A Brief History of The Persian Carpet

It all began in 1962 when Professor Doug Lay bought a small oriental rug for $15 during his first research trip to Iran. Over the next sixteen years, Doug returned to the Middle East eighteen times, often purchasing rugs for friends in his spare time. The Persian Carpet was born in 1976, with Nelda Lay showcasing beautiful rugs in a rented corner of an antique store. Since then, The Persian Carpet has grown into a leading regional retail store and a national wholesale business, known for the quality and beauty of our merchandise. Doug is the brains of the business; Nelda has the know-how for running it! Daughter Cynthia joined them in 2002, with responsibilities for marketing and servicing our wholesale accounts.

Our inventory has expanded to include all types of handmade oriental rugs and textiles, with a wide variety of styles and designs from Iran, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Turkey, and China. The collection offers antique and new oriental rugs, and features an amazing array of transitional and contemporary designs. The Persian Carpet began designing, producing, and importing proprietary rug lines in the early 1990s.

Over the years, The Persian Carpet has gained a reputation for fair dealing, fair prices, honesty, integrity, and an extensive knowledge of both the history of oriental rugs and today’s rug market. The Persian Carpet has proudly served The Persian Carpet has proudly served Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Apex, Cary, Greensboro, and Burlington for almost fifty years!

Nelda Lay

Click to read more about our family history!

What We Can Do For You

The Persian Carpet offers the widest selection of antique oriental rugs in the region. We also cater to clients who are in the market for new, hand-knotted oriental rugs in both traditional and modern styles. Our carpets can be purchased online or at our store in Durham, North Carolina and shipped worldwide.

We produce multiple lines of hand-woven rugs, and have dealers around the country. We also cater to the many other needs of our rug-loving clients, including rug washing and repair, underlay pads to provide a non-skid surface, pick-up and delivery service, mothproofing, and fringe replacement.

The Persian Carpet also works with Dealers and Designers. We know our inventory inside-out and are glad to knowledgeably and courteously help with design, style, and color suggestions. Even if you have only seen a rug in a magazine, we know we can find it, because at The Persian Carpet, we know rugs!

Traditional, Transitional, and Contemporary
Oriental Carpets for your Home

Come visit our location in Durham, NC or you can call us for more information at (919) 489-8362.