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Lehigh Valley Living Magazine
 Date Published - March / 2008

  • This article originally found at: Lehigh Valley Living Magazine

The New Oriental Rug

Theresa Nejad is one of the owners of the Nejad Gallery and heads Nejad’s rug design department. During most of her 23 years in the business, Nejad says “traditional rugs outsold modern designs, about 90 percent to 10 percent – until about five years ago.” Now she estimates that modern designs comprise 25 percent of her sales.

Theresa and Ali Nejad

Among her dozen or so lines are numerous whimsical and transitional collections: Beach; Florals; Brights with blocks, confetti, large dots; Bucks County hook rugs; and Kids’ themes of puzzle pieces, gumballs or stripes, among others. “Popular 8 x 10 transitionals might retail in the $600 -$800 range,” she notes.

“Incredibly big these days are our animal skin designs,” says Nejad, “featuring beautiful solid centers and perhaps black/ivory hide or beige/brown zebra borders.”

“Not only do rugs serve as floor art,” she adds, “But in the 4 × 6 or 6 × 9 sizes, they’re also being hung in great rooms, where their warmth and texture provide fresh alternatives to mirrors and paintings.”

“The quality of the wool used, even more than the number of knots per square inch, and the skill of the weavers are among the factors that distinguish fine quality rugs,” Nejad says. She has partnerships with weavers in China, Iran, India and Pakistan, and contracts with those indigenous workshops for colors to coordinate with fabrics made by Schumacher, Waverly and Kravet, among others. “It can take a year or 18 months to weave a very fine rug,” notes Nejad, “costing $5,000 to $6,000.”

There’s a category very unlike the transitional rugs that consumers use for a number of years and then move or discard. Nejad has an entire floor devoted to antique (over 100 years old) and semi-antique (50 – 100 years old) previously owned rugs. “A Serapi loose weave could be worth between $50,000 to $100,000,” she notes. Nejad handles repairs and even invites e-mailed photos for estimates.

Lehigh Valley Living March 2008

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