you're interested in Oriental rug definitions, have a look at my Definitions  page on my web site.

Below are a few unique Persian Rugs from my gallery.  The rugs featured are Persian tribal rugs.
The term "tribal" is defined on my definitions page for those of you new to the subject!

If you would like to see more beautiful rugs here is my site: 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Persian Tribal Rug in Contemporary Home!

Both of these photos were forwarded to me recently by a client featuring her new rug purchased at my gallery, Paradise Oriental Rugs, Inc. 

In the first photo you can clearly see the focal point of this living room is the stunning blue painting on the back wall.  I believe the rug works well in this space as it brings all together yet does not distract from the painting.  The clean lines and fantastic use of color in this home are impressive and demonstrate that not every color in a rug has to match exactly in order to be successfully placed.  This rug has a detailed tribal design but when seen as a whole does not appear to be busy or overwhelming in any way.

It is always very enjoyable for me to see photos of the rugs I sell in their new locations, so please do not hesitate to share when the mood strikes you.  For comments or suggestions you can always email me at:  Penny

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tree of Life Tribal Rug "at home!" in Santa Rosa, California.

I recently sold this Tree of Life rug to a client here in Sonoma County.  I believe this piece and the hallway runner shown in the last photo work quite well.  One of the factors involved in selecting the correct rug for the client's living room was the fact she had an extensive art collection displayed on her walls.

The living room was not large.  Her skillful decorating resulted in the space being very open and inviting. Additionally, there was an amazing piece of handmade furniture (the handmade credenza on the back wall) that one would not want to distract from.  What was needed was an aesthetically pleasing rug with the exact colors to pull all the art and furnishings together AND that emanated a peaceful, calming mood.  Also and always of paramount importance was finding a rug and runner that the client responded to emotionally and artistically.  Always the challenge.

I am pleased to say that this client's choices for her home could not have been better!

Just thought I would share.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

What are Oriental Rug Trappings?

The word trapping was originally used to describe decorative or utilitarian ornaments for horses such as bridle, saddle, blankets, etc. An early definition from the 1913 edition of Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary states: "Specifically, ornaments to be put on horses."  Other definitions I found included the terms adornments and decorations. 

Oriental rug trappings are functional of decorative items woven by tribal weavers used within the nomadic encampment or in their pastoral lifestyle.  A few examples are saddlebags, grain sacks (balashts) and storage bags which are called torbas.  Additional examples are tent bands, spindle bags, salt bags, and horse covers. 

Bag face: The front of an old or antique saddlebag, sometimes also called bag front.  Many collectors delight in these pieces as each tribal group has their own iconography, colors, wool type, etc.  Here are a few examples, the first two of which are from my private collection.

For more Oriental rug definitions, I invite you to the definitions page on my site.

Oriental Rug Definitions 

                                            Antique Qasqai Saddlebag 

                                                 Antique Kurdish Torba          

Antique Balouch Torba  


Saturday, September 15, 2012

10'3" x 13' 9" Persian Bijar. Gorgeous Tree of Life with Cypress and Willows!

This rug has arrived. 10 x 13 Persian Bijar (alternate spelling, Bidjar), take your pick. The rug is actually between a 10 x 13 and a 10 x 14.  Numerous photos are on my gallery pages.   I also did a short video on my You Tube Channel.  Here is some additional info:
Bijar, is a province in Iran.  This rug was woven in a small village within the Bijar Province.  Kurdish weavers, village workshop, 3 or 4 weavers working over a year, minimally to produce this piece. Map of Bijar, Iran.

This is a very special rug and I am thrilled to have it to offer for sale.  This is a new, collectible, investment quality piece in a traditional, antique Kurdish design.  There are actually two very well known designs within the field of this Persian carpet: The Tree of Life and the Cypress and Willow design both of which Kurdish weavers have used for centuries.  The body of this piece is heavy, the weaving very tight. Wool quality is exceptional and when the rug was completed, it was washed with soap and water.  No chemical finishes! The dyes are plant based, the wool is hand spun Persian wool. It will age magnificently but it truly looks like a very well preserved antique now.  One could easily use this in a home filled with antique rugs.  I honestly doubt there is an antique Bijar available on the current market this beautiful.  If there is, you should buy it!

Here are some photos from my gallery pages of weavers in the villages in the Bijar Province!  These are in gallery 8.  They have been up on my site for 4 or 5 years, since I first started carrying a few select Bijars from this world class production.

Feel free to call with any questions. Price available on request.    

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Beautiful 9 x 12 Heriz Rug in Client's Home.

Just returned from delivering and installing some rug pads and requested permission to take a photo.  Here is a beautiful 9 x 12 Heriz rug woven in Afghanistan, sold a little over a month ago from my gallery, .  The rug is new but woven in an antique design and works perfectly in a home built over 100 years ago, filled with antiques.  Notice the built in cabinetry, the solid oak table is over 100 years old, but mostly covered by a lovely linen tablecloth.  The rug look great...Hope you enjoy.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

10 x 13 Perfect Persian Bijar, Iran.

Have a look. This piece will be arriving soon at my gallery.  Actual size is 10' 3" x 13' 9".  Tightly woven with the heavy compact classic body of a genuine Persian Bijar, which it is. Glorious jewel tones brought to full fruition with this amazingly detailed drawing!  Classic Tree of Life design juxtaposed with the Cypress & Willow motif on a deep brick ground.  Accents colors and highlights of navy, butter yellow, a rainbow of blues, deep wine, blue-green, and more!  Woven with hand-spun wool dyed with plant based dyes in Iran by Kurdish weavers in the Bijar area.  I do believe this magnificent Persian Bijar carpet to be a work of art!
This is a  one-of-a-kind new rug woven with skill and heart.  Do call if you have some interest. All contact info on my site.
My gallery site.  

[alternate spelling, Bidjar]   

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Rugs at my Gallery

Here is a quick video of one of the new pieces that just arrived at my gallery.  I personally love the camels crossing the desert and the gorgeous light blue background highlighted against the misty, more deeply saturated border.  It's a winning combination.  Sometimes the weavers and designers get it "just right" and when this occurs it is nothing less than a woven piece of art.
10 x 14, North West Persian Design Carpet

Additionally, there are more.  Check it out!

Online gallery

Questions and phone calls welcome.  My cell is on the contact page of my site.
Gallery number: 707-823-3355
Paradise Oriental Rugs, Sebastopol, CA   

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Some Tips for Buying Rugs in Afghanistan, for our Servicemen!

In the last few years I have received numerous emails from United States Servicemen stationed in Afghanistan interested in purchasing a rug to take home when their tour was completed. This email came yesterday and below is my response.  I have removed the Major's name to protect his privacy but all else is included.  He was pleased to get my email and thanked me.  Hopefully, this information will be of some help to other serviceman looking to purchase good quality Afghan rugs.

Dear Ms. Krieger

I love your website!  I was wondering if you had any advice for dealing with the local rug dealers that are here in Afghanistan?  I purchased one rug a few years ago when I was here and absolutely love it.  Of course, I’m really not sure of the value of it but I really don’t care because I am not selling it.   The seller, a man nicknamed “Smiley” said the rug was from Mazar-I-Sharif but has a Turkman Gul pattern and is a beautiful deep red.  Does this make sense?  I would like to purchase one more before leaving.  Is there anything in particular I should look for?

I really suppose there is no reason you should take the time to answer my questions, but I would appreciate it if you did!  Thank you for any information you could provide!


Maj M W
Camp Bastion, Afghanistan

My response:

Dear M W,

Here is some info I sent to another person in Afghanistan with a few more details added.  Wow, I get a lot of these!  Hope you are safe!
Here is a link to an article on my blog talking about value. 
What makes a rug valuable? 

Yes, there are good quality Turkoman rugs from Mazar-I-Sharif.  The very best Turkoman rugs look like this: small Turkoman rug.
It's very hard to photograph red rugs but look for fine weave and this design.  This type of rug is called Khawja Roshnaie. I personally consider these some of the very best rugs available from Afghanistan. They have beautiful deep reds, usually with the above type of design or variations on this theme and when seen will command your attention.  They actually talk!

The current trend is to buy rugs woven with plant based dyes and hand-spun wool but there are/were many rugs from Afghanistan that are excellent such as the Turkoman rugs that are not usually veg dyes. The best Turkoman rugs are very finely woven. They are mostly red and some of them have a lot of heart. You should notice on the very best pieces that the weaver was careful to do the edges of the rug, very neatly, the lines of knots on the back will be tight and even, the rug will be slightly floppy but NOT LOOSE. The color should be a deep, wine red with navy, very dark navy is OK but not black accents. It's not easy to describe what occurs when you look at thousands of rugs but trying my best here.

Look at as many rugs as you can and since you are in a county where the cost of living is lower, try for a "best price".  Look for problems on the rug.  Is it crooked?  Any moth damage? Check the front and the back of the rug. Fold it in half. Do the sides match up? Does it lay evenly?  Also, you do not want a stiff rug as mentioned above. Is there color run?  Look carefully.  Ask to see the dealers best piece in a specific size.  Get his price. Then ask to see his least expensive rug in the same size. Get the price.  Compare the two.

The least mysterious aspect of the rug IS:  Is it beautiful?
Are the colors harmonious within the rug? Does it command your attention?  If you cannot take your eyes off the rug, I'd say the odds are good you have a potential keeper!  Now, go look at someone else's rugs and do that 3 or 4 times!  You'll start to get a clue.

Also, look over some of the rugs on my galleries. Or, do a search, put in Turkoman in the search box, then press the enter key on your keyboard.  Put the word Afghan in the search box or just browse. Rug gallery.

Also, on the veg dyed rugs, the wool should be good (smooth to the touch) and the colors VERY pleasing to the eye. The wool should not be stiff or dry but have a bit of a sheen. These do not have to be that tightly woven.  150 knots per square inch is good enough.  The design should not be blurry.  The best quality Afghan veg dyes types are breathtaking.

I also have a video channel that may be of help.  Just pick out something that interests you and have a look. All the rug videos are less than 3 minutes and there are a few with some Afghan rugs.
Oriental Rug Videos

Hope that helps! 

Best Regards,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Oriental Rug Wash, Now Available at Paradise Oriental Rugs, in Sebastopol, CA!

We will wash your handmade rugs with the utmost care.  Turn around time is usually a couple of weeks.
If you have any question, feel free to give us a call.

Paradise Oriental Rugs, Inc.
137 No. Main St.
Sebastopol, CA
Phone:  707-823-3355

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Are You a Rug Addict?

Do you love Oriental Rugs or Persian Rugs?  Have you lost control?  Join the club.  I recently went to a new wholesaler that did in fact have some scarce Persian rugs that I so needed.  Persian Gabbehs to be exact.  When I arrived his son ran out to the parking lot to assist me in locating the best spot, escorted me in and made me feel very welcome.  It was nice.  Upon entering the warehouse I clearly stated that I was only here for a look-see.  Well, it never happens quite like that.  You need it, you get it and somehow you make the money to pay it.  Suffice is to say when I left I had 18 new pieces in my vehicle and could not wait to get back to the shop to photograph all and get them all up on my web site.

The resources for good quality Persian tribal rugs are drying up like the Mojave Desert so when the call comes, I answer it.  Hopefully, this Persian Rug Embargo will not last forever.  My favorite of all the new rugs is above.

If you are like me, you might enjoy this article.
"How to Deal with an Oriental Rug Addiction!"

The UnderCoverRugLover. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fun day at the shop.  Adorable client fell in love with one of my rugs and this is what happened.  I've always recommended that one must touch and feel any rug under consideration but this young lady took it to a whole new level!  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

More Important than Oriental Rugs! Life!

Worldwide cultures in need of Fresh Drinking Water!
This is a short video about those in need of fresh drinking water.  I support this and am thinking of offering a percentage of every sale made through the end of the year to help.  Feedback?
My email is on the front page of my site:
Paradise Oriental Rugs, Inc., Sebastopol, CA


Friday, May 4, 2012

Collecting Antique Tribal Rugs

This is a great article on collecting antique rugs, published by the Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2010.
Worth a read.

Penny Krieger, owner
Paradise Oriental Rugs, Inc.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Here are a few of the new rugs in this week.  More Persian Gabbehs, a few pieces from Afghanistan and numerous smaller pieces.  I am continuously seeking new resources for vegetable dyed Persian tribal rugs as I have pretty much exhausted my normal resources of their best inventory.
The selection of available veg dyed Persian tribal rugs is getting more and more limited as we move into the second year of the Persian Rug Embargo.  The top two pieces are my favorites.  Have a look at my gallery pages to see all.  Gallery! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Video of Persian Nain and Isfahans!

As promised, here is a video of three of the very finely woven, wool and silk workshop rugs now available
at my gallery.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Finely woven Persian Isfahan, wool and silk.

Well, well, looks like the rug Gods smiled on me this week.  Recently acquired a number of beautiful, very finely woven rugs which I have just put up on my web site. Persian Isfahans, one lovely Nain and a couple more formal  Bijars.  They are a bit different from the tribal rugs I normally offer but rugs of merit in their own right.    My gallery pages!

To give you an idea, the above Isfahan has over 500 kpsi (knots per square inch) with the wool knots tied onto a silk foundation.  Additionally there are silk accents throughout this piece.  The design detail is fascinating. If you look the rug over carefully you will see the basic design is that of a prayer rug, with the pillars skilfully blended into the minor borders enclosing the vase design.  This Persian Isfahan was signed by the weaver and is my favorite of these recent additions.  I will be doing a video of all the new rugs in today, so look for it on my My You Tube Channel. in the immediate future.

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Favorite Dog Chewed My Favorite Rug!

Well, well, today was a good day. Actually two of my prized rugs were returned by Pamela Hiller, the "go to" gal for rug repair here in Sonoma County (actually the Bay Area) and I was pleased as punch!

I have a new dog you see and he has only been with me for a few months.  He is not perfect but almost.  He is still young, being about 18 months old.  He was pretty much thrown in the yard and forgotten about before I was lucky enough to become his new owner and best friend. He came into my life in early December.

He was picked up on the streets of Santa Rosa literally starving to death, with a pretty severe case of kennel  cough and an ear condition called fly strike whereby flies had eaten much of the hair at the tops of both ears.  He was weak and could barely eat.  This was his condition while he languished at the Santa Rosa Animal Control.  He had not been to a vet and had been there two days in the "found dogs section" when I saw his photo on their site. Apparently, they were backed up on their vet visits so I knew that I needed to move quickly. He was not available for adoption immediately as there was a  wait period for the owners to have a chance to get him back, he was sick and not neutered. The owners never came. I checked the site daily and the moment the wait time was up moved into action.  From that point forward, getting him out of there was the ONLY thing on my mind.  Sometimes you just KNOW.

I called my friend Nancy at Countryside rescue here is Santa Rosa.
Countryside Rescue, Santa Rosa, CA
I requested her help as she had told me earlier on, after my dog had passed away, if there was a dog at one of the pounds she could pull it for me. She knew I loved German Shepherds.  Poor Nancy, I was calling her 3 and 4 times a day. Her help was right there but she was trying to connect with the person in charge to get him released.

I had been up there 3 times and the 3rd time was the charm. The senior person in charge was now working and it was a go!  When I met this guy, I felt waves of love for a long lost friend.  He was sick but still waging his tail, sniff, sniff and very friendly.  Probably getting too myopic here but believe me, nice dog!

My new nameless dog was now with me and we were at the vet the next morning.  The attendants at the pound had guessed his age to be about 3 but they were totally off.  Both vets at Wikiup Veterinary   indicated he was about a year and a half old and definitely a pure bred German Shepherd Dog.  He weighted 64 lbs, nose running, coughing, weak and was sleeping about 20 hours a day. We got fantastic care at the vet and his health started improving immediately.  I was a bit "not there" at work for a few days, just to ensure he was going to pull through and he did like a champ!

I waited to name him as I wanted to see what he was like and get to know him better.  It came to me when we were out in the yard and he floated across the grass with his beautiful gait.  This was after about a week and he was starting to recover....never seen anything quite like it.  He looked so regal his name could only be  Prince!

Prince likes to chew.  He is now fat and sassy, not really fat but has gained weight (85 lbs!) and fully returned to heath. If I had to pick one word to describe him it would be "cheerful".  What a sweet guy!  He did not even know how to sit, if you can imagine that but luckily was fully housebroken.  His nickname is chewy but he is learning.

So, yes, he did chew the edges of two of my prized rugs but they have been fixed.
Here are some photos of the before and after on one of the rugs Pamela repaired.  Great job Pam!  I'll include her link for those that may have a dog issue!  And my beautiful Prince below...
Pamela Hiller, Oriental Rug Restoration!

Here is Prince early December, 2011.  He was very thin.  I had to put sheets down
on my rugs as his nose was running severely.

Prince, January 2012!  He looks even better now as you can see!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Great Article on Color by a Respected Rug Merchant!

As a retail store owner that sells colorful tribal rugs for the most part, I could not agree with this article more.
Douglas Stock is a respected antique rug dealer in Massachusetts so here is his recent article.  Enjoy!