Vintage persian rugs are prized for their beauty and craftsmanship, holding up well over the centuries. These floor coverings are a symbol of cultural heritage and history, evoking a sense of mysticism and mystery. Their timeless elegance pairs seamlessly with modern interiors, adding a rich layer of texture and visual interest to any space. Vintage rugs are also known to hold more value than newer ones, making them an investment that can appreciate over time. However, determining the value of a rug requires careful inspection to distinguish it from a fake. Luckily, antique rugs have distinct characteristics that make them easy to recognize and differentiate from forgeries.
First, check the rug for signs of ageing and wear. For example, if the rug is brown in color, this could be due to corrosion or wear and tear. Corrosion is the same type of rusting that many metals experience when exposed to dampness, while wear is the natural result of people walking on the rug over an extended period. In the case of Persian rugs, a brown discoloration is often caused by copper oxide — or “copper rust” – which can be identified by looking at the pile closely and noting any white flecks or knots.
Then, look for other identifying factors that can help you determine the authenticity of an antique persian rug. Authentic antique rugs are always hand-knotted, as opposed to machine-knotted or tufted. Check for this in the back of the rug, where you should be able to see a series of threads that run the length of the rug. These are called warp threads, and they provide the foundation for the rug.
Antique rugs were made of natural materials and dyes, which meant that the colors used tended to be specific to certain regions. For example, red was derived from madder roots, yellow from chamomile or onion, black from acorns and tanner’s sumach, and blue from indigo. Other dyes were made from various plant parts, berries, flowers, or even the bodies of dead insects.
In addition to their aesthetic appeal, ancient Persian rugs were often woven with symbolic motifs that conveyed meaning. For example, peonies were a sign of power, and pomegranates were emblems of fertility. Historians can decipher these symbols to discover the origin and history of an antique rug.
When purchasing an antique Persian rug, it is important to take special care of it. Vacuuming is an essential part of keeping a rug clean, but it must be done with caution to prevent damage. Never use a vacuum with long or harsh bristles, as these can pull on the rug’s pile and cause it to fray. A vacuum cleaner with rotating brushes may also cause damage if it’s not fitted properly to the rug. When vacuuming, it’s best to test the vacuum on a small and inconspicuous area of the rug to be sure that it won’t damage or discolor it. In the event of a damage or stain, it’s recommended to consult a professional rug cleaner for advice on treatment and cleaning techniques.