Tiftickjian Oriental Rugs - Providing Oriental and Decorative area rugs to Buffalo and it's surrounding suburbs since 1899

Selecting your Rug

Over the past 30-40 years there have been many rugs produced which those of us in the rug trade would call poor quality design copies.

Online auctions or Big-Box stores that offer large discounts can mislead a customer into thinking the deal they are about to get is a once in a life-time deal. Like the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

What follows is a guide to help you become more informed about your rug purchase. It is not a substitute for getting advice from an expert in the field.

Rug Styles and Designs

When many people they think about an Oriental Rug it automatically brings to mind a picture of a traditional Persian Rug with it's bright colors and intricate floral design. Modern Oriental rugs however come in many styles and designs from traditional Persian and Oriental to contemporary and even southwestern designs.


  • Persian Rugs - known for having bright colors and intricate designs that generally can be classified as one of three categories: geometric, floral or pictorial.
  • Oriental Rugs - known for their warmth and beauty adding a feeling of luxury to a room. They are resilient and durable, holding up in high traffic areas
  • Contemporary - Characterized by bright colors and unusual shapes, these rugs can match drapes, wallpaper or furniture to enhance a room.

Rug Origination

Quality rugs are manufactured in many countries. If you were to ask which country provides the best quality, there is no clear answer. All countries produce many different quality rugs. That is, all countries produce poor as well as good quality rugs.

Currently India leads in providing the best combination of quality, price, color balance and decorative appeal. China is also competitive but their production is limited due to their higher labor costs.

Iran, the heart of ancient Persia, over the last decade has produced a lot of lower quality rugs which have been mass-marketed over the internet. Buyer Beware is ever more appropriate when speaking of buying 'Persian' rugs online. Know who you are dealing with.

Many other countries, such as Afganistan and Turkey, also weave rugs. We can supply information if requested.

Rug Weaving and Construction

Rugs can be either hand-woven or machine-made. Hand-Woven rugs because of their labor intensive construction are usually made in areas of the world where manual labor is less expensive such as China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and more.

  • Hand Woven - constructed of hand tied knots of rug fibers. Generally speaking, the more knots per square inch, the more expensive the rug but the quality of the fiber also helps determine the cost.
  • Machine Woven - the better made machined rugs have machine tied knots similar to the way a hand woven rug is constructed. Lesser quality rugs will use a latex coating to cement the fibers to the rug backing.

Rug Materials

How your rug looks, feels, it's durability and value have much to do with the rug materials used in it's construction. Rug materials generally fall into two catagories: Natural and Synthetic. Depending on what you hope to achieve with your rug purchase, certain materials will be a better choice than others.


Natural Fibers

  • Wool - although most wool comes from sheep, it can also have it's source in goats, llamas or alpacas. Wool is more durable than synthetics, absorbs dyes well and is naturally resistent to fire, water spills, stains and dust mites.
  • Cotton - is fairly strong and durable but slightly less so than wool. Cotton is often used in a blend with wool giving the rug a softer feel to it.
  • Sisal - Made from the leaves of the ‘Agave Sisalana’ plant, is widely used in rug making. Sisal is renowned for having long, fine fibers that allow it to be made into smooth textured yarn. Sisal rugs are anti-static, sound absorbing, flame resistant and long lasting.
  • Jute - known for durable yarns and fabrics because of its stability and firmness. Although it can be coarse and also susceptible to stains, jute rugs have a nice look to them.
  • Silk - the most expensive of the natural fibers used in rug making, silk adds a look of luster and shine to a rug. Because of it's cost it is often used in small quantities in blends.

Synthetic Fibers

  • Rayon - derived from the cellulose found in trees, Rayon has a similarity to silk in its look and feel. Rayon, however, will melt if it comes in contact with an open flame.
  • Nylon - known for uniformity and strength and stain resistance. Nylon can be produced in a variety of colors and is easily cleaned. Nylon rugs can be a good choice for under furniture or in areas of heavy traffic because of their resilient nature.
  • Acrylic - most often blended with other fibers to produce a rug that has the look of a wool rug, but at a lower cost.

A.S.Tiftickjian Oriental Rugs
5154 Main St.
Williamsville, NY 14221

Mark Tiftickjian, Proprietor
716-632-3908

We welcome your questions