Antique Rugs vs. New Rugs
Persian and Oriental rugs produced before the 1920s are considered to be vintage/antique. Everything that came after this period is deemed modern/new. The primary reason for the label depends on the changes in the market that gradually developed during that period as mass production was the only solution to satisfy the increased demand of the rugs due to their popularity. This led to changes in the ways most of the rugs were being manufactured, and ultimately, this affected their quality.
Following are some of the ways you can differentiate between antique oriental rugs and new rugs:
Early rug weavers didn’t have access to synthetic dyes so they used whatever option was available in the animal and plant kingdom to create the palette of their rugs. The formation of these colors was passed down from one generation to another, resulting in natural, rich colors that stood the test of time and only faded from intense solar exposure or misuse.
As compared to antique Persian rugs, modern rugs use synthetic dyes. Although they are durable, the colors of new rugs don’t exhibit the quality and richness of a natural dye. Many individuals who collect new carpets are not looking for an investment or family heirloom as much as they are searching for a compliment to the décor of their home.
Almost every single antique oriental rug produced before 1920’s was woven by hand on a loom, usually by a single weaver. Occasionally, this resulted in minor errors during the manufacturing process. However, these ‘errors’ have been considered as a mark of the slight imperfections of an artist, which is often sought-after in handcrafted, high-end objects.
Although handwoven rugs are still being manufactured today, most of the new rugs available on the market are manufactured on machine for mass production purposes. Machine-made rugs feature different colors and styles; however, their resale value is very low as compared to antique Persian rugs.
Antique Persian and oriental rugs are well-known for their quality materials, regardless of whether they implement the use of wool, cotton, silk, etc. during their manufacture process. For instance, a pile made of high quality wool that is beautifully woven into the design of antique Persian rugs is not found in today’s lesser quality materials used in new rugs.
Although there are certain exceptions in the modern rug market, most new rugs consist of wool, silk, and other materials that have been collected from ‘wool farms’ where the focus is more on the cost-saving and less on the quality.
The value of the rug is arguably the biggest difference that exists between antique oriental rugs and new rugs. As much as quality, preservation and workmanship play a very important role in the rug’s price, rug collectors equally give importance to its period of manufacture. As opposed to new rugs, well-maintained antique oriental rugs are relatively more valuable. Not to mention the vintage rugs have additional depending on who owned the rug previously. Although there is no guarantee that owning a vintage rug is going to be valuable, but the chances are definitely much higher.