Oriental rugs have been enjoyed for their beauty, durability and ease of maintenance for centuries. No one knows exactly how long rugs have been woven, but the art of weaving is mentioned in both the Old Testament and in Homer's Iliad, so it has been in practice for more than two thousand years. The oldest known oriental rug in existence is the Pazyryk Rug, which hangs in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and dates back to 500 B.C. It was found during the late 1940's by a Russian archaeologist in the grave of a Scythian warrior prince. Like royalty from many cultures, nobles were buried with their most valued possessions.
Oriental rugs are woven on a loom, with the carpet's warp threads attached to the loom's top and bottom, and the carpet's weft threads, which are used to secure the knots, running horizontally. The weaver has skeins of colored, wool yarn hanging overhead, which he or she uses to tie a knot across a pair of warp threads. After completing a row of knots, the weaver takes one or more weft threads and weaves them in or out of each warp thread. The weft threads and knots are then pushed down with a comb to firmly secure them.
Countries such as China, Pakistan, India, Romania, and Turkey are adapting their designs and colors to meet the needs of their American consumers. Ease of maintenance is one of the most appealing qualities of oriental rugs. Depending on the amount of traffic and vacuuming, an oriental rug can go five to ten years between cleanings. Unlike carpeting, you can roll it up and take it to your next home. With proper care it can be passed down from generation to generation.