For many people around the world, rugs are more than simply a floor covering - they are a form of practical, functional artwork. Some of the most beautiful and best-constructed rugs in the marketplace today come from India. With so many different styles of rug to choose from, it can be confusing to identify the type of Indian rug to fit your needs. There are some basic guidelines which make it easier to identify most common Indian rugs.
First, ask the dealer or seller what the rug is called. Identifying rugs made in India can be as simple as finding out what the rug style is called. Common Indian rug styles are: Dhurrie, Jaipur, Agra, Kashmir, and Indo-mir. If your rug has one of these names, it is likely a rug of Indian origin. Indian rugs are most frequently made of wool or silk.
Next, look at the pattern of the rug. Indian rugs are influenced by Persian rug styles, but have a distinctive character of their own. Antique Indian rugs are often covered in a floral print that covers the entire rug. Indian rug design is known for realistic floral designs. Traditional rugs made in India tend to have asymmetrical designs, with flowers scattered throughout the rug center rather than mirroring each side. Modern Indian rugs can have a wide variety of designs and constructions, with influences ranging from traditional Persian to modern Chinese designs. They can be geometric or floral or any design in between. Use the internet to search for photos of Indian rugs for use in identifying the pattern of your Indian rug.
Beyond the name of the style and the pattern, Indian rugs can be recognized by the density of their knots. Knot density is the most technical way to determine the quality and construction of a rug from India. The standard measure used in identifying Indian rugs is number of knots per decimeter. To count knot density, flip the rug over, and count how many knots are found per decimeter, or ten by ten centimeter square. You can get a good estimate by counting one side of the square, and then multiplying that number by itself (squaring it). The higher the number, the more high-quality, and expensive, the rug is considered to be. The rarest rugs will have knot density counts of over 1,000 knots per decimeter.
Evaluating Indian rugs can be tricky, even for professional rug dealers. If you have doubts about the origin of your rug, consult a professional who can help you correctly identify your Indian rug.