How to Choose an Antique Area Rug

Antique area rugs have a charm and appeal that is unparalleled – try putting together an antique and a contemporary area rug and your eyes will surely linger on the pieces of history, and literature embodied in the antique.

The common symbols used in such rugs each has a special meaning, with some denoting power, abundance, strength and so on.  Plant and nature-related symbols have also often been found in antique rugs, with each flower, or stem having a special meaning as well.

So when it comes to choosing an antique area rug for your home, what should you have in mind?

1.  The right rug store: One of the most crucial things to have sorted before going in to even look at antique rug options is to have narrowed down your choice of area rug store. Always go for a store (like Alyshaan Fine Rugs) that has been recognized by industry professionals (designers/interior decorators) and key associations (ASID, IFDA, Houzz). Friends and family can also offer referrals, and good word-of-mouth does go a long way, as do reassuring online reviews.

2. Quality: When in the market to acquire an antique rug, always look at the quality of the rugs material itself. Wool and silk are the best quality materials when it comes to rug construction. However, there are different qualities of wool and silk. Care must be taken to not be duped by the rug design (e.g. a Tabriz) on a synthetic rug because design names of original rugs can confuse consumers into thinking that it’s an authentic handmade rug. Antique rugs usually have colorfast dyes because they have been washed many times and most of them that have been made before the popularity of synthetic dyes, from natural dyes. Imperfections in an antique rug should not be considered a mistake or a flaw.

3. Uniqueness: One of the key points to note is how unique the rug itself is – does it have a one-of-a-kind design, a special motif reminiscent of a certain era? Care must be taken to not be misled by motif designs if the rug itself is not handmade. Machine made designs will not have the level of uniqueness that handmade and hand knotted area rugs possess.

4. Rug Construction: This ties in directly with our previous point. An antique rug will no doubt show signs of wear and tear but the quality of the rug itself will be high and obvious from the rug construction. Hand knotted area rugs come into the fore when question of quality and good rug construction arise, as they are at the highest end of the spectrum, so for an antique rug that is hand knotted, unique, and in good condition, you know it is worth the investment when acquired at an appropriate valuation.

5. Reliable service: A good area rugs store will always have the most professional rug advisors available on hand to address your every question and concern. In the case of antique rugs this matters even more. If you are going to make that investment, you want to be sure you have the best insight and advice from those with years of experience in the industry.

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