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It must be emphasised that in the narrow sense one cannot precisely identify an oriental carpet simply by its design. The classical method used by experts is to study the weave. To the trained eye the source of any oriental rug can be ascertained by a quick glance at a small area of the back, even to the extent of pinpointing precisely its village of origin.

Nowadays, even expert carpet dealers can be confused over the correct identification of the provenance of a rug, in particular when rugs of identical colour and design are being made in another city. Most will usually accurately identify a rug’s origin by reference to the design and colours on the front of the piece. Thus, while the weave is the final arbiter, the usual guide is the design.

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