The difference between the two can be very subtle from a visual aspect but very important when choosing a carpet cleaner. Most true oriental rugs have very unstable dyes comprised of roots, berries and crushed up bugs. Believe it or not these same ingredients can be found in a lot of cosmetics including eye liners and blush. The rug and fringe are made up of wool and are hand made! When cleaned it will smell like a wet dog till it dries but be very careful when choosing a carpet cleaner as it will very easily bleed and colors overlap because of these unstable dyes. It is especially important to make sure that the rug is tested for color fastness when it has white wool within the patterns because the unstable dyes will transfer to those areas and ruin the rug! A Faux oriental rug on the other hand is machine made from materials such as polyester and cotton blends. Dyes are very stable, don’t bleed and easy for a professional carpet cleaner to maintain. There is no odor when the rug is cleaned. The subtle differences are in the texture, feel and stitching on the underside of the rug! Oriental rugs will be made of 100% wool (excluding dyes) and the underside will usually reveal an opposite image of the top pattern. Faux rugs will usually have a backing made up of jute or a similar backing and you will not be able to see the patterns from the underside. Stitching is also machine made and very easy to differentiate. Make Sure your carpet cleaner knows the difference before they service your rugs or carpets! We do know!