There are a few styles and types of rugs that have made a unique cross over from old style Oriental rugs into the Modern Rug era. Geometric patterns lend themselves to modern decor’ partly due to the clean lines and minimalism. Tribal rugs are a big part of the Oriental rugs being purchased now. This is partly due to the rich expression of the rugs that translates into a uniquely designed home, but also the fact that primitive type rug making tends to be basic. Three to five colors is common for tribal rugs. Simple pattens are easy and quick for weavers to make and they work great in American Modern home Decor’. Turkish rugs have always been strong in the rug market. Oushak rugs have a great color pallet and design that has been popular due to a faded look along with light beige background colors that look great on the popular floors like light color wood or limestone based tiles like travertine.
Pakistan has also stepped into this modern rug market with ingenuity that should be noted. Rugs coming out of Peshawar are very similar to Oushak in that they are light colored and well built. They differ in pattern. Peshawar rugs have curvy floral patterns but are minimalist compared to the busy floral nature of a Persian rug like Kashan. The fact that Pakistan has such a relatively short history as a country, means that the rugs designs are adopted. The adopting of other nontraditional designs seams to allow rug makers the freedom to create rugs that meet market needs as opposed to Persian rug makers who adhere to traditional styles even though it is not desired in the west which has lowered their market share over the last 30 years. Pakistan is filling in the gap in the market and has done a great job of building rugs with great value to the American consumer.
India has been fighting to take the majority of the rug market. Many weak and shortcut rugs are being sold through major rug stores across the country that are made in India. Using recycled foundational material, Dyeing rugs improperly, are just two of about 20 things that could happen in manufacturing that could negatively affect a consumer. In the world of gems there is the G.I.A. system to decide the value of a cut stone/gem. The rug world has no system to help consumers wisely decide what to buy. There are many factors that go into making an educated rug purchase. Without being able to see/ touch a rug before buying, consumers should only purchase from a company with a return policy. Often times Indian rugs uses a cheap grade of wool and it will not only feel scratchy, but it will not stop shedding due to short staple wool. This means that in order to make profit, the sheep was sheared before the wool was long enough. They simply didn’t want to wait to take their wool to market. Shorter than 4 inch lengths spun together will not be strong and will continue to shed throughout the rugs life.
There has been some talk about the toxic process that is used to create Rayon/ Viscose. Very strong acids are used to break down the plant material. That is a fact. How this acid is disposed of is agued and possibly hidden by some companies. It is a bad enough acid that we should not be dumping it near ground water or where any human exposure is possible. There is also some information coming out that shows that residue from this process is left on the viscose where it is then able to off gas in consumer homes and react to atmospheric moisture . Consumers report strange spots occurring on the rugs where nothing was spilled. It is speculated that leftover non rinsed acid is causing these spots. It is worrisome to some consumers to bring such harsh chemicals into the home especially with a product that pets and kids sometimes lay down on.
Viscose rugs will be a big part of the rug market for a long time. They have a place(no foot traffic or soil) and should be considered “disposable rugs”. Buy rugs from a company who is not afraid to tell you about the rugs they sell. Buy rugs on line from a company with a return policy. Buying a good rug is not more expensive than a poor quality rug. Modern rugs can include some classic cross over rugs like Oushak, Peshawar, Gabbeh, Chobi, Nepalize, Tribal, Kilims, etc.