16 Feb Why Are Rugs and Carpets So Costly and Why Is There So Much of Variation in its Pricing?
Why are carpets so expensive? You would have often asked yourself this question. So here you are in an enormous store with rugs and carpets spread out neatly everywhere as far as your eyes can see and you are so excited that you wish you could have them all. As a passionate oriental carpet lover, it is normal to dream about owning the finest pieces of carpets and rugs and add them to your collection.
But when we shake ourselves out of that dream and come down to terra firma, we know it is a wish that’s impossible to fulfill. Good quality, original oriental carpets come at a stiff price and entails an investment that is not easy for everyone to make. However, there are rugs and carpets that can fit within your limited budget, so go looking for them till you are ready for the bigger buys.
That brings us to the topic – Why are rugs and carpets so expensive? And why is there so much variation in their pricing?
If you go searching online for carpets and rugs, you will come across pieces that cost a bomb and you will also come across some collections that look within the reach of a common man with limited financial resources. So, what is the reason for such a huge variation in the pricing of rugs and carpets? Let’s dive in and find out.
A Guide To Help You Make The Best Buying Decisions
It is apparent to rugs and carpets buyers that prices are highly inconsistent and there is no thumb rule followed by dealers and manufacturers when they put a price tag on their creations. This guide reveals the truth and facts about the pricing of rugs and carpets so that the next time you go carpet shopping you are better informed and will know how to make the right buying decisions.
Factors That Determine The Price of A Carpet/Rug
According to experts, there are three key factors that determine the price of a carpet or a rug. They are:
- Construction Type
- Materials used
- Size of Carpets
The origin of the carpets also plays a significant role in its pricing.
When it comes to the construction of carpets and rugs, there are four types involved. The type of construction used in making carpets play an important role in its pricing.
Hand-Knotted and Hand-Woven Construction:
Hand-knotted and hand-woven carpets have great value as they are made by using the original technique of creating carpets. This was the method employed by Persian craftsmen and is known for its intrinsic style. This is not a monotonic method. There are many techniques used such as:
- Persian Knot
- Turkish Weave
- Flat Weave
- Loop and others
Rugs and carpets made using this method are expensive as they can take several months to complete even with the efforts of around five to seven people putting in their maximum efforts. The technique is completely manual and hence labor-intensive. There is extreme attention to detail in this style of carpet making with a focus on every thread and knot of the carpet.
Hand-knotted and hand-woven carpets are designed to last the longest of all varieties because they have a solid foundation of thread network crafted carefully for style and durability. Rugs and carpets that are hundreds of years old are created using this style and technique.
In the marketplace, these rugs and carpets have a huge demand and are extremely popular among carpet collectors and connoisseurs. That’s what makes these carpets the costliest. They are placed in the high-end, premium category by dealers. The cost varies within this premium category too according to the materials used. Silk threads are the costliest. You can find hand-woven carpets made of wool and viscose as well. They are less expensive than the silk varieties.
The density of the threads is another aspect that determines the price of hand-woven carpets. The density is measured in terms of knots per inch and can be gauged from the backside of the carpet. More densely woven carpets are known for their fine quality and have beautiful, intricate patterns. They are graded higher than other types of carpets and hence demand a premium price.
These types of carpets are in huge demand for designing purposes and can be seen in high-end places such as hotels, museums, celebrity homes, and designer carpet outlets. If they are looked after well and maintained properly, these rugs can easily last for more than a century and even beyond.
Hand-tufted carpets take time to make, and it may be months before a finished product is ready. While they are referred to as handmade, these carpets are not 100 percent manually crafted. Craftsmen are known to use a tool known as a tufting gun for the knotting part. A net mesh is looped to the carpet material and bounded by latex glue to make the whole thing compact and complete.
Hand-tufted rugs are beautiful and appear like a work of art, but most of them lack the density and that unique character seen in hand-knotted carpets and rugs. There is a clear and distinct manufactured look to these carpets. Another disadvantage is that hand-tufted carpets cannot be folded. They can only be rolled else the latex foundation at the back of the carpet may get damaged. That’s why cleaning, washing, transporting, and storing these carpets may present a problem. They must be handled with care. Hand-tufted carpets have a life span of around 10-15 years in most cases.
Carpets and rugs created using the hand-loomed method of construction have their history in the Jaquard looms, which were founded a few years ago. This technique has gained acceptance among carpet weavers, and the carpets made in this manner are regarded as handmade because it has the look and feel of handmade carpets.
A hand-loomed carpet can be completed in a few weeks if the patterns are simple and the loom has a side-wise movement. However, with loom structure and design evolving and better technology now available, it is possible to create a wider range of designs. That’s why are carpets so expensive.
A drawback of hand-loomed carpets is that they are not knotted. The threads are wrapped around a foundation and can come out if given a strong tug. Because of the loose threads. Cleaning and maintenance of these carpets can also be a problem. They have a life span of fewer than five years and are considered as a disposable class.
Machine-made carpets and rugs are made on looms operated by machines. They may look great in catalogs and online photographs but a closer view and feel will reveal a different story. The stamp of being a manufactured carpet is very evident. The knots are replaced by bead-like designs distributed all over the surface to create a pattern. They do not have that human touch value. However, here too, new technologies are being implemented and this is helping the manufacturers create unique and attractive patterns. These designs can look great in specific settings and have a market of their own.
Machine-made carpets are manufactured using cheap materials to ensure their commercial viability. Wool is the commonly used material. You can order machine-made carpets in Indian or Chinese wool (the low-end variety which often sheds a lot).
These types of carpets are difficult to clean because of their fragile construction and poor quality material. Most customers do not bother about its cleaning and maintenance. When the wear and tear process is visible, they simply discard the old ones and order a fresh one. Depending on the material used, the quality, and the traffic it attracts, machine-made carpets can last for around six years.
The best carpets are those made of natural materials. They last longer, look stunningly attractive, is non-toxic, and easiest to clean and maintain. These are the most commonly used materials for making the best carpets.
Wool is regarded as the numero uno of rug material – the undisputed favorite. They are not only durable but have other qualities as well that make them the perfect thread to create lovely and lasting carpets. Wool is known to hold dyes extremely well and have the natural ability to repel stains because of the presence of natural oils such as lanolin. It is also flame retardant.
However, no carpet is insulated from the effect of dirt and stains. They should be treated as quickly as possible. A reliable guide on how to treat stains must be used to ensure that the proper and standard processes are followed. Quick action is necessary because the longer a stain exists on a rug, the more likely it to dye and damage the wool.
The best wools are sourced from the mountainous regions of Afghanistan and New Zealand. They are of premium quality as they are extremely soft to touch and have a nice feel to them. It has a shiny appearance as well.
Carpets and rugs made using mountain wool mention the source of wool in the product description. You should look for it while buying woolen carpets and rugs online or from a brick and mortar store. Carpets made of wool sourced from China and India have an itchy feel to them, as they are not very soft. Also, they tend to shed a lot which has an adverse effect on the life of the carpet.
Silk carpets come with a tag of premium quality because of their natural softness and shiny appearance. These threads are extremely strong and also fine. Silk is the ideal material for creating carpets with fine weaves and intricate designs and patterns. Why are carpets so expensive? because of so fine silk materials. There are many other benefits of using carpets made of silk. They can withstand heavy traffic and have a premium look. They are generally used for display in big restaurants, star hotels, high-end homes, and other similar places.
The downside of using silk carpets and rugs is that they stain easily and can attract dirt and grime quickly. Cleaning and maintenance must also be done professionally using specialized cleaning processes and tools. Cost is another major deterrent. Silk carpets and rugs are extremely expensive, especially if the best quality threads are used throughout the product.
Viscose is often referred to as faux silk and made using various types of materials. They are all cellulose-based materials, which means it is taken from natural plant materials. The cellulose is altered to make viscose. The material cannot be classified as either natural or synthetic. It has a silky appearance and is not highly resistant to staining and wear and tear. The cost of viscose is nearly the same as medium grade wool.
Polyurethane appears as the finest of tubes that resemble wool in many ways. It even feels like wool to some extent. They are a poor substitute for wool, as they have a low resistance to wear and tear. Also, they cannot be cleaned once they develop dirt and stains. The only positive side to polyurethane is that they are cheap and hence can be replaced when needed without having to spend heavily.
Size of the Carpets
Almost all rugs and across all parts of the world are priced in terms of square foot or square meter. Quantity of material can affect the price then you got it Why are carpets so expensive? The larger piece you buy, the more money you will have to spend. You can identify or fix a budget first and then go carpet shopping to buy precisely what you are looking for.
It is important to look at the right size for your needs. A size that’s too big can overwhelm and overshadow everything. It will cover most of the flooring and can diminish the efforts put in while designing the floor. A rug that’s too small will not achieve the intended impact and purpose.
Apart from the above three factors, there is another important thing to consider while buying carpets, and that is the origin of the piece you are interested in.
Place of Manufacture
The cost of a rug is influenced by the location of the manufacturer or the loom. If the rug comes from a country that has cheap labor, and relatively liberal environmental laws, the cost will be cheaper. The cost may go up if the rugs are from those countries which levy various types of tariffs while importing and exporting raw materials and finished products. These costs are incorporated into the final price of the carpets and rugs, making them more expensive.
Carpets and rugs from countries known for their traditional skills and craftsmanship tend to be of the best quality. Persia (modern-day Iran) is synonymous with the Tabriz and Sultanabad rugs. Rugs from Caucasian regions such as Turkey and Russia are also extremely popular and fetch a premium price in the global market.
India is fast catching up with the other leading carpet and rug manufacturers in marketing its products to global consumers. While places like Agra and Amritsar in North India are already associated with rug making and have a lineage of traditional craftsmen, new looms are coming up in Jaipur and other places. Bhadohi (Jaipur) is a fast-emerging carpet industry.
Where To Buy Rugs and Carpets From?
Planning to buy rugs and carpets online but don’t know where to go? Istanbul Rug, Now you got is that why are carpets so expensive? This is the leading rug store in San Francisco, is a reliable resource and trusted by collectors, connoisseurs, and common customers alike for buying the best quality rugs and carpets at the most competitive prices. Istanbul Rug is known for its wide collection of rugs and carpets, all guaranteed for their quality and authenticity.