PRISM PRS09 MULTI 8X10 099446362483 ROOM7 1

Are Antique Persian rugs worth the investment – we compare them to Modern Rugs

Persian Rugs, also referred to as Oriental Rugs have offered an incredible variety to accent living spaces. The unique and intricate designs allied to rich intoxicating colours have allowed these rugs to become functional pieces of art. Both floors and walls have been adorned by Persian rugs for millennia. Antique styles are coveted and can come with astronomical price tags, so much so that in 2013 an antique Persian rug sold for $33 million!! 

Fortunately for those of us without such deep pockets, there are modern versions that can offer the traditional look but at a more affordable price. 

 How do you compare a modern Persian rug from a traditional vintage rug?

Uniqueness

Modern Persian Rugs:

Modern rugs have many advantages. They are typically produced in higher volumes and a multitude of sizes. You will be hard-pressed to find a modern rug with the level of uniqueness of an antique rug but a consistent size, consistent quality and colour can be very useful when looking to lay multiple rugs in a single space. Modern rugs allow you purchase your rugs over some time with some security that you would be able to find matching or similar rugs at a later date.

Antique Persian Rugs:

Whilst it is true to say that every area manufacturing rugs have certain styles common to the area, you are much more likely to find a “on-off” or something more unique if you purchase an antique rug, just be prepared to pay a high price for it.

Technique

Modern Persian Rugs:

Today, there are “weaving centres”  producing high quality hand-knotted and hand-woven rugs. These centres tend to specialise in specific designs and styles. Don’t misunderstand the term though; these are not factories with huge modern machinery but groups of artisans working in a cooperative environment.

 Some rug manufacturers have moved into producing less labour intensive “hand-tufted” rugs. These rugs are of high quality but have become well favoured due to their lower price. We are all aware of financial pressures and a good quality Modern rug can meet our rug requirements without breaking the bank. Speak to an experienced vendor of modern rugs for the best advice.

Antique Persian Rugs:

If a rug was produced more than 30 years ago it is pretty safe to say it will be completely hand-knotted or handwoven. Handwoven rugs are produced in 3-4 months, dependent upon pattern complexity and hand-knotted rugs can take up to a year to make. 

Due to the unique nature of antique rugs, there will be disparities in the number of knots-per-inch (KPI). Almost every rug produced before the 1920s was woven on a loom. The rug will have been woven by hand and, amazingly, by a single weaver. 

As this weaver worked they sometimes produced small errors in the rug. These imperfections can often increase the value of a rug, as it extolls the uniqueness and sometimes multiple rugs can be attributed to the same weaver by displaying the same imperfections. This nuance can add significant value as it is often sought after in fine arts and handcrafted objects.

Material

Modern Persian Rugs:

Most modern rugs are made from wool and/or silk. It is true to say that the higher the quality of materials, the better quality rug is produced. Modern rugs are produced using natural wool and bamboo silk. You may not have come across bamboo silk. Bamboo silk is produced from Bamboo which can grow more than 20 metres a year. It is much more environmentally friendly, more sustainable than other options and requires silkworms to produce it. Bamboo silk also gives rugs a beautiful shine, a trait we all want in a rug.

Antique Persian Rugs:

It is the quality of the materials used that define the quality of Oriental and Persian rugs. This is true whether they employ the use of silk, cotton, wool or other elements during their manufacture. Making a rug pile of superior wool, painstakingly twisted into threads then woven into an intricate design produces a rug that provides a lustre and patina that cannot be found using lesser quality materials.

Style

Modern Persian Rugs:

Modern production rugs run a myriad of styles. Traditional Persian, Turkish and Indian designs are being produced alongside modern patterns. The colour range is far more extensive and ranges from subtle and muted to neon-bright because of using both vegetable and natural dyes. The use of modern dying techniques allows a broader range of colours and patterns. You are sure to find something to suit your style and tastes.

Antique Persian Rugs:

It is fair to say that vintage pieces usually have more traditional, tribal patterns and colours. Traditional techniques have also updated their products by using different washes and colours. Often antique rugs’ colour will have changed from that when originally produced due to the impact of oxygenation and ultraviolet light dyes.

Style

Modern Persian Rugs:

Modern rugs from certain parts of the world that use quality materials and exhibit early weaving techniques will, without a doubt, increase in value over time. The truth is that modern rugs are often used as cheap interior design accents with built-in obsolescence of only a few years. That said modern rugs are in high demand because they are inexpensive and come in a myriad of styles. If you want something for the long-term, consider a high-end modern rug, it could be the better choice. Always be aware that in the world of rugs, size matters. The size of the rug can have a major influence on price. 

Antique Persian Rugs:

The biggest difference between the two styles is price or value. Other factors come into play in valuing an antique rug such as Age, Workmanship, Pattern, colouration and preservation. Collectors can also add value based on who has owned a rug previously. Here we have to deal with the fact that antique rugs are traded, and priced, like fine art. There is still very much a supply and demand causality with more common vintage rugs. A rug that is wildly off base style-wise or has significant wear and tear can be purchased more affordably.

Care

Modern Persian Rugs:

Modern hand-knotted and hand-woven rugs have a similar care regime to antique rugs. These can still be washed and repaired like vintage pieces but generally at a fraction of the price. To find a professional rug cleaner we would suggest using an NCCA certified cleaner.

Antique Persian Rugs:

Incredibly, some antique pieces look almost new whilst others have a very worn patina. Antique handmade rugs, even at 50 plus years old can be washed and repaired. An old rug like this can still have a longer lifespan left than a modern rug, but the repair costs can be significantly more.

Summary

It is evident that the lure of a unique handmade Persian rug is strong. It would be prudent though to consider all sides, the initial purchase cost, the lack of a guaranteed increase in value and the difficulty in finding the “one”. With a modern Persian rug, you can have all the pleasure of owning a handcrafted rug, which could still be a good financial investment but without the huge upfront cost.
There is a reason why modern Persian rugs have reached this high level of popularity, it is because they are a very good alternative option to an antique Persian rug.
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Search Products