The age of a rug is an important factor in evaluating its value. However, establishing the age of a certain rug is one of the most difficult skills for a rug aficionado to learn. Older antique rugs may exhibit signs of wear. Although the rug pile may be low or worn away, revealing the base, relatively new modern contemporary rugs can wear swiftly, and very ancient rugs can sometimes remain in good shape if they have been in the ownership of considerate individuals. The back of the rug provides a greater chance of determining the age.
Modern rugs that are more recent will feel fuzzy on the back since the strands still have their fibrous surface. Even if a rug is gently walked on, the bottom will become polished or abraded from pressure and friction as it ages, reducing the fuzzy or hairy surface. On the reverse side, old rugs will feel gritty, sandy, or even smooth. A beautiful rug that appears firmly woven but feels floppy or pliable is most likely old because even tightly woven rugs become stretchy with time.
The colour or grade of rug dye can also assist establish the age of a rug. Fold a pale-coloured rug to spread the pile open. This will indicate whether the colour is consistent down through the pile to the rug foundation. If the colours become deeper as you move down the pile, the dye has most likely faded due to light exposure and is most likely synthetic. Carpet dyes like these grew more popular in the late 1800s. If a rug has a lot of fading dye on it, it was probably created after the nineteenth century. Rugs that lack abrash or colour variation, on the other hand, are manufactured with more recent, light-fast synthetic dyes that predate the 1920s. A cotton rug base will also suggest a somewhat later time for many villages and nomadic rugs. The usage of wool warps and wefts was mostly abolished around 1930 or so due to the increased affordability of machine-spun cotton.
These are some typical wear-related properties of antique rugs. They still don't offer you a precise method for determining the age, though. The age of the rug can be determined using these features, but how can you determine the age beyond that? How can you recognize an authentic antique rug from a mid-century modern rug? There are various approaches.
One Can Quite Accurately Date Some Specific Rug Styles
The style of an antique rug is a great way to assess its age after you have used the general principles mentioned above to evaluate whether the rug is antique. Most of the time, determining the carpet's style will enable you to determine its age. For instance, if the design is a Ziegler Mahal, you are certain that it could not have been created earlier or later than a specified date since Ziegler manufactured carpets at that particular time.
Rug designs from specific eras and locations may easily be recognized. The Lotto carpets, for instance, indicate the late Renaissance. Some of the styles are simple to identify by reading a design encyclopedia. This can be challenging, though, as contemporary manufacturers frequently copy these older designs. For this reason, you need to consider features like wear and colour.
Over Time, Rugs' Patterns Evolved
Every community that weaves rugs has evolved. Over time, adjustments have been made to everything, including the colours used, the materials, and the actual design. The antique Persian Heriz, Serapi, and Bakshaish carpets, which are primarily three distinct rug kinds, exhibit one of the most obvious alterations. The vintage Persian Serapi rugs which were made from the late 19th century to the start of the 20th century, have more structured yet relatively free designs compared to the livelier and more modern vintage Persian Heriz rugs. So it's a smart idea to pay heed to the pattern while figuring out how old a rug is.
Wear And Tear Can Reveal A Rug's Age
A rug can be repaired by a qualified expert. Even those rugs could be difficult to notice on the pile side of the carpet due to damage or wear. The fix is frequently visible if you look at the rug's underside, though. Despite a few instances, it is advisable to assume that a rug is a recent replica if it exhibits no evidence of oxidation, wear, or repair. It is not a reliable method of identifying rugs since storage, the amount of usage a rug has seen, and other factors like temperature or location can all impact how quickly a rug matures. But ideally, you'll be able to.
The Number Of Knots Per Square Inch Can Be Used To Date A Rug
The knots per square inch, or KPSI, may also be used to determine the age of a rug by turning it over and counting the horizontal and vertical rows in one inch of the weave. There were KPSIs that were typical to certain areas and eras. Compared to antiques from the 18th and 19th centuries, many contemporary rugs have greater KPSI ratings. However, the price of certain old silk rugs can be very exorbitant.
The Dyes Used In Carpets And Rugs Have Evolved Over Time
Before 1863, only organic vegetable dyes were used to colour rugs. With time, contact with sunshine, and exposure to chemicals, these pigments often deteriorate. Natural dyes may produce a broad variety of colours in rugs, although they tend to be more subdued than artificial dyes. To give their rugs an older look, several manufacturers are now bleaching and treating them. But it's simple to see this. Sift through the pile and use a magnifying lens to examine it. There will be a smooth change in colour from the top to the base if the colour is worn naturally. The centre of the fibre will have a distinct ring of colour if it has been bleached, too.
We made an effort to provide you with advice in the article above on how to determine the age of your carpets. But it's crucial to take everything we said with a grain of salt. For one thing, authenticating rugs is not a precise science, and regrettably, the majority of items were not dated when they were manufactured. So you'd need to study a lot of rugs of the same type to be able to identify how old one rug is compared to another.