Tips from New Moon on Becoming a Rug Connoisseur



A higher knot count does not always equate to better quality. Quality is primarily determined by the caliber of materials used and the craftsmanship and skill used to tie each knot.

Rugs with a higher knot count are more expensive since more materials are needed. The plies of wool or silk get thinner as the knot count gets higher. Labor is also more expensive since there are more knots to be tied.

Knot count is measured by the number of knots per square inch. To measure knot count, simply take a ruler and a fine pointed instrument and map out one inch horizontally and one inch vertically. Rugs tied with a Persian or Tibetan knot generally have a “depressed” warp, so only ½ of the knot shows on the back horizontally. Each warp counted horizontally multiplied by the number of knots vertically will give you the overall knot count.


When deciding on a rug pad, we usually advise against rubber, foam, jute or hair fibers. All have a tendency to degrade over time and can sometimes cause damage to hardwood floors. Thicker is not always better. A pad with too high a profile can cause a tripping hazard. We recommend an open-weave PVC material which doesn’t degrade or damage floors. New Moon carries their own brand endorsed by owner and rug expert, John Kurtz.


In Tibetan weaving, look for all Tibetan wool – by far the best quality wool, not to be confused with less expensive, shorter-staple New Zealand wool. Chinese silk is also considered more desirable than Indian silk. Finer quality material leads to a finer quality rug. Hand-carding and hand-spinning add to the quality of the finished rug.


“Crossed” weaving was always the traditional foundation used in Tibetan weaving since the beginning of rug weaving. “Crossing” the warps creates a virtually unbreakable foundation, assuring generations of wearability. There is now an alternative method of constructing the foundation – a shortcut that does not “cross” the warps. As with most things, the traditional method is usually the better choice, even though it may be somewhat more costly and labor intensive. A rug is only as good as its foundation.


Although it may create an instant shine, the strong chemical washes given to most all new rugs strip the wool of its lanolin, which is a natural stain repellent. New Moon rugs, when new, may not appear as shiny as some others, but there is a reason for that. New Moon rugs are not given harsh chemical washes. The natural patina reveals itself after a few years of exposure to light and air, actually improving with age. With a bit of care, a rug washed only with soap and water will improve with age, developing a soft, silky patina.


The first line of defense against soiling is the vacuum cleaner. Rugs should be vacuumed thoroughly and fairly often, and if the rug is small enough, occasionally turned over and vacuumed on the back. To clean the foundation, turn the rug face down, and use an upright vacuum with a beater bar. Using the beater bar on the back of the rug will beat out the grit from the rug’s foundation. Vacuum and then fold the rug back and vacuum up the dust that will fall to the floor. Repeat the process until no more dust comes out of the rug. When vacuuming the top of the rug, use the soft brush, or smooth head only; the beater bar is unnecessarily harsh for the pile of a hand-knotted rug.


With rugs that are washed without chemicals (like New Moon’s), the natural lanolin remains in the fibers and most spills will bead up and can be removed easily with a paper towel if caught quickly. If a stain has the chance to soak in, plain cold water can be used to saturate the spot and the moisture can be blotted up with paper towels. When drying, the rug should be lifted enough so that it can air dry from both the top and bottom. Do not use chemicals on a fine, hand-woven rug….soap and water goes a long way! For detailed stain removal, consult a professional as soon as possible.

For professional cleaning, rugs should be hand-washed using only soap and water or mild detergent. A reputable cleaner that deals with fine antique rugs would be likely to provide hand-washing.

“I was walking past a rug gallery and was frozen in place by the iridescence of one of your rugs.”

Retail Client – Menlo Park, CA

"I can not begin to tell you how happy we are with the rug! It is truly perfect. I smile every time I walk down the stairs. Thank you.”

Kim Oxholm – Retail Client – Glenside, PA

“Thanks so much for preparing those custom renderings. They are great. I really want them! The good thing is that I have stopped looking and KNOW what I want. In the meantime, I will dream about your rugs and hopefully order them this year. Thanks for understanding and trying your best to work with me. You {Erika Kurtz} and your dad {John Kurtz} couldn't have been more pleasant to work with.”

Retail Client – Ridgewood, NJ

“I have been looking for a 6x9 rug for my dining area and was pleasantly surprised to see your sale items. In the ideal world, the rug would coordinate with the Goldleaf rug that I purchased from you several years ago. I had a terrific experience working with you in the past and would be glad to do so again if I can find a rug that would suit.”

Retail Client – North Bergen, NJ

“Always a pleasure working with a local family business... they were extremely accommodating to my needs... allowing me to see the rugs in my space before I had to make a decision...& even delivered them for me!! Always a pleasure to shop & admire all the varieties of art...just wish I could afford everything in the store! Thanks again everyone!!!”

Retail Client – Wilmington, DE

“New Moon rugs are awesome quality and even look better 'live' than on the Web. They are great to deal with and seem like a really good company. I have 2 now with another 2 on the way!!”

Caroline Donahue – Retail Client – Atherton, CA

“WE LOVE OUR RUGS. They make such a difference now that we have taken away the old ones that they made room for ... little moments of joy ... a la JD Kurtz! And now we have our "Tangent" out as well and our 2nd floor is starting to look serene, at least at floor level.”

Retail Client – Philadelphia, PA

“We have two New Moon ‘Persia’ rugs. They are the most beautiful pieces of furniture we own and they've been our best household investments. The carpets make our home warm and inviting, indeed they are ‘art we use every day.’ Our children learned to walk on them and in 10 years of heavy family use I can certify that the rugs seem to be made of iron as they've held up beautifully. We purchased the carpets through a dealer but when we've called New Moon in Delaware the staff have bent over backwards to be helpful. New Moon has great products made by great people!”

Stephen Daane M.D. – Retail Client – Oakland, CA

“What an absolutely gorgeous fit! The rug is totally perfect in my bedroom and I just adore it! Thank you so much!”

Retail Client – West Hartford, CT

“They arrived this afternoon. Beautiful! Hard to choose one, but I think the larger one wins for size. We are spending some time trying to find a place for the smaller one since we cannot bear to part with it. Thanks for getting the rugs to us in good time. They really are beautiful.”

Retail Client – Springville, NY

“Our experience with New Moon Rugs has been absolutely wonderful; they have a ‘soul’, one that is personable, responsive and caring. They have something for every style interior even while their designs maintain timelessness. That’s one sophisticated, elegant product.

Terry Hurt – Designer – Truckee, CA

“I saw New Moon rugs on television on a Mountain Lake public television show called ‘Rustic Living.’ A designer had chosen New Moon rugs to decorate an Adirondack style home. Very pretty.”

Retail Client – Shelburne, VT

“Just thought you'd like to know our gorgeous rugs arrived on Monday! We are thrilled with them, have worked some room colors around them, and our Ponte Vedra decorator is delighted to personally see some of your work. Thanks so very much for all your help and care in shipping. Hope to see you in your new studio when we come back up to Wilmington in December. We still need a dining room companion rug.”

Retail Client – Ponte Vedra, FL

"New Moon Rugs has impeccable customer service and the quality of their rugs is outstanding. I will only buy New Moon Rugs from now on."

Retail Client – Los Angeles, CA

“The rugs are well-made and beautiful and the design is stunning! The staff at New Moon was very accommodating, easy to work with and very helpful! I highly recommend New Moon for people who want high quality, unique and gorgeous rugs!”

Designer – Morristown, NJ

“I have lived in the Southwest for 40 years and I have never seen anything as striking and authentic as your Mesa Collection. Artist John Kurtz is a true genius at design.”

Retail Client – Santa Fe, NM

“In 1995 we purchased our first rug from New Moon. As a result of their quality, uniqueness and service we’ve been customers ever since! We consider each rug a piece of art that complements the rooms in our home and eclectic decorating style.”

Retail Client – Wilmington, DE

“I looked through your website, and I love the collections.”

Designer – Bridgehampton, NY

“It's here and I LOVE it, LOVE it, LOVE it! Worth the wait. Charge away.”

Retail Client – South Bend, IN

"Read your email showing the Spring Collection with the newest designs and colors, and I must say they get more beautiful every season. It is a treat for the eyes to witness such creativity. I often try to imagine what a room would look like featuring one of your new rugs (I must admit to lusting after a few of them). I introduced my sister to the collection on your design studio website. She found a rug that would be perfect for their new master bath. If she's lucky it will still be available when they've reached the final stage of re-modeling. If not there are many others that will be suitable. Just wanted to compliment all of you at Kurtz for your designs, color selection, and quality. Just beautiful."

Retail Client – Bozeman, MT