The Ultimate Vintage Rug Guide
Crave a space with soul? Vintage rugs aren't just floor coverings, they're whispers of bygone eras, each knot a storyteller. They infuse your home with personality, like a seasoned adventurer sharing tales of faraway lands.
You don’t have to buy vintage rugs blindly. We have curated a detailed guide to give you insights into what vintage rugs are, tips for sourcing the best vintage rugs, types of vintage rugs, and how to clean and maintain them. So keep at it!
What Are Vintage Rugs?
Looking for instant warmth and charm? Dive into the world of vintage rugs. At least fifty years old (a century, some say!), these timeless treasures add history and personality to any space. Unlike the cold precision of modern carpets, they embrace the human touch, creating a cozy haven your feet will thank you for. Each knot, each flourish of color, bears the imprint of a skilled hand and a passionate soul. In owning a vintage rug, you inherit a piece of history, a tangible connection to the past.
There are several ways to identify an antique rug, and checking labels for the country of origin is one of them. For instance, the rug is probably vintage if the nation, like the Soviet Union, no longer exists. A rug's physical condition can also be used to determine its vintage status. The rug is probably vintage if it is in good shape and shows little signs of wear and tear.
Antique Persian rugs are among the most common vintage rugs, usually made of wool. They come with complicated designs and bright colors. To buy the perfect rug for your space, there are certain things to keep in mind. Ensure you do a thorough inspection to ensure it is in good condition.
13 Tips for Buying the Right Vintage Rug
Buying a vintage rug is like buying a piece of art. It’s about your preferences. Others may not find the same value in what you would be willing to pay thousands of dollars for.
By looking at the rug's construction, authenticity, material, and size, you can purchase a genuine vintage carpet that will go well with your interior design.
1. Know the Difference Between Vintage and Antique
Vintage and antique are often used interchangeably, but they are different. Vintage items are generally less than 100 years old, while antique items are over 100 years old. Just because something is vintage does not mean it is not durable or should not be in good condition.
The age of large vintage rugs doesn’t equate to their value. For instance, you can find antique carpets worth less than vintage ones because of limited availability or design. With this knowledge, you will be better positioned to get a bargain.
2. Get a Vintage Rug Made of Natural Fibers
Let nature weave your sanctuary. Opt for a vintage rug crafted from the soul of the earth - hand-spun cotton, shimmering silk, or wool kissed by the sun. These timeworn treasures, their fibers whispering untold stories, add not just warmth but an earthy peace to your space.
Natural fibers also have above-average durability, which makes them a preferred choice by homeowners. Good vintage authentic Turkish rugs are usually made of wool. In addition to being durable, it wears out gracefully, although it is expensive. If you get antique hand knotted Persian rugs, you will also have to part with more cash.
While synthetic rugs can replicate vintage aesthetics at an affordable price, there's something special about the genuine texture and character of natural fibers. While these may be easy to find, they are not durable and unique. They may also look unrealistic as the machines don’t successfully mimic the vintage appearance.
3. Confirm If There Are Imperfections Before Buying
Check for damages and imperfections before buying your Persian rug runner vintage. Alternatively, you can ask the seller for pulls and holes in the rug before buying.
While at it, don’t let small faults and damages stop you from buying a beauty, as most of them can be fixed. However, don’t purchase an item with a lot of damage for fear of missing out.
4. Ask for Photos in Natural Light if you are Buying Online
Sometimes sellers will take photos in poor lighting, which might lead to you buying rugs with the wrong colors. If you are buying rugs online, ask the vendors for photos in natural lighting to accurately depict the rug’s color and make.
5. Check the Sizes
You have to double-check the sizes. Some shops will use inches instead of centimeters. Ensure you get the sizes right when buying extra large rugs to avoid purchasing an antique rug that is too small for your space.
6. Confirm if There is a Return Policy
Sellers and vintage rug shops are different. Some have return policies, while others don’t. Even those that have return policies have different terms. It is important that you understand them to avoid disappointment.
Check if the policy is favorable so you are comfortable as the buyer. The presence of a return policy is also a good sign that the seller is confident in what they offer.
7. Flip Over the Rug for Inspection
There is a lot to uncover about a rug by flipping it over. You will find out whether it has enormous repairs, patches, and other signs of damage. Check the knot density and the quality of the weave to determine how long it will take before it gives in to wear and tear.
The more knots, the better quality the rug is. Avoid rugs with big repair patches, as they weigh down the overall worth of the rug. In addition to the degree of wear, you can also tell if you are working with a vintage or modern rug. Often, modern rugs have a backing that traditional rugs don’t.
8. Look out for Patina
This is another easy way to tell if a rug is vintage. With years of use, vintage rugs develop a patina, which is a silky sheen. In addition to confirming that you are working with an authentic vintage rug, patina will add elegance with a luminous shine.
9. Check the Knots Per Inch
After seeing the hand knotted rugs for sale tag, you might want to go straight to checking the knots per inch of the rug. The typical range is 40-400, but you can find rugs with a higher knot density.
Note that the higher the density, the higher the cost and quality of the large traditional rugs. So all you have to do is strike the perfect balance of quality, knots, and budget.
10. Consider Sellers that Clean the Rugs
Most but not all sellers will clean the rugs. However, we recommend that you purchase from a seller who cleans the rugs and is also willing to share information on how they clean them. Otherwise, most vintage rugs may carry a smell but will fade with time or go away easily through vacuum cleaning.
11. Look out for Faux Aging
When placed next to a new 70s style rug that has been designed to look ancient, a solidly constructed vintage rug will always appear brand-new. While acid-washing, a popular technique for creating the illusion of aging, may result in a beige or washed-out tone, a genuine antique carpet will keep its vibrant hues for dozens of years.
12. Check if the Rug is Hand-Made
Ask the vendor to examine the carpet's back to make sure a machine wasn't used to make it. The rug should appear like a copy of the front when flipped. The simplest method to identify if something is handcrafted is to do that.
13. Buy Direct
Most people need to hire a guide to help them navigate bazaars. These guides frequently lead people to scammers so they can pocket a sizable commission. We recommend doing some homework ahead of time to identify trustworthy vendors away from tourist markets whether you are looking for a mid-century modern rug.
You can be confident that a rug was not manufactured cheaply if the vendor can attest to its authenticity. Although price is an individual decision, you can spend a little extra on the ideal rug, depending on how much you want it. Spending extra money on a high-quality exclusive rug that appeals to your emotions and perfectly fits your space is worth it.
Types of Vintage Rugs
Let's create a quick reference sheet and categorize the various types of vintage rugs you might come across during your search—but don't forget that there are a ton of more options other than the ones listed below.
1. Oriental Rug
Persian and oriental rugs are similar in that they come from different places of the world, such as North Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East, and northern India. They are distinguished by their exquisite colors and designs as well. Oriental carpets can be woven by hand or machine, frequently made from wool or silk.
A kilim Turkish rug is a type of flat-woven carpet with its origins in Turkey. Their vibrant geometric patterns are what define them. Kilim carpets can be woven by hand or machine, often composed of cotton or wool.
3. Beni Ourain
These are shag Moroccan rugs usually made from high-grade wool and very soft. They usually come with geometric and simple designs and neutral colors. For a long time, Beni Ourain rugs have been popular in the boho world, and if you have a liking for the style, nothing should stop you from getting one for your living room.
4. Overdyed Rug
Overdyed rugs are more of a type of treatment given to vintage rugs than a type of rug. The rugs have only a hint of the pattern showing because they are dyed in a single consistent color, making them saturated.
Their patterns are primarily geometric and feature a center medallion or smaller, dispersed medallions, usually surrounded by a border adorned with a vine pattern.
6. Moroccan Rugs
These are retro style rugs originating from Morocco. Their unique features include abstract patterns and bold colors. They are usually made from camel hair or wool, and their construction can be hand-tufted or hand-knotted.
How to Identify a High-Quality Vintage Rug
How can you tell if a vintage rug is good quality? When it comes to quality, there are several things you need to look at.
Vintage distressed rugs are the bridge between fashion and interior design. Such high end Persian rugs are made with the perfect craftsmanship and the best materials, so you must get quality you can trust.
When it comes to quality rugs, the story starts with the material. For unmatched durability and timeless beauty, vintage carpets crafted from luscious wool reign supreme.
Here is a summary of all the distinguishing characteristics that will enable you to identify a premium vintage rug.
1. The Little Details
When it comes to vintage rugs, the details matter a great deal. Being handmade, the amount of work put into their distinctive designs might reflect the rug's outstanding quality. For instance, a crisp and sleek design indicates that the designer invested more time and skill to produce it, giving you a higher-quality product.
2. Check the Knots
Generally speaking, the number of knots per inch indicates the grade of your rug. Knot density, often known as KPSI, is a simple metric used to assess the quality of handcrafted or knotted rugs.
A high-quality rug should have roughly 100 knots per square inch on average. Even while it takes longer to complete, the knotting method guarantees a high-quality, long-lasting, and expertly constructed vintage rug.
3. Appearance and Shape
A rug's appearance and shape will tell you something about its quality. Even the finest rugs may have some imperfections, but their shape and size impact the rug's appearance. A well-made rug shouldn't have uneven or curled edges; it ought to be flat and level on the floor. Note that depending on how the rug was stored or shipped, it is quite common for it not to lie flat initially. It will eventually level out in this instance.
How to Maintain and Care for a Vintage Rug
A natural question arises: Do vintage rugs require a different cleaning approach compared to their modern counterparts? The answer, as with most things in life, is nuanced. It all hinges upon the rug's construction. For instance, the newer rugs are made through hand-tufting, which often becomes unusable after five to ten years of use due to the degradation of the latex backing. Attempting to save and clean such a rug would be more expensive than simply purchasing a new one. The cleaning process is simple regarding hand woven carpets, which are mostly antique.
Forget fretting over homemade vs. store-bought! When it comes to cleaning vintage rugs, the magic lies in technique and timing.. You should clean your vintage rug as soon as possible because you just have 15 minutes before a stain begins to set. If you take quick action, you can clean up 90% of spills with cool water. Always dab. Never rub: Doing so will only worsen the stain.
A store-bought wool rug stain remover works great for tough stains but can be expensive. Cleaning solutions tailored to the sort of spillage or stain you're dealing with are simple to make. Use salt, for example, to soak up spills of red wine. You can also use a simple mixture of eight parts water, one part white vinegar, and a tiny bit of dishwashing soap to wipe the stain away.
How should you clean your vintage faded rugs? If you are asking if there is something you need to be keen about when cleaning your vintage rugs, they are not fond of moisture, so you should try to keep them dry unless you are spot-cleaning.
To keep them in perfect shape for years, it is best to leave cleaning to the professionals. Here are a few dos and don’ts when handling craftsman rugs.
1. Avoid Dry Cleaning
Dry cleaning vintage rugs is a no-go, especially if they are made from wool. The solvents used in dry cleaning comprise harsh chemicals that can break down the wool. It is best just to stick to the powder.
2. Don’t Steam Clean
To remove dirt from carpets, steam cleaning combines high heat and chemicals with a high pH. The two biggest enemies of wool rugs are the wrong detergents and heat. Using them has the potential to destabilize the dyes, resulting in bleeding and loss of color that may occur right away or later on during cleaning.
3. Avoid Vacuuming in a High-Suction Setting
Use a vacuum with a beater bar which can be switched off or set to a low level while cleaning wool rugs. Doing so, you can stop the loops from being pulled and causing damage to the rug.
4. Avoid Using a Rotary Vacuum
By tugging on the vintage rug, the beater bars of a rotary vacuum break into the fibers, effectively releasing dirt. Although this would seem wonderful, the result is more shedding, potentially harming the wool strands and a shorter rug life.
It's crucial to avoid vacuum cleaners with a beater bar on the fringes since this will pull the fringes and eventually cause unevenness. It is comparable to what occurs when a wool sweater thread catches on your fingernail.
5. Keep your Rug Dry
Every wool strand has a hydrophobic (repelling water) top layer and a hydrophilic (attracting and holding onto water) bottom layer. This implies that it will be challenging to fully dry your vintage rug yourself if it gets damp. Furthermore, it will be pretty hard to dry a rug before mildew and mold grow if it is completely soaked.
6. Get a Rug Pad
The fibers of a rug are less likely to be stretched and tugged to create holes the less the rug is moved around. Rug pads ensure that rugs stay firmly in place.
Don't let uneven wear steal your rug's shine! A simple but essential step to preserving its pristine look is a periodic about-face. To combat uneven wear, especially under furniture, simply rotate your rug every six months (or even yearly for low-traffic areas).
Combat uneven wear with a simple twirl! Rotate your rug every six months (or yearly for low-traffic areas) to ensure every inch shares the love (and footsteps). Doing so can preserve its beauty for generations.
7. Hire Professional Vintage Rug Cleaning Services
You can always contact a professional cleaning company if you are feeling lost or can't seem to find time to wash your vintage rug. Experts will effectively clean your vintage rug without inflicting any damage because they have the required experience.
Don't just clean, rejuvenate! Specialized services wield the magic touch, employing time-honored techniques and gentle solutions designed to pamper your antique rug back to its prime. Imagine vibrant colors reawakened, intricate patterns gleaming like new – a legacy restored to its rightful glory.
Buying a vintage rug has several advantages, one of which is its low maintenance requirements. Simply vacuum it once or twice a month, depending on the area's traffic; turn it over and vacuum the backside after a few months.
Timeless Charm: The Ease and Style of Vintage Rugs
Navigating the ever-shifting sands of rug trends? Choosing the one that sings to your soul can be a tricky trek. With vintage rugs, however, there's one thing that is certain: their style never goes out of style. They are, in fact, still as popular a choice as they were years ago. We can't claim that their eye-catching hues and original designs surprise us!
Depending on your taste, as you look around more, you should start getting acquainted with these rugs and be able to identify the ones that appeal to you right away. In case you are asking how much are Persian rugs? Look through the comprehensive rug listings on our website and familiarize yourself with different classic rugs for living room, modern farmhouse rugs, and other vintage flooring solutions.
There isn't relatively anything like the power of a handmade antique rug for making a dull room look incredibly elegant. Combined with proper arrangement and a united theme, investing in a proper rug goes a long way.
Vibrant or subsided, sophisticated or bright, bold or distressed, our Vintage rugs offer time-inspired layouts like a centuries-old art piece in your home. Our high-quality, reasonable rugs will link your living room together, offer warmth to your bedroom, or compose your dining room flawlessly. Not just an elegant appearance, our Vintage rugs contain the finest materials that are exceptionally durable and reliable including premium performance fibers that will withstand any damage and deliver natural stain resistance.
In the case of rugs, the phrase vintage characterizes rugs that can be classified between 30 and 80 years old. Some sources also imply that this period for the carpets can be categorized between 25 and 100 years old.
Any rug older than 100 falls into the antique category.
We think that the extraordinary beauty of Vintage rugs can work with any home decor. The best method is to consider these rugs as a piece of art.
If your room already contains a ton of colors, your vintage rug should possess a color that develops the tones of your furnishings. Conversely, positioning a colorful carpet in a minimalist area will make a room look lively and vibrant.
Even though machine-made rugs are normally cheaper, handcrafted ones are always considered a winner, when comparing handmade rugs with machine-made ones.
Handcrafting takes a lot of time, but generates a high-quality, reliable rug. That’s why even after 50 or 100 years, we can still use these rugs all over the world.
Furthermore, each hand-made rug is unique and differs from the other. A weaver uses their creativity, fantasies, and ideas in the work. Therefore, what you spend your money on is extraordinary and priceless.
In the generation of over-pollution and too many single-use items, the impression of modifying something old and unpleasant into a prominently sought-after property is priceless.
Most original vintage rugs are out-of-style carpets hidden in the back of a shabby store or lying in an attic until qualified craftsmen try to restore their beauty.
Authentic vintage rugs consist of all-natural materials, like wool, cotton, or silk. Therefore, you can be 100% sure they are eco-friendly and will not cause any pollution.
Moreover, vintage rugs are sustainable and durable. You can fit them in different settings or shift around your house as your expertise mandates.
If you are still thinking about whether to buy an authentic vintage rug or an inexpensive machine-made one, you must comprehend the significance of a hand-made article. You can invest in beautiful artwork, but also get a high-end premium product that can stay with your family for decades.
The vintage rugs are not only reliable, but also gorgeous, sustainable, profitable, and inexpensive.