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Persian & Oriental silk rugs are the most intricate, and often most valuable, of all hand-knotted rugs. The fine yet strong silk fibers used in these rugs allow more knots per square inch to be tied giving a clearer pattern with more detail and increased likeness to real-life.
Many Persian & Oriental rugs are wool, often 'kork' wool or merino and have silk details. The white areas in these fine rugs use silk details to give them added luxury and depth. Other rugs are knotted in wool but based on a silk, rather than cotton, foundation. This gives the rug strength yet flexibility while allowing for tighter, more accurate knotting than thicker strands of cotton would. Some rugs can be made from silk but woven on a cotton foundation, these tend to be larger pieces with lower knot counts.
A typical Persian or Oriental rug made in wool might have between 100 and 300 knots per square inch - a typical 100% silk rug on the other hand would have between 300 and 600 KPSI. As a result, weaving the rug will require 3-4 times the amount of work which becomes more skilled the more intricate the pattern; meaning at least 3-4 times the price. However, silk rugs are well worth the investment. Not only are they beautiful works of art that can be admired for generations to come but some of the most expensive rugs ever sold at public auction are silk.Some of the finest silk rugs can have more than 1,000 knots per square inch but these are extremely rare and most likely found in museums or private collections.