The right rug can make or break a room, and while there’s plenty to choose from in stores and online, vintage finds are the true gems. The one-of-a-kind rugs, made of natural materials and handcrafted by skilled artisans, often have a story behind them and add a sense of history to the home. In a time when 5 billion pounds of carpet were sent to landfills in 2017, finding a vintage rug is a great way to reduce your footprint while also adding elegance to your home.
The beauty of a vintage rug is that it has been through the wringer and, if properly maintained, will stand the test of time. A rug may need a bit of care to get it into shape, but it’s worth the effort. A well-kept vintage rug can last for decades and will be a great heirloom to pass down to your children and grandchildren.
If you’re searching for your perfect rug, look for the following qualities:
“Make sure the rug isn’t too damaged,” Wright says. “It needs to have good luster, tightly woven knots and a strong design. It should not be ripped or torn, and it should have minimal fading and few stains.”
While some rugs are marketed as vintage, Wright warns that many of them are newer pieces that are being sold at a premium price because they are made to appear old. The best vintage rugs are made of wool and are sourced from regions that were once centers for artisanal rugmaking. “Look for touches like an irregular size, a curved edge or double stitching that give it character,” she advises.
One of the biggest resources for vintage rugs is 1stDibs, which opened in 2000 with the goal of creating the feel of a Parisian flea market online. The site connects shoppers with reputable sellers and makers, and the antique rug section lets you filter by color, shape, country of origin and more. The selection is extensive, and prices are competitive — and the retailer offers free returns.
Chairish is another online resource that carries vintage and gently used items, including rugs. The vintage and antique rug category allows you to narrow your search by type, color, shape and more, and the website has over 62,000 results to sift through. The site’s offerings are more directional than 1stDibs, with many rugs leaning toward transitional or traditional styles.
Revival Rugs is another site that specializes in restoring and reusing antique, Turkish, Persian and other rugs. The company’s ethos is based on responsible luxury and slow living, and its process includes tumbling, trimming, cleaning, overdyeing and line drying. The results are a restored rug that is a treasured family heirloom, as well as a statement piece in any home. The website’s inventory is constantly changing, but the company has a number of rugs in stock at any given time. The store offers a return policy and provides photos of the rugs from multiple angles so that buyers can be confident in their purchases. vintage turkish rugs