Certified Rug Specialist Courses

The Certified Rug Specialist (CRS) course is the most advanced rug ID class offered. It is designed for the advanced student that is comfortable with basic rug ID received through other courses, readings, and/or experience.

Students that take the intensive six day course must complete a comprehensive exam with high marks and contribute a paper on a topic that can further the educational opportunities available for the rug cleaning world.

Earning your CRS designation represents the highest level of ARCS membership, as it shows your dedication to the subject along with the aligning ARCS’ goal of contribution to the rug cleaning community.

What is a CRS?

The Certified Rug Specialist class is a six-day, advanced rug identification seminar, aimed at those who are already competent in basic rug ID and looking to take the next step.

This class arms students with the tools to improve and expand their readily apparent rug identification skills, as well as provide them with the skills to identify those rugs which may not be so obvious. In addition to identifying rug origins, the class covers the practical uses for that knowledge, such as common pre-existing conditions, cleaning considerations common to the rug type and conversational knowledge with helps to distinguish oneself in the marketplace.

While this class is the primer for the rug identification portion of the CRS exam, it is also of value to anyone looking to improve their rug knowledge or "shake the dust" off existing rug ID skills.

The class fee includes lunches, handouts, and a copy of A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning, which serves as the class manual. While there are currently no specific prerequisites for this course, students must be cleared by the instructors to ensure they have adequate background knowledge to benefit from the material presented.

To earn the CRS designation, students must complete the final exam with a score of at least 80% and submit a final report to better the rug cleaning industry as a whole with shared knowledge or experience.

Who is it for?

The CRS class is for students with a good foundation of experience in cleaning and rug identification, the ability to readily identify commonly encountered rugs, and looking for a program to take their skills to the next level.

Participants must be ARCS members in good standing. No specific prerequisites are required, but all applicants for the class are encouraged to speak with the instructors, Ellen Amirkhan or Robert Mann, for final approval.

Think you might be ready for the class?

Here is a quick test to check your ID skills

  • Cost: $3200, includes all lunches and a copy of A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning
  • IICRC Continuing Education: 12 credit hours
  • Are you already a CRS and in need of a refresher course? Are you considering or curious about the program? Now you can audit the CRS Course. CRS Graduate - $150 per day, ARCS Member $200 per day and Non-members $500 per day.

When is the next class?

Date: TBA/p>

Location: Dallas, TX, Class and test will be given at Oriental Rug Cleaning Co.

Sign up now

Certified Rug Specialists members

List of Certified Rug Specialists

CRS Graduates list

List of graduates

CRS papers

Coming soon


Here's a sample agenda:


  • Cleaning Chemistry

  • Machine-Made Rugs

  • Review

Oriental Rugs

  • a) History of Oriental Rugs

  • b) Dyes

  • c) What is an Oriental Rug

  • d) Four Categories of Oriental Rugs/Traditional Persian

  • e) Where Oriental Rugs Get Their Names

  • f) Construction

  • g) Knots and Grading Systems

  • h) End Finishes

  • i) Side Finishes

  • j) Chemical Wash

  • k) Design Components

  • h) Dating Rugs

  • i) Components of Identification/Technical Analysis

Countries Producing Oriental Rugs

  • a) Iran: Heriz, Sarouk, Kashan, Kerman, Mahal, Tabriz, Meshed, Joshagan, Serab, Bijar, silk rugs


Countries Producing Oriental Rugs, continued

  • b) Six Persian single-wefted rugs: Hamadan, Malayer, Senneh, Bakhtiari, Karaja, Lillihan

  • c) Tribal Rugs: Baluch, Turkoman, Bakhtiari, Afshar, Shiraz


Countries Producing Oriental Rugs, continued

  • a) Afghanistan

  • b) China

  • c) India

  • d) Pakistan

  • e) Romania

  • f) Tibetan

  • g) Turkish


Countries Producing Oriental Rugs, continued

  • h) Caucasian

  • i) Navajo

Hands-On Technical Analysis—divide into groups



  • Review for written test

  • Practice rug Identification in the plant with rugs not previously seen

  • Mock Rug Identification test

  • Questions, Answers, Problems


  • 9AM-12PM

  • Written test

  • Written test

  • Hands-On Identification Test

Ellen Amirkhan: Ellen Amirkhan is a graduate of Texas Woman's University with a Bachelor of Science degree and Southern Methodist University with a Master of Liberal Arts degree. She is President of Oriental Rug Cleaning Company in Dallas, Texas, a business started by her grandfather in 1911 that specialized in cleaning, repairing, appraising, and selling oriental rugs.

A past president of the Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration (ASCR) - now the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) - Ellen develops and teaches oriental rug schools for the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) and other recognized groups across the United States and England. Ellen is also a co-developer of the Master Rug Cleaner Program.

In addition, she consults and serves as an expert witness for the legal profession. Ellen holds the designations of Certified Appraiser of Oriental Rugs from the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) and the Oriental Rug Retailers of America (ORRA) and Certified Rug Specialist (CRS) from the Association of Rug Care Specialists (ARCS).

Ellen's awards include the RIA Dr. Steven Spivak Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Textile Industry, The ASCR Helen Bradley Distinguished Service Award and The North Texas Chapter of the International Society of Appraisers (NTISA) Ellen Amirkhan Distinguished Service Award.

Robert Mann: Robert owns and operates Robert Mann Rugs in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1978, RMR provides cleaning and repair services to retail and wholesale clients throughout the United States, as well as outsourced restorations services provided by its sister company, ATC, in Izmir, Turkey. Robert spent for over 25 years working as a technical consultant in modern rug productions in nearly all the major rug producing countries.