Become a Certified Rug Appraiser!

ORRA’s CRA exam will generally be given annually.  Please feel free to contact ORRA Headquarters for more details. /  864-895-6544

A.  An overview of material covered on the exam.

B.  Test Content Information with Sample Test Question

C.  Recommended Reading List


The Certified Appraiser Examination will include both a written and a practical (visual identification) exam.


Reference Material:

Time Lines: Southwest Asia Time Line 1500 to Now


The Rug Fiber Identification Chart has been provided by Phil Auserehl of Castle Cleaning and Oriental Rug Company & Castle Oriental Rug Cleaning School

 The fiber identification chart is not only helpful to those of us who clean rugs, but is also a very specific guide on how to identify those mysterious fibers that you may not be sure of. This chart is also serves as a wonderful guide for those of your customers who are interested. Please scroll to the attachments at the bottom of this page if you wish to download a copy.


The written exam will cover a basic knowledge of the following: 

I. COUNTRY – Country of origin made and whether a nomadic, village or workshop production
2. DESIGN TYPES - Example: Pakistani Bokhara or Turkoman Bokhara
3. CONSTRUCTION and WEAVE - How different types of rugs are made: Knot Types, Density; Warp Materials and Colors; Weft Material; Colors and Numbers of pile materials, depths, unusual Characteristics; Construction of Ends (kelim, knotted, fringe, etc.)  Description of sides (selvage, overcast material and color)
4. COLORS and DYES - Types: natural, aniline, synthetic, chrome


7. VALUATION - Factors for determining (not actual prices) value.
8. CLEANING - Procedures and Materials
9. TERMINOLOGY - Know the meaning of such words as: “abrash”, “dry rot”, “painted”,“Aubusson”, “guI”, etc.

** Check the glossaries in the back of the books from the RECOMMENDED READING LIST BELOW for more terminology. **



Approximately 25% of the test will be “FILL IN THE BLANK” type questions, such as:


What does the word “MORDANT” mean?   __________________________________


Approximately 25% of the test will be “TRUE FALSE” type questions, such as:

T or F Warp threads run horizontally through the rug.


**Approximately 50% of the exam will involve the “PRACTICAL” - hands on evaluation of about 40   

rugs by: Type, Country, Approximate Age, and Class (workshop, village, and nomadic) ex. Bokhara Pakistan - Age (within a decade in 20th century rugs and 25 years

for pre-20th century


**Actual rugs will be provided for physical inspection

We are planning to have a “Primer Session” during the convention directly before the test. We will notify you when the time and date are definite.



BOOKS FOR STUDY - The following are a few good books to help you prepare for the CRA exam.


  1.  The Mystique of Oriental Rugs - ORRA

  2.  The Oriental Rug Lexicon by Peter Stone
  3.  The Persian Carpet by A. Cecil Edwards

  4.  The Oriental Carpet by P. R.  Ford

  5.  Oriental Rug Repair by Peter Stone
  6.  Oriental Rug Primer by A. K. Jerrehian

  7.  Caucasian Rugs by Ulrich Schurmann
  8.  Turkomen Tribal Rugs by Werner Loges
  9Turkomen Studies I by K. Pinner & M. Frances

10.  A New Comprehensive Guide by Murray Eiland

11.  Oriental Rugs, Volume 1- Caucasian by Ian Bennett

12.  Dictionary of Oriental Rugs by Ivan C. Neff  

       & Carol V. Maggs
13.  Caucasian Carpets and Coven by John Wertime  

       and Richard E. Wright





ORRA’s CRA exam is traditionally given every year.  Please feel free to contact ORRA Headquarters for more details. /  864-895-6544