Small Carpet ID

susanne_robinaJune 1, 2006

Can anybody help me with the origin of this small carpet, whether it is wool, silk or mixed, made in Iran, India, China, Pakistan or Bradford, hand-made or machine and value (for insurance purposes only) - the former details being of most importance.

The carpet measures 45.5 cm x 120.5 cm or 16.7 inch x 47.2 inch excluding the fringes (thickness ca. 0.5 cm or 0.2 inch). The kpsi is around 290 (see picture 01- I only had a cm ruler here but 1 inch = 2.54 cm).

The full carpet and motive can be seen in picture 02 (not the best picture but you get the idea) with a close up of two of the four birds sitting in the tree (what kind of tree is this?) in picture 03 and a close up of the border in picture 04. The fringe can be seen in picture 05.

Both edges are sewn in such a way as I can only describe as being a very dense kind of blanket stitch which can be seen continuing onto the fringe in picture 05. A few strands of the fringe are knotted in two of the corners (lengthways which disintegrates my theory of it being for the purpose of hanging the carpet on the wall as it would have hung horizontally - the motive intended to be seen vertically).

The carpet seems to be in perfect condition with absolutely no wear - I know for certain it is more than 15 years old but otherwise I have no idea of its true age (I doubt it is antique because of its excellent condition). The pile is very soft and smooth to the touch but unevenly cut. It has a beautiful luster when moved around in the light. There are no labels or writing anywhere as far as i can see.

Any professional help would be most appreciated - if there are any questions please make them understandable in lay(wo)men terms as I am not in the carpet business. With thanks in advance for your answers.


P.S I do not know how to upload photographs here so anybody interested in helping me should send me an e-mail to

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Here are Susanne's pictures:

Linda C

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 8:49PM
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The only way to tell silk, wool or synthetic is with a microscope or a match.

The extremely symmetrical design and the uniform knotting makes me think machine-made, but I'd have to look at the knots in person to tell.

The use of green makes me almost certain it was not made by a Muslim (it's the Prophet's color, and they avoid using it).

It's a "prayer rug", also called a "niche" rug. Pattern is "Tree of Life", a very common motif.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 10:16AM
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I agree with Lazy...the fringe which aooears to be added is also an indicator.
The sheen makes me think it's rayon...mainly because I have never seen a silk machine made rug...
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 10:56AM
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Susanne, your rug is not machine made. It is a handwoven rug, which does appear to be silk and is woven on a cotton foundation. It is "double wefted" which you can see by the blue weft in the second picture.

I disagree that it is a prayer rug, but a rather what is referred to as a "Vase Design Rug." If you do a search of Vase Design rugs, you will come up with many similar examples.

The edges of all handmade rugs are wrapped with wool to protect the exposed warp ends. It is also not uncommon for this wrapping to extend over the fringe a bit. I don't see the fringe area you are describing as being knotted in the two corners, but that really isn't important.

Re the *branches* and what type of tree, it is likely that it isn't a tree at all, but rather the branches of the flowers.

Even though I am a Persian rug dealer, and can identify many rugs, sometimes even for the experienced, it's hard to pinpoint some specifics just from a picture. It's much easier to i.d. with the rug in front of me so I can see and feel it. My guess is the rug is from Pakistan or India. It has the typical Pakistani brownish/rust coloring. I don't feel this rug is particularly old, as it appears that the fringe has been tea dyed. At least on my monitor it is coming up uneven, and rugs woven on cotton foundations are generally a clean white color.

I wish I could give you a value based on a photo, but there are too many variables. If that's something you need, you can always contact a Persian Rug Dealer and they could assess it.

Be careful when sending this out to be cleaned. The dyes may not be stable, and silk rugs don't generally respond well to a wet washing, as it affects the fibers, and they tend to not lay in a cohesive fashion after getting wet.

Hope this helps. If you have other questins, just post.

LindaC--thanks for posting the pictures. It was very helpful to see.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 4:21PM
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if you like a master weaver iding your rug send photos to

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 11:06AM
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Check out, the people who run the site are always responding to readers comments. If you submit photos they will authenticate the rug, the link below describes the photos needed. From what I have seen they do a very fair job of authenticating. Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 5:10PM
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