Serapi and Heriz Rugs

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Closeup of a Heriz rug

Serapi and Heriz rugs are beautiful rugs that will last the test of time. While Heriz rugs are commonly found, Serapi rugs are rare. Sam Presnell, owner of The Rug Gallery, discusses the differences and similarities between Serapi and Heriz rugs. Listen or read more to find out about their beautiful designs and value.

John Maher: Welcome to The Rug Gallery with Sam Presnell. The Rug Gallery is an Oriental rug company and carpet store in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m John Maher and I’m here with the owner of The Rug Gallery, Sam Presnell. Hi, Sam.

Sam Presnell: Hi, John.

John: Sam, today we’re talking about Heriz and Serapi rugs. What is a Heriz rug?

Sam: Heriz rug is actually a name of a town or an area or village in northwestern Iran. That’s basically the main area where rugs are traded. Basically, a lot of the names you see in Persian rugs are actually names of cities or towns or villages.

Differences Between Serapi and Heriz Rugs 

John: Then a Serapi rug. What is that and how is it different or similar from Heriz?

Sam: Serapi. Well, actually there is no town called Serapi. A lot of people get confused about that. They think it’s in a particular area. It’s in the same area basically, but the difference between Serapi and Heriz is the fineness of the weave. You have a much finer woven in Serapi. Much, much finer.

Heriz and Serapi Rugs Versus Other Types of Rugs 

John: What makes this type of rug different from other types of rugs?

Sam: I think it’s the design. I think they’ve really hit on a design that’s become timeless. It’s one of the few rugs that have really stood the test of time and [are] still popular today as it was 100 years ago. Very few things you can say that about design-wise, especially in our business. Such a fashion-forward business that something can withstand that amount of time and still have the ability to sell. It’s really just a beautiful design. The best way to describe it is—there is other types of Serapis so don’t get me, there’s a 100% this is … everything is this way but it’s 90% probably what I call explosive geometric medallions in the center of the rug that just fans out into the corners. Then, there’s just this corner medallion [that] are basically the same … that arc very geometric and that’s kind of, that’s the way to describe it verbally.

John: This would be maybe what we would typically think of when we think of an older Oriental rug. Maybe you’ve got those reds and blues and that sort of medallion what you call it in the middle surrounded by a border on the outside. That sort of typical thing we think of when we think of an Oriental rug.

Sam: Yes, again 95% of the time Heriz is red-navy, no question about it. That’s very common. You have different shades of those colorations but that’s very common and very popular and classic.

Color Variety

John: The other colors or things that the Heriz and Serapi rugs come in?

Sam: The rare ones are the ivories, especially with Serapis. You will find a few ivory Serapis and those bring in the megabucks when you do because they are so unusual.

Where to Place a Serapi or Heriz Rug 

John: Interesting. What rooms in my home should I use a Heriz or Serapi rug and where does it look nice?

Sam: Well, I think it’s one of those rugs that just fits everywhere. I see it used in every room in the house and it’s beautiful in every room. I’m a big fan and I don’t think it has to be a certain way. Being that it’s geometric, it fits nicely with very casual looks as well as beat-up furniture or even shaggy-chic type stuff and also beautiful with antiques as well. It’s a very unique rug as far as its adaptability to look great in so many different situations.

Typical Price

John: You mentioned that the Serapi rugs have a more fine weave. Does that make them a little bit more expensive than the standard Heriz rugs too?

Sam: Yes. There’s more than a little bit expensive. It is very expensive because of the rarity of them. If you find one in good shape they are bringing huge dollars. I try to put a percentage on it, but if you have a Heriz they are more like an everyday type of rug you would find in the market. Very common, mass-produced. But a Serapi is not like that. It’s more of a collectible and you can find them anywhere between tens of thousands to more than six figures rugs sometimes for a big one.

John: Any final thoughts on Heriz and Serapi rugs?

Sam: Well, my big thought is that I just think it’s just one of those fantastic rugs. If you own one it’s a great rug to own it’s very popular. Usually, if there is anything that you can return value to what you spent, they are one or a few rugs maybe that you can do that with.

John: All right. That’s great information, Sam. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Sam: You’re welcome, John.

John: For more information about Sam, The Rug Gallery, and Oriental rugs and carpets, visit [] or call 513-793- 9505. Make sure you catch the latest episodes by subscribing to this podcast on iTunes, and if you could take the time to give us a review on iTunes as well, would appreciate that. I’m John Maher, see you next time on The Rug Gallery.

Categories: Ask Sam, Rug

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