Q: What should I look for when buying an Oriental rug?

A: Of course, the most important aspect about buying a fine rug is working with a knowledgeable rug retailer you can trust - one who can assure you that you're getting what you pay for. Then it comes down to aesthetics and budget. What colors do you like? Light or deep? Do you prefer traditional or more contemporary patterns? Florals? Geometrics? Are you trying to match certain fabrics or paint colors? Do you want a rug with a medallion or one with an all-over design? Do you want a new rug or an older one? Finally, how much do you want to spend? Remember, you can get good value in every price range.

Most interior designers and decorators recommend starting your décor with the rug - either as the backdrop or the focal point of the room. Once the rug is chosen, the rest of the room can be planned to match that palette.

If you've thought about the answers to some of these questions, call us before you come to Sharian and tell us what you have in mind. We'll be happy to pre-select appropriate rugs before you arrive.

Q: Why should I buy a fine rug?

A: Fine Oriental rugs have intrigued buyers for centuries. Not just because of their beauty and durability, but because of their investment quality. Many fine rugs improve with age, as their colors mellow and they develop lovely patinas. Their craftsmanship and individuality make them more than just floor-coverings - they're works of art.

The Oriental rugs we sell are made exclusively by hand. Working on a loom, the weaver knots colored wool yarn around cotton threads called warps. Knots are tied around the warp threads all the way across the rug, then a horizontal or weft thread is woven across the top of the knots and pounded down with a comb. Then another row is begun. A skilled weaver can tie from 10,000 to 14,000 knots in one day, which translates to just one inch across the entire width of a 6' x 9' rug with 160 knots per inch. It will take a weaver approximately five months to complete a rug of that size.

Q: How do I choose the right rug size for my space?

A: As a rule of thumb, in most rooms you'll probably want a space of 1.5 to 3 feet between the edge of the rug and the wall. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. When you're here, we can discuss the room size, use and furniture layout, and help you choose a rug that fits just right.

Q: How do I take care of my fine rug?

A:With proper care, Oriental rugs can last for generations. We recommend using rug padding to help protect rugs from wear, dirt and slippage.

Rugs should be professionally cleaned at least every one to three years, depending on the amount of traffic, environmental conditions and soil.

Vacuuming your rug regularly will remove harmful grit and loose soil. If your rug is fringed, be careful to keep the vacuum off the fringe to prevent damage. For antiques and flatweaves, it is preferable to use a carpet sweeper instead of a vacuum cleaner.

Q: How can I spot-clean my rug?

A: If a spill occurs, try to take care of it immediately. Carefully blot up spills using clean white tissues, napkins or towels. Be sure to blot only - do not rub. Rubbing can cause permanent damage to the rug fibers.

Test an inconspicuous area for colorfastness before you try to clean your rug with a cleaning agent. (For specific cleaning instructions, download our list of stain removal methods and spotting formulas).

Pretest the spot removal formula in an inconspicuous area of the rug. If the dye bleeds, have the rug professionally cleaned.

Do not overwet the rug. Work with small amounts of formula and blot frequently. Work from the outside of the spot toward the inside. Be patient since some stains respond slowly. And remember, haphazard attempts at cleaning may result in permanent stains.