What to ASK when Purchasing A Antique or Vintage Rug
Rugs, like any art, are truly one-of-a-kind. So, although every piece is individual and unique - there are specific things that you need to ask to make sure you know what you're buying.
1. What is the country of origin of your Antique rug? + Where/What Village or City was it woven in?
This is important because some rug dealers call hand-knotted rugs "Persian" because the design comes from Iran, BUT that is just not true. The ONLY thing that makes a rug "Persian" is the fact that it was woven in Iran or modern-day Persia. It is solely based on country of origin. Regardless of design, or how it's made - it is only Persian if it was woven in Iran, and you need to know where your rug was woven. Nothing wrong with Turkish rugs, Indian rugs, Pakistani rugs, Moroccan rugs, Chinse rugs; but nothing holds a candle to Persian rugs. You also need to know where in the country it was woven, this is just great to know and each village and rug weaving district have particular characteristics; fascinating stuff! This also helps you not paying Persian Serpai prices for Persian Hamadan rugs :)
2. What is the Age of your Antique rug? How old is it?
It's sad but true - there are "rug slangers" out there that sell 10 to 20-year-old rugs (which is considered new) and purposefully acid wash them and make them look old. It's a damn shame. Ask the age and make sure your rug is truly a vintage rug or an antique rug and genuinely worn or you're overpaying for your rug and even worse, getting lied to.
3. Has your Antique Rug been professionally cleaned?
If you're putting things that are old in your home, those things need to be clean - ESPECIALLY rugs. Wool is an incredible fiber but it holds dust and dirt inside the foundation of the rug. A regular vacuum or steam clean ain't gonna cut it. You need old-fashioned hand cleaning and deep cleaning for these pieces. You don't know where the rug has been - do you trust your bare feet walking on it, your kids crawling and playing on them, your dog rolling around on it? No, you don't, and you shouldn't.