February 10, 2022

Vintage Rugs 101

We've done our fair share of interviews providing helpful tokens of knowledge we've learned over our years of sourcing and selling vintage rugs. What we JUST realized, is that we haven't yet shared these tid bits our audience here on

Rug above: 'TOBIN' 3'1x 8'11

Without further ado, let's dive into Vintage Rugs 101!

What makes a rug "vintage" versus "antique.”?

Vintage rug = anything over 30 years old. Antique rug = anything over 100 years old. Sometimes you will see "semi-antique" referring to rugs between 80-100 years old.

What are some common misconceptions you find among those shopping for a vintage rug? That all vintage rugs are the same. The term vintage is NOT equivalent to quality. There are many different levels of quality within the vintage rug market.   

How should one properly care for a vintage rug?

  1.  Always use a rug pad – we suggest a natural felt non-slip custom sized pad from RugpadUSA (not an ad).

  2.  Rotate the rug every few months to prevent uneven wear and sun exposure.

  3. We recommend sweeping your rug with a broom to loosen debris and bring them to the surface, then vacuum with the rotating brush turned OFF.

  4. To clean up a spill at home, we recommend blotting first with a clean cotton towel. Then, use mild clear dish soap or clear organic baby shampoo with room temperature water and dab away. We have found that due to the high-quality weave and aging process, stains hide very well.

  5.  If you have a major stain that does not respond to this method, we recommend you search your area for a local oriental carpet cleaner or repair shop.

(Rug in above photo'HARLOW' 10'5 x 13'7)

How can a buyer identify the quality and authenticity of the rug they're purchasing?

  1. Identify the origin, which will reveal the authentic age of the rug. Keep in mind that certain origins were only manufactured during specific time periods, so look at the motif or pattern of the rug to help identify its origin.

  2. Pay attention to color distribution. True antique rugs were only made out of natural vegetable dyes, and the color should be distributed evenly from the base of the till to the top of the tuft.

  3. Look closely at the knot count. The tighter the weave, the more expensive it will be, as it would take longer to make.

  4. Flip over the back of the rug and it should reveal the backside of the knots without any plastic backing.

  5. Consider the rug’s materials. 100% wool or wool on a cotton foundation are both all-natural and very resilient

antique vintage rug district loom

Rug above: Heirloom 0041 5'9 x 10'10

What are your favorite ways to style a vintage rug? any trends you're loving right now? I love a vintage runner in the kitchen! Another trend I love is layering a medium-size vintage rug on top of a larger jute or seagrass rug to add texture and history! Oh and lastly, I'm loving COLOR! Neutral rugs for sure have their time and place but I am certainly a fan of the gravitation toward originality and color I'm seeing everywhere!

vintage kitchen runners district loom unique kitchens and baths

In stock vintage rug runners

As always, if you ever have any questions about vintage rugs, send us an email or DM. We love a good rug chat! ;)


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