One of the easier characteristics to identify of an Oriental rug is often the age. Of course there are variables that may cause premature wear or color fading in a newer rug causing it to appear older, but for the most part rugs can be split into different categories by age.
Modern or contemporary rugs are those rugs woven in the last 20 years or so. Quality varies depending on origin, however when compared with a rug woven 40+ years ago it is easy to tell the difference. There is one complication when dealing with modern rugs. When some rug dealers discovered the market for antique rugs, they wanted to appeal to decorators and designers by wearing down the pile of their freshly woven rugs. The wear gives the appearance of an antique rug, however these rugs are not antique. After practicing, it should be relatively easy to determine whether a rug is antique or new by inspecting the weave. The rug pictured below is a contemporary Indian scatter rug.
Red Oriental Rug
Weave of an Oriental rug
Sometimes customers confuse the terms antique and vintage. An item is typically classified as antique if it was made 100 or more years ago, while a semi antique object would be around 50-100 years old. The terms semi antique and vintage are often used interchangeably. Vintage can describe an item over around 40 years old, but it can also describe a specific period in time. The rug pictured below is a vintage Persian Karaja rug.
Vintage Persian Karaja
Note the differences between the vintage Persian rug above and the first contemporary Indian rug pictured before it.
For further comparison, note the fine weave of the antique Persian Kirman below. Although many antique rugs are worn due to traffic wear and use, there are some which are preserved either from being hung on a wall or not laid on the floor. Therefore, if you come across a rug without wear it doesn’t necessarily mean it is not antique. Many professionals often have their antique rugs restored, making them appear as though they have just come off the loom.
Weave of an Antique Persian Kirman rug
Antique Persian Kirman rug
Do you like antique rugs, or modern rugs? Personally, I like them all.
Find these rugs and more at JessiesRugs.com