Why are vintage rugs so expensive?

We trust that you already know the phrase “you get what you pay for”. Typically, this phrase alludes to the quality and durability of an item. Although this also holds true for vintage rugs, they do encompass so much more. Contrary to a mass-produced machine-made rug, a vintage rug is a labor of patience, diligence and skillful craft. Every single aspect of a vintage rug involved real human hands and painstocking labor. From the moment the wool was gathered, spun and hand-dyed, to when the intricate designs were finally hand-woven, and all the way through the careful restoration decades later, including meticulous patching and lengthy antique washing. Some large rugs may have taken years to make and months to repair. Thousands upon thousands of hand tied knots, especially in densely knotted rugs with very intricate floral patterns, are a silent proof of someone’s impossible-to-replicate talent and hard work. Besides craft, one rug’s price may also reflect its age, condition, "collectible" status and the originality/desirability of its design.

What can I expect when purchasing a vintage rug?

When purchasing a rug from Centuries you can be confident that you are acquiring authentic, well-aged products of the highest quality. We don’t carry imitation or replicas, machine-made or synthetic rugs, or rugs that we wouldn’t put in our own home. All rugs have been washed and professionally repaired by contemporary artisans. As such, you should expect your rug to proudly display signs of wear, repairs and care that went into prolonging their life over decades, and sometimes centuries. We at Centuries truly want you to experience timeless craftsmanship and enjoy heirloom quality and patina to the fullest.

What are the benefits of vintage rugs?

Countless benefits but to name the top 3, from our point of view -

  1. Unparalleled aesthetic, beauty and quality. You simply can't even begin to compare these rugs to contemporary mass-produced rugs.
  2. Sustainability and toxin-free. Natural rugs reduce the demand of plastic rug production, hence fewer rugs end up in landfill. Plus, these rugs never used chemicals, synthetic dyes or latex.
  3. Investment in an heirloom, art and history. Your rug will forever be one-of-a-kind and with its own unique tale.

How durable are these rugs?

One of the greatest features of these rugs is that although they are intricate and beautiful, they are also extremely durable and low maintenance. In some rugs like Tabriz, the knotting is so tight that it makes it hard for dirt and dust to settle into the rug. They are also highly suitable for high-traffic areas, and are very pet- and kid-friendly and in general were built to last.

How do I clean a vintage rug?

We recommend vacuuming your rug gently, preferably with a beater off or on the lowest setting. Alternatively, sweep off dust and dirt with a soft bristle broom. For spot cleaning use a natural soft cloth and mild soap; avoid rubbing. Professional cleaning is recommended every couple of years or when much deeper cleaning is needed.

Why do colors in some parts of the rug vary so much?  

Color variance – abrash – is very common in oriental rugs and is a sign of rug’s true authenticity. Abrash is a horizontal color gradation that’s often prized as a unique characteristic and not a flaw.  Because hand-woven rugs were made of a hand-dyed wool, the dye in individual batches of wool also varied at the time of rug’s creation. Hence brash gradation becomes more visible when the dye starts fading a little differently in different parts of the rug. The most telling sign of how valuable and beautiful abrash can be is how many modern machine rug manufacturers are trying to imitate this phenomenon.

Persian rugs vs Turkish rugs - what's the difference?

Persian rugs and Turkish rugs are both types of Oriental rugs, but they are made in different countries and have distinct styles and traditions. Persian rugs are made in Iran (formerly known as Persia), and have a long history dating back to XVI century. They are known for their intricate designs and high-quality craftsmanship. Turkish rugs, on the other hand, are made in Turkey and are characterized by bold geometric patterns and bright colors. Turkish rigs tend to be more affordable and are an excellent choice for a budget-conscious household., while still delivering superb quality and artistry.

Why are Persian rugs more expensive than Turkish?

There are several reasons:

  1. Heritage and reputation: PR have a long history and cultural significance, and are often considered to be the highest quality rugs in the world. This reputation has led to a higher demand for Persian rugs, which in turn drives up the price.
  2. Materials: Persian rugs are typically made with high-quality materials such as silk and fine wool, which are more expensive than materials used in Turkish rugs.
  3. Craftsmanship: to make a Persian rug requires mastery. It may take years to learn the Persian knotting technique and then more years to perfect it.
  4. Rarity: certain designs, patterns, quality of Persian rugs are rare and unique, which will increase the price.

Can I see your rugs in person?

Yes! We are based in Northern California. So, if you are local and would like to arrange a custom viewing of our rugs, please reach out at hello@centuriesrugshoppe.com

Otherwise, we are happy to connect for a video demonstration too.