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How to Select an Antique Rug

Antique rugs are regarded as the crème de la crème of rugs. They have an undisputed appeal (and worth) that new rugs simply do not. Often each symbol in an antique rug will have special meaning. So when it comes to choosing an antique rug, whether for a client or your own living space, keep in mind the following:

1.      Quality: Always determine the quality of the rug fiber itself. Wool is one of the best quality fibers when it comes to rug material but remember, there are also differences in wool quality. Also, Don’t be duped by the rug design (e.g. a Tabriz) on a cheap old rug – the Persian design name doesn’t guarantee that it’s a good antique rug! A good antique rug will use great quality wool or silk.

2.      Uniqueness: Another important point to note is how unique the rug is; does it have a one-of-a-kind design or a special motif reminiscent of a certain era? Don’t be misled by Persian designs if the rug itself is not handmade. Machine made rugs will not have the level of uniqueness that hand knotted area rugs do and even if they are very hold, they don’t have a great value as antiques. 

3.      Rug Construction: An antique rug will no doubt show signs of wear and fading but the quality of the rug itself will be high and obvious from the rug construction. Hand woven area rugs come into the fore when questions of quality and good rug construction arise. Hand knotted area rugs are at the highest end of the spectrum, so an antique rug that is hand knotted, will have a good chance of being a good investment, but is not a guarantee that it will be one.

4.      Don’t hesitate to ask more questions: While you might try to do research beforehand, always remember it is OK to gain as much information as possible by asking direct questions when considering an antique rug. Find out the time period and what region the rug is from. The weave, motifs, texture, colors and the yarn will all give insight into its origin and a rug store that knows its antique will always be willing to provide you extra information.  It is also very advisable to get a second, independent opinion when considering investing in an antique rug.

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.


Saeed Aslam, 3rd generation in rug sales, has a Master of Business Administration and has been in the rug business for 33 years spanning over 3 continents and has travelled the world related to home furnishings décor and rug buying,  He is the Manager of Alyshaan Fine Rugs in Scottsdale and Sedona, Arizona.

Alyshaan has the largest and finest selection of fine rugs in Arizona with 3200 rugs in stock and offers a lifetime guarantee on every rug they sell .   Alyshaan is a strong supporter of the design community.  You can view their website at www.alyshaan.com and call Saeed at 480-607-4955.

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