ICS Magazine

RugLover Tour takes on NYC

October 24, 2011

NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2011 - When Stephen “Dusty” Roberts and Barry O’Connell get together, talk invariably turns to rugs. So it was inevitable that Roberts, a rug care industry personal coach, and O’Connell, a world-renowned oriental rug expert, would draw upon their mutual passion and expertise to create the Great NYC RugLover Tour - and, following the tour, to pass on the insight they gained leading a group of rug enthusiasts through the city’s most stunning collections of antique and high-end collectible rugs.

Held last weekend, the tour took participants to New York’s most prestigious showrooms, including those of Hagop Manoyan and the Nazmiyal Collection, New York’s leading Antique Oriental Rug store and were invited to a Christie’s auction preview with leading Washington DC rug dealer Mark Keshishian and America’s top rug scholar, Mr. Peter Saunders. The tour was concluded with a tour at the city’s oldest rug cleaning company, Rug Renovating.

“The Great NYC RugLover Tour gave participants an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the antique and high-end collectible rug industry,” O’Connell explained. “Our group came away with specialized knowledge and advice from the world’s rug experts.”

Among that knowledge: how to spot a high quality wool rug. Roberts and O’Connell offered six tips to help rug buyers get what they pay for.
  1. All wool is not created equal. “Scratch the rug’s surface,” Roberts advised. “If a little wool comes off, that’s fine, but if a lot comes loose, move on.”
  2. Look at the back. “If you can’t see the rug’s pattern on the back, it’s glued together and will have odor issues in the future,” said Roberts. Only buy a rug if you can see the pattern all the way through to the back.
  3. Beware of false sales. A store regularly advertising going-out-of-business sales or discounts of 50% or more is pulling a fast one, said O’Connell. Other rug sellers to avoid: traveling auctions and online auction sites. “Play it safe and buy from a rug dealer with a real storefront,” Roberts advised.
For a complete list of tips, click here.

“Having seen some of the world’s most exquisite rugs, our Great NYC RugLovers Tour participants now have an advantage when it comes to helping their clients purchase rugs in the future,” said O’Connell. “They know what to look for. The average consumer doesn’t have that advantage, but by remembering these tips, anyone can make a smart rug purchase.”