For those of us in the rug business, it is always interesting to see how rugs are presented to the public. Of particular interest is the way rugs are presented online. By this, we mean that many times the representation is no more than a two-dimensional design. If you are lucky, an additional note might be added as to the materials of construction and perhaps construction method.
This creates a difficult and stressful experience for you as a customer because frequently, there is no way to use the incomplete information to judge the price of it in relation to rugs that may look comparable but, in fact, are very different because of materials of construction, yarn density, type of construction (handmade or machine made), construction techniques, and precision of execution. What are the most readily available resources that a buyer can bring to bear in this comparison and evaluation process?
First, materials should always be specified. Are they natural or manmade? If natural, are they wool, silk, cotton, jute, or some other fiber? If man made, are they viscose, poly acrylic, polyester, polypropylene, or some other material? So, do your homework on materials. There are differences in each material with regard to how they feel, appear, and hold up over time, as well as how to care for them. At the very least, look at or request from the seller close-up texture shots of the rug which many times are sufficiently revealing to begin to differentiate.
Do not force yourself into a corner and pressure yourself to order with incomplete information. Most rug companies, whether brick and mortar or e-commerce, furniture stores that sell rugs, or flooring stores that sell rugs, should be able to provide detailed information for the rugs they sell. Be confident that you have fully investigated the various kinds of rugs in which you have an interest, especially in light of the anticipated use of and traffic expected across the rug.
Two-dimensional representation without close up texture shots, and /or your ability to look at a sample swatch or similar rug from the same rug company creates risk that a rug you perhaps have found to be a great deal because of low price, is actually a bad deal because it is cheaply made in some way or made of inferior materials.