What color is your carpet?

#1 Dec 4th, 2005, 09:44
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Mod note: This thread is the result of merging some carpet related discussions in different parts of the forum

Hi Everyone,

I'm going to India for the first time and i'd like to get some info on the cost of Indian Carpets. I understand that price depends on size and quality but i'd still like to know at least a ball-park idea of what they cost. I'm interested in a 4' x 6' or a little bigger size. I'd like to know the cost range of wool, wool-silk combo, and pure silk rugs for the size i'd like to buy. I'll be in Delhi and the triangle. Ill also have Indian friends to help with the buying which should help. Thanks everyone in advance.....George
Last edited by vaibhav_arora; Aug 14th, 2014 at 15:03..
#2 Dec 4th, 2005, 15:24
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How much do they cost? How much will they cost you? It all depends on how good you are at bargaining. The carpet-sellers are perhaps the masters of it, and will attempt to dazzle you with all of their different carpets. Their initial prices will be wildly higher than what they will eventually accept. My advice is to be wary of the ones who offer a free beer or soft drinks whilst you are viewing. Avoid the ones who accept credit cards. Never go in with a guide of any sort, as they will get a cut of the final price. The taxi driver who takes you there will also be getting a cut just for bringing you there - 200 rupees at least, probably more. The best thing to do is to visit several shops, try out your bargaining, but don't buy anything. Make a note of prices. Educate yourself as to what to look for. Eventually come back and purchase when you have a better idea as to how the system works. Leave your taxi a block away.

If you want to mail a carpet home, mail it yourself - don't let the carpet seller do it, as the one that arrives (if it does arrive at all) may not be the one that you purchased.

Carpet selling is the last great tourist mine-field. Go easy on yourself, don't rush, and try not to get too stressed out. Enjoy yourself.

Final comment: for ultimate peace of mind, never ever tell anyone else what you paid for a carpet, or ask them how much they bought theirs for. The 'good price' is nothing to do with what the carpet is worth, its what you are happy paying. Period.

Tim, currently in Ireland.
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#3 Dec 4th, 2005, 17:35
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I forgot to add that there is a way around this, if you don't mind paying a little extra: In India there are a number of government-run shops that sell items at a fixed price - bargaining is not required. Obviously the price is going to be a little more than you could get if you spend three hours doing all the bargaining yourself, but in the long run its not such a bad idea, and in western terms, the 'little extra' may be trivial to you compared to your time.

The most famous of these shops is in Delhi: it is called the 'Central Cottage Industries Emporium' and you will find it on the corner of Janpath and Tolstoy Marg. (Note that the phrase 'Central Cottage Industries has been hijacked by other shops, especially those master-bargainers the Kashmiris !) so don't be fooled by seeing the name elsewhere in Delhi.

There are also several State Emporiums with no-bargaining policies, run by the different state-governments, and they are well worth a visit too. Again, the price will be slightly higher and the range slightly smaller than other shops, but don't let that put you off. A visit to them can also be useful to find the base-price of an article you are interested in, but be aware that as far as carpets are concerned, unless you really know your subject, you won't be able to spot why one is more expensive than another. You will find most of the State Emporiums along Baba Kharak Singh Marg.

I should add that all the above-mentioned will also arrange shipping home of anything you buy there, and in *my experience*(caveat emptor) can be relied upon.

Tim, currently in Ireland.
#4 Dec 4th, 2005, 17:42
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"Carpet selling is the last great tourist mine-field. "
Agreed.

The real Cottage Industries Emporium is just opposite the Imperial Hotel. It is a very very tall building with folk art in the lawn out front. However their carpet prices are expensive. But ofcourse you don't have the stress of bargaining.

It's best to check out the prices in your own country. Then simply hope to pay somewhat less.

BTW. Leaving your taxi a block a way will make no difference in Delhi.
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#5 Dec 4th, 2005, 18:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimMakins Final comment: for ultimate peace of mind, never ever tell anyone else what you paid for a carpet, or ask them how much they bought theirs for. The 'good price' is nothing to do with what the carpet is worth, its what you are happy paying. Period.
That really is an excellent piece of advice - ultimately anything you buy is worth what YOU are prepared to pay for it.

I will put a plug in here for the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center in Darjeeling. I highly recommend their products and service.

They sell at a fixed price per square foot, regardless of the design. If they don't have what you want in the showroom (they only keep a limited stock) then order exactly what you want. Their waiting list is approximately 7 months long. We ordered a custom size (9' by 2'), specified the design and the colours we wanted and it arrived bang on time for the princely sum of about 150 including delivery. You really can't beat that for value.

Obviously these are heavy woolen carpets, not the fine silk Kashmiri type, but extreamly practical and woven to a high standard.
#6 Dec 4th, 2005, 19:49
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Carpet Info

Thanks everyone for the info so far. Anyone know the prices for the types and sizes i'm wondering about? I need to know so that i can see what i can afford. Thanks again......George
#7 Dec 4th, 2005, 21:06
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I'm curious about carpet prices too. Not buying, just curious!

There is a Dept store near my old London home with a fairly permanent 'half-price sale' on rugs, and a range that goes from tens to tens of thousands of GB Pounds. I noticed a few mongths ago that the fine silk ones (450 knots/inch) seemed to be about GBP50 a square foot.
#8 Dec 4th, 2005, 21:20
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Originally Posted by onegoodlife Thanks everyone for the info so far. Anyone know the prices for the types and sizes i'm wondering about? I need to know so that i can see what i can afford. Thanks again......George
The point is that there are no set prices for anything. What one person will get for 10 dollars, another person will get for 50 dollars. What one person will think over priced at 60 dollars, another will think a bargain at 150 dollars. What is available in a shop for 40 dollars can be bought from the guy who made it for 10 dollars. Its therefore pointless for anyone to try and give you any prices - there are just too many variables.

If you can afford to get to India, you will be able to afford a carpet that you like.
#9 Dec 4th, 2005, 21:38
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Many people go to India and feel the need to buy rugs even though they are not knowledgable on dyes, warps,wefts, KPSI (knots per square inch), silk & wool qualities of the pile etc. and most importantly the art of the negotiation.

As an example of cost, I have seen two near identical kashmiri silk rugs, one on a roadside emporium in Goa was for sale at $800.00, the other at an emporium in Agra for $8000.00 - with that range in mind you must know technically exactly what you are looking for or you will be in for some expensive lessons in Indian rugs - 101!

This is not to discourage but to encourage you to learn, read and do your research so that you are capable of asking the right questions when the carpets are spred and the negotiations get critical.

Finally even as an experienced Indian Rug-ee, I have to admit I have made some of my better deals/purchases of Indian rugs outside of India itself. They still tend to be considered second class weavings when lined up with the Persians, Caucasians, etc of the world. So keep that in mind if you don't find exactly what you are looking for at the budget that you have set.

Best of Luck!
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot

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Last edited by PeakXV; Dec 4th, 2005 at 22:42..
#10 Dec 4th, 2005, 22:17
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One of my major goals while in India is to purchase rugs, as such I've researched rugs extensively. My final conclusion is to wait and find something I really love and negotiate the price accordingly. Every rug has a different price and or value, there's the asthetics, how special is it and how special is it to YOU. If it's a rug with patterns and colors that you love then it has more value to you than lets say me..

Something that makes you smile every time you look at it has true value.

That said, the nicest carpets are in the far north and you can go to the villages that actually weave the carpets
#11 Dec 4th, 2005, 22:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeCasa ... ... ... Something that makes you smile every time you look at it has true value. ... ... ...
That's the way to shop
#12 Dec 4th, 2005, 22:26
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That's great info. I'm reading up on the rug details like KPSI, etc. and the info writen in this thread is helpful. While my Indian friends haven't bought rugs before i'm guessing that someone they know will know what prices are right for the different qualities, etc. Keep the good info coming, i appreciate it.....George
#13 Dec 4th, 2005, 22:30
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the nicest carpets are in the far north and you can go to the villages that actually weave the carpets

What are some of those northern villages and how far by train are they from Delhi?
#14 Dec 13th, 2005, 21:30
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Any Carpet Enthusiasts?

Who here is a carpet enthusiast? I was surfing the forums for a few weeks and couldn't find much information on Indian carpets. I'm just getting the hang of the search feature though, so apologies if there is a carpet thread somewhere. When I think of India, I *blush* think of Aladdin and the magic carpet! I like silk ones and apparently they are really cheap in India?
#15 Dec 13th, 2005, 22:35
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Carpets link

Here is a recent link that will answer some questions for you.

Cost of Rugs/Carpets

There are many different qualities of Silk carpets most of which come from the Kashmir region. Warp,weft, pile quality, dyes, Kpsi, and design all factor into and are used as bargaining chips by the extremely crafty sales pitches of Kashmiris in particular! There is also an increasing amount of Chinese silk rugs entering the market as well which may or may not be presented to you as such. If you are a novice and not use to bargaining it may be better to purchase at one of the many State run Emporiums or least go there and get an idea of ball-park prices so that you have a financial model from which to start. Best of Luck!
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