Oriental Rugs – Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is an Oriental rug?
A. Oriental rugs are made with natural fiber, in geographical areas that include the Near East, Middle East, Far East and the Balkans. True Oriental rugs also share common structural characteristics.

Oriental rugs are either hand-knotted or flat-woven. In hand-knotted rugs, strands of yarn are tied into the flat-woven foundation, creating a pile and pattern. From this basic structure a wide variety of weaving styles and designs have developed. In flat-woven, pileless rugs, horizontal and vertical yarns form both the rug itself and the design.

Q. What is the difference between a Persian and a Persian design rug?
A. A true Persian rug is a hand-knotted rug made in the country of Iran. Prior to 1935 rugs being woven in Iran were considered ‘Persian ‘ rugs. Post 1935 rugs are considered Iranian rugs. A Persian design rug is any type of rug from any country exhibiting a Persian type pattern. Currently there are many countries replicating the old Persian design elements and motifs in rug manufacturing, including machine-made rugs.

Q. How do Oriental rugs get their name?
A. Originally the names of the oriental rugs referred to the city, village, or nomadic tribe where the rug was woven. Each had specific weaving techniques, patterns, and predominant colors used in creating their rugs. Using the cities to identify specific rug styles is no longer a rule of thumb since many patterns are now woven in countries other than their origin.The names are now more useful in describing a pattern rather than depicting the area where the rug was made.

Today, many rug names include a prefix that identifies their country of origin. For example, the rug name ‘Indo Kashan’ describes a rug with a Persian Kashan design that is woven in India. Likewise, a ‘Sino Kashan’ describes a Persian Kashan design rug that is woven in China. This is not always the case. New designs are sometimes given their own names by the wholesale rug companies that design and weave the rugs.

Q. What is the difference between hand knotted and hand made rugs?
A. All ‘hand knotted’ rugs are ‘hand made’. All ‘hand-made’ rugs are not necessarily ‘hand knotted’, like Killims and Soumacs. Industry standards insist that for a product to be labeled as ‘hand knotted’ it must actually be knotted by hand. Many other rugs are labeled and advertised as ‘hand made’ but are most often manufactured by tufting yarn into a machine woven backing with a hand held tufting machine.

Q. What rugs do you carry and what price range are they?
A. Atiyehs carries machine loomed and hand made rugs from industry leading manufacturers and importers. All rugs are hand selected for value and quality. We represent all rug styles from tribal, contemporary and traditional Persian designs. Hand made rug prices vary according to the intricacy of design (knot count), wool quality and country of origin, as well as uniqueness of each individual piece.

Q. What care is required for an Oriental rug?
A. First, purchase a firm pad on which to lay the rug. It protects the rug from wear, tear and slippage. Second, vacuuming your rug regularly will remove harmful grit and prolong its life. If a spill occurs, call us to have it professionally cleaned. If you have an emergency, we will advise you as needed.

Q. What are the important factors in purchasing an Oriental rug?
A. Establish a relationship with a reputable and well established dealer. Atiyeh Bros., Inc. has been in the business locally since 1900. Avoid going-out-of-business sales. Find a pattern and color scheme that is pleasing to you. For durability and value, the wool quality is extremely important. The number of knots per square inch determine the fineness or pattern definition.

Q. Where can I read about Oriental rugs?
A. Contact us to receive a free copy of The Mystique of Oriental Rugs published by the Oriental Rug Retailers of America, Inc. Atiyeh Bros. is a member of the organization.

Q. Is Atiyeh Bros. expensive?
A. We price our rugs, carpeting and services fairly, based on their quality. That is why we have been in business for over 100 years and 70% of our customers are repeats or referrals. Our regular prices are often less than other store’s sale prices for comparable quality.

Q. Should I be leery of going out of business (GOB) sales?
A. Yes! Every rug we sell is from our regular stock. At GOB sales, extra rugs are brought in, generally of lower quality, which importers have not been able to sell. Most often, a greater discount percentage does not mean the better price, let alone best value vs. quality. We have shopped other sales and find their claimed regular (before discount) prices are 2 to 3 times fair value / Atiyeh pricing.


Wall to Wall Carpeting – Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why should I consider wool?
A. Wool carpeting is renowned for its performance and wearing qualities. It is naturally soil and stain resistant and is naturally fire retardant. Wool gives added value to your home and is the ultimate statement of style, success and comfort. Wool is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer and it helps moderate temperature and humidity. Wool is naturally more static resistant than synthetic fibers.

Q. What should I look for in fine carpeting?
A. Premium fibers are important whether it is in nylon, 100% wool or a wool blend. Density (or how tightly stitched) affects appearance retention. The greater the yarn twist, the greater the performance and durability. The carpet backing can make a difference in the carpet seams and whether it will stretch or wrinkle.

Q. What are the three basic rules for carpet beauty?
A. Regular frequent vacuuming. Prompt clean-up of spills. Periodic professional cleaning.

Q. What are the major brands that I should look at or that you carry?
A. Atiyeh Bros. has aligned itself with only the industry leaders producing the finest nylon and wool products.

Q. I understand padding is very important. What do you recommend?
A. We carry only the best padding on the market. We recommend for most wall-to-wall carpet applications the premium rubber cushion in a 21 lb. density with anti-microbial treatment. For rugs we recommend the Eco Pad products on hard surfaces, and the Teebaud pad when rugs are placed on carpeting.

Q. When comparison shopping what should I know about pricing?
A. Make sure you get a total installed price. After our in-home or office visit, Atiyeh Bros. will give you the complete price. A proper total price will include: new carpeting & padding, installation, removal and disposal of old carpeting & pad, additional price for carpeting stairs and furniture moving.

Q. Are Atiyeh Bros. installers certified?
A. Yes. Our installers meet current certification standards set by Karastan, an industry leader.


Cleaning Services – Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How often should I have my wall-to-wall carpet cleaned?
A. Most carpet manufacturers and fiber producers recommend that your wall-to-wall carpet be cleaned every 12 to 24 months. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests even more frequent cleaning, depending on your carpet’s use.

Installed residential carpet, exposed to routine use, should be programmed for cleaning every 12 to 24 months. Carpet subjected to extreme soiling or heavy use, pets, particularly high traffic areas, or carpet installed in homes occupied by persons with allergy or respiratory problems require greater cleaning frequency. Carpet receiving limited traffic needs less frequent cleaning.

Consumers should not wait until their carpet appears soiled before cleaning. Significant soil accumulation at the base of the carpet fibers occurs long before it is visible at the fiber tips. Experts agree that clean carpet contributes not only to the overall aesthetics of your interior surroundings, but it plays a vital role in the healthful state of the overall environment in which people work, live, and spend the majority of their time. Regular vacuuming and immediate attention to spots and spills will keep your carpet cleaner longer.

Q. Do soil retardants really work?
A. Soil retardants can work very well when they are applied correctly. They are not an impenetrable barrier to stains and soil. Soil retardant doesn’t take the place of regular cleaning. Quality wool fibers are naturally soil retardant.

Q. What makes you better than other cleaners?
A. After more than 100 years the difference usually comes down to experience and judgment. Our focus is on doing the best possible job for you. We want new customers to become regular customers.

Q. Why are you more expensive?
A. We’re not more expensive when you compare results and value. Many companies ‘sell up’ after getting into your home with a low advertised price. Call us for a free estimate and you’ll find out how reasonably priced we are.

Q. What kind of spotter is the best to use on my carpet and on my upholstery?
A. Avoid using most carpet ‘spotters’. Please refer to our stain removal guide.

Q. Why do I need a pad for my rug?
A. The appropriate pad offers stability, minimizing movement of the rug and more importantly provides a shock absorber to diminish the impact foot traffic will otherwise place on the rug. The right pad can double the life of a rug or carpet.

Q. Do I need to move my furniture before you clean my carpets?
A. We ask that you move small delicate items, statuary and collectables. In most cases it is not necessary to move large furniture. We move most couches, chairs and tables.

Q. How do I get rid of odor from cat and dog urine?
A. Animal urine is the most common and troublesome problem the carpet or rug cleaner encounters. Chemical reaction between the urine and carpet or rug will vary depending on animal type, animal health, animal diet and of course the material and dye of the carpet or rug. Urine removal is the all-important first step and is most successfully accomplished by submersion washing of the contaminated piece. Enzyme treatment is a common second step to eliminate or to at least minimize lingering odor. Regardless of the effort to thoroughly apply these procedures, some urine may remain, an odor may continue and a permanent discoloration can exist because of dye change. Urine removal is always more successful when treated as soon as possible.

Q. Will my carpet need cleaning more often, once it is cleaned?
A. This question is a hold-over from decades past when detergents used would leave a slightly sticky residue that actually attracted soil, leading to a more rapid resoiling rate. Some cleaning systems still being used by other cleaners will leave residues that contribute to rapid resoiling.

We take great care to prevent unnecessary resoiling by using specially formulated detergents and improved extraction cleaning methods, leaving your carpet cleaner and in less frequent need of cleaning.

Q. How do I know if my rug is hand made or machine made?
A. Often a label exists on the back of machine made rugs describing the rug and its origin. Machine made fringe sewn on the ends is another telling characteristic of a machine made rug. The mystery is rarely solved that easily and generally requires inspection of the rug by a knowledgeable rug professional. We are happy to provide that expertise.

Q. Who should clean my oriental rug?
A. Specialty area rugs and Oriental rugs should not be cleaned in the home. In-plant cleaning, by an experienced, specially equipped professional rug cleaning firm assures you a safe and thorough cleaning.

With our professional in-plant rug cleaning service you can expect a more thorough removal of abrasive particulate soil and unhealthy allergens. Special attention is given to stubborn stains and follow-up procedures. In addition, the in-plant profesional has better control of fugitive dyes and dimensional stability.

Rapid drying, control of temperature and humidity guard against weakening of the rug`s foundation due to prolonged and improper drying techniques.

Q. Should I remove the cushion covers for upholstery cleaning?
A. No. The covers stay on the cushion so they keep their form. The fabric covers are not immersed; they are carefully hand cleaned with the cushions inside.

Q. Why do you need to take the furniture out of my home to clean?
A. We clean a great deal of furniture in the home but some fabrics need a controlled environment for the best possible results. Judgment and experience is critical in deciding how to safely clean your furniture whether we clean in your home or in our plant.

Q. Who are the Atiyeh Brothers?
A. Atiyeh Bros. was started and named after brothers George and Aziz in 1900. Brothers Richard, Edward and Victor, who served as a two-term Governor of the State of Oregon, carried on the business as the second generation until the mid 80’s. Now the business is run by third generation David Atiyeh and his partner Thomas Marantette.


Repair – Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How much should I spend to repair my rug?
A. Rug values can range from zero to thousands of dollars depending on many variables. Repair costs can range from inexpensive machine work to very costly hand reweaving. Atiyeh professionals can discuss all the variables and help you to reach the appropriate decision regarding rug repair. You can be confident in our knowledge of your rug and its value as well as our motivation to recommend what is right for the rug and your budget.

Q. What is the difference between binding and serging?
A. Both are machine applied edge finishes. Binding is the application of a cloth binding tape sewn to the raw edge of a rug. It is available in a multitude of colors. Atiyeh’s unique process includes a reinforcement tape glued directly to the rug backing. Todays backings require this reinforcement to assure durability of the applied binding.

Serging is the continuous wrapping of the edge with a colored yarn. Serging is generally more visible at the edge while binding is often obscured by the rug pile that lays over the edge of the rug. Both finishes are structurally sound when applied properly. Atiyeh professionals can help you decide which choice is best for your rug.

Q. Can a new fringe be added to my rug?
A. It is often appropriate to add a new fringe to a rug. Fringes are typically cotton, exposed to abuse and will wear more readily than the rug itself. Machine made fringes can be added inexpensively to machine made rugs. Atiyeh Bros. carries a full line of replacement fringes, including Karastan original fringe.

The fringe on a hand made rug is typically a continuation of the foundation of the rug and does not lend itself to replacement as readily. Yarn can be hand tied into the foundation of the rug, replacing areas where damage or wear has left a vacancy. Occasionally it is appropriate to add new hand tied fringe to the entire ends of rugs but more often it is most appropriate to structurally secure the ends in a different, more natural fashion. Let Atiyeh professionals advise you of all the options.

Q. When is it appropriate to reweave damaged areas on a rug?
A. Reweaving is almost never economically appropriate on a machine made rug. Even less valuable hand made rugs can not justify the expense of reweaving. However, the value of many hand made rugs readily deserve the effort and expense. Let Atiyeh professionals advise you of the options available, including less expensive patching procedures.