The era of nostalgia and the trend in classic design has brought vintage rugs to the forefront of the style conversation. Yet the term “vintage” has been overused, to the extent that the nuances between true-vintage rugs and vintage-style rugs have become blurry, at best. When opting for a vintage rug to dress up a room and add a conversation piece to your home, do you know what to look for?
What are genuine vintage rugs?
Rugs have been around for centuries, and in every region, they’ve taken on a life of their own. Vintage rugs are rugs that are older than 20 years and have been preserved by the quality of their work—and likely by lots of TLC to preserve them over time. These rugs are usually distressed (like pairs of jeans) to give that “lived-in” look but don’t come with the same level of maintenance that an antique rug needs.
An antique rug is a rug that’s older than 100 years. Persian rugs and other forms of rugs that come as antiques typically are hand-woven, hand-dyed, and made with high-quality materials like wool and silk. A rug that isn’t older than 20 years is considered a “used” rug.
Types of Vintage Rugs
Vintage rugs come in different forms and beautiful styles. They can come from countries like Morrocco or India, and provide unique backgrounds to a room.
Oushak: An oushak rug is a thin rug with a pattern around the border and a design in the center. These rugs are Turkish rugs, with a coarse woven style.
Overdyed: These rugs have a strong single color, usually a vibrant tone, with a faded pattern in the background. If you like the vintage look but don’t want a strong pattern, this kind of rug will fit into your style.
Agra: These Indian rugs, based on a style developed in the city of Agra, India, are typically faded and light rugs. Rug weavers make the patterns from vegetable dye.
Swedish: Swedish rugs take the oriental patterns from other rugs from Morocco and the Middle East and add Swedish motifs to them. These rugs have become popular in the last 100 years and fit well into a modern-style room.
Moroccan: Moroccan rugs are made from sheep’s wool and dyed according to a specific tribe’s pattern. They are often shaggy and soft, adding both texture and color to a room.
Persian: While not a true vintage, this Rust Vintage Bordered Area Rug is a good example of the distinguishable Persian pattern, the medallion, and the floral border, but also has a fringe edging that makes it stand out:
How to Maintain a Vintage Rug
Vintage rugs can require a little more care than other kinds of rugs, due to their age and materials. Don’t vacuum a vintage rug: instead, shake out crumbs and dirt as they accumulate. Hand-held carpet sweepers that aren’t run by electricity can clean up finer particles from the rug.
Accidents often will happen, no matter how careful you are. Since it’s not practical to plastic wrap your living spaces, be ready to gently clean stains with a light detergent and warm water. Furthermore, keep your vintage rug out of the sun and away from windows where the sun shines for more than a few hours a day. Otherwise, the colors may fade.
Go for Vintage-Style Rugs for Classic Looks but Affordable Ease
If your home has heavy traffic, many children, or pets that track in mud and dirt, then you may want to wait to get a vintage rug for your room. Thanks to modern technology, vintage-style rugs can copy the designs and appearances of vintage rugs without adding the extra maintenance that comes with older, hand-woven rugs.
These kinds of rugs can also come in organic materials, like wool and cotton, or they can be synthetic. Wool and cotton blends can be machine washable, which will add to the practicality of the rug. If a child spills juice on your vintage-style washable rug, all you have to do is throw it in the wash. All vintage-inspired rugs can be vacuumed when they get dirty, unlike their more delicate counterparts. That’s one reason why vintage-style rugs can be indoor rugs or they can come in outdoor rug form, fit for display on your deck or porch.
This Blue Corinne Classic Vintage Washable Area Rug is machine washable, yet still offers that faded pattern look for your home. It also comes with a non-slip backing, making it a stable option so that the rug doesn’t move—and neither will you.
This Turquoise Persian Vintage Area Rug found at Rugs USA comes in many shapes and sizes, yet offers a jewel tone for any part of your home.
What to Look for in a Vintage-Style Rug
Vintage-style rugs are known for their details like tufts, tassels, and faded patterns. They can hold the Swedish, Moroccan, or Turkish styles while still being easy to care for and customizable to your home. Vintage rugs that are newly manufactured also give you one more fantastic benefit: They are usually much more affordable than their well-aged counterparts.
Acquiring a vintage-style rug can be quite a bit easier than finding a genuine vintage rug. Vintage rugs usually can’t be customized. You have to hunt for specific styles and looks if you already had a style in mind. But with a vintage-style rug, all patterns and colors are available at an affordable price.