Perhaps one of the most overwhelming aspects for new homeowners is embarking on the adventure of buying a vintage rug. The first two factors are budget and rug placement, this will automatically eliminate numerous potential options. If it is a heavily trafficked area of your home you will want to make sure it will wear properly.
Here is a list of ten important tips to assist with buying the right vintage rug:
1) Make sure it lies straight. If there are any curves unfortunately this cannot be fixed and you will be stuck with it.
2) Look closely at the edges to determine if they are frayed or are beginning to fray. This is a sign that the rug may be coming apart.
3) Check to make sure the ends are neat and not unraveling, and that there are no tears.
4) Ask to see the other side of the rug. If the reverse side has a much stronger color ask if the rug has been chemically washed or treated.
5) When checking the back see if there are any areas that are more loosely woven. Often the front side can mask these imperfections. Here you can also inspect the rug to determine if it is bulging or there are holes that may not be visible on the front.
6) Closely compare the colors on both sides, if there is a lot of variation between the two that is a bad sign. If the front is more vivid than the back ask if the rug has been painted.
7) Try to determine whether the rug looks lustrous and shining or dry and dull.
8) Ask about what kind of dyes were used on the rug. In vintage rugs natural dyes are much more desirable than synthetic dyes. As a general rule synthetic dyes tend to look harder and harsher then the more harmonious subtleties achieved by vegetable and mineral dyes.
9) Find out where the rug was made and research the labor laws of that country to make sure it is not a product of child labor.
10) Ask wether restoration is included in the purchase price, or if the rug is to be sold “AS IS”.
Here are some of my favorite vintage Moroccan hand knotted wool rugs.