difference between persian and oriental rug oriental express las vegas

For centuries, people have prized oriental rugs for their beauty and their craftsmanship. Oriental rugs are in part prized because of how they are made. But what is the difference between an oriental and a Persian rug?

Oriental Express is Las Vegas’ oldest authentic rug washers. We’ve been serving Las Vegas and customers worldwide with our oriental rug cleaning since 1980. In addition to oriental rug cleaning, we also offer oriental and Persian rug repair, rug pads, microseals, and appraisals. Below, we’ll go over what exactly is the difference between an oriental and a Persian rug. Contact us today for your next oriental or Persian rug service!


Oriental rugs get their name from the Orient, which is the traditional name for the countries east of Europe. Originally, the Orient referred to the Near East, or the countries that we would call the Middle East. Today, the world “Orient” refers to most eastern Asian countries in all the Near East, Middle East, and Far East.

Thus, oriental rugs are rugs from the Orient. In a sense, this can be any Asian country. However, the best oriental rugs are made only in Asia from the countries of Iran, China, India, Russia, Turkey, Pakistan, Tibet, and Nepal.

The art of carpet weaving has been around for millenia, and like a lot of things, no one is sure who actually “invented” oriental rug weaving. In Iran, an oriental carpet from around 500 BC, known as the Pazyryk carpet, is considered the oldest existing example of oriental carpet and is the oldest example of a surviving carpet as well. Historical records show that Alexander II of Macedonia was dazzled by the carpets near the tomb of Cyrus the Great over 2500 years ago.

Scientists believe that due to the intricate nature of this particular carpet that this technique had to have occurred much earlier as it would have taken centuries to develop. This carpet is red in color and depicts a scene of deer and Persian horsemen. By the 6th century, Persian carpets were in most royal courts in the Middle East.


A Persian rug is a rug from Persia, which is the former name of Iran. The Persian rug was invented in ancient Persia. These rugs are known for their intricate knots, heavy textiles, and their beauty. Historians believe the Persian rug evolved from nomadic tribes who would weave these for their use as blankets and as rugs to lay on the ground when they moved their tents. Persian carpets were first mentioned by the ancient Greeks back in 400 BC. These rugs were highly valued and were given as diplomatic gifts. They were usually made out of wool and have always been highly-sought after.

Today, Persian rugs are banned by the US government, meaning no new Persian rugs can be imported. The only Persian rugs that can be bought and sold are Persian rugs that are currently here in the United States. This means authentic Persian rugs are extremely valuable, and the older your Persian rug is, the more it is worth. Oriental Express in Las Vegas warns potential buyers of Persian rugs to check its authenticity before paying for one.


  • All Persian rugs are oriental rugs, but not all oriental rugs are Persian.
  • Both are handmade, usually from wool or silk, and take at least a year or more to make. Different types of wool are used and some types of wool are more valuable than others.
  • All oriental and Persian rugs have colors and designs that have meaning and stand for objects and ideas.
  • Both oriental and Persian rugs increase in value over time.
  • Both must be hand washed.


  • Oriental rugs are handmade using looms. They are tied with symmetrical Ghiordes knots (double knots). Persian rugs are hand knotted in Iran using an asymmetrical or Senneh knot (single knot).
  • Persian rugs have more rounded, oriental designs and motifs, and convey more meaning than oriental rugs.
  • A Persian rug looks like it is made for royalty. The single knot technique allows the weaver to be more versatile and flamboyant than oriental rugs, allowing for much more intricate patterns and designs.


Oriental Express in Las Vegas understands the preciousness of your oriental or Persian rug. We’ve been in the oriental rug cleaning business for over 40 years, so we know a thing or two about how to keep your amazing treasure perfect in the washing process. Our technicians go through years of training to ensure your oriental rug is taken care of. We have a 100% guarantee for removing pet odors. We boast the only in-plant wash system designed specially for oriental and Persian rugs. We also offer fabric protection in the form of microseals.

Our oriental and Persian rug washing process is an amazing and lengthy process designed to ensure all of the dirt, grime, and odors are removed. The fact of the matter is that by the time you notice that your oriental or Persian rug needs cleaned, it is holding pounds of dirt and airborne contaminants. If you don’t wash your oriental or Persian rugs thoroughly, the dirt can begin to wear down the carpet fibers when you step on the carpet and grind the dirt into it repeatedly. Contact Oriental Express for all of your oriental carpet cleaning needs today!