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Do Vintage Rugs Hold Their Value?

Owning a vintage rug or antique rug is like owning a piece of history. Hand-knotted by skilled craftsman, each piece is a unique work of art that not only warms your floors, but also gives your home an air of luxury, beauty, and elegance that is unique to crafts made by hand.

Perhaps you found a vintage rug that you are in love with, but are suffering some sticker shock from the price of it. You may be asking yourself: will it hold its value? Can I view this as an investment, like I may view my home? Read on to find out.

#VintageBrutalistProject Rug: Passerine, Design: MooreHouseID, photo by Erin McGinnA vintage rug sourced by Passerine for Moorehouse Design, photographed by Erin McGinn

Do Antique Rugs Hold Their Value?

As with many things, the most truthful answer is, “it depends.” Vintage rugs, semi-antique rugs (like the styles Passerine sells), and antique rugs command a wide range of starting prices at any given time, from about $100 for a 2-by-3-foot accent rug to hundreds of thousands of dollars for the most valuable antiques. Depending on the rug you choose, and art and design trends, you may still be able to get the same amount for the rug in 10, even 20, years.

However, the value of an antique rug is determined by the rug’s construction, condition, and perhaps most importantly, the demand for that style in future years when you wish to sell it. This is as true for rugs as it is for any other luxury home good, like art or vintage furniture.

In our experience, purchasers of antique rugs typically fall into two categories: rug collectors, and design-oriented homeowners. These groups value different things when investing in rugs, and what may drive value and interest from one buyer group over time may detract from a specific rug’s value to the other. Rug collectors are typically seeking to invest in authentic, original, and rare rugs – they want rugs with in more or less pristine condition, with minimal repairs and original bindings, and may value brightly colored or unusual motif designs. Rugs that retain these qualities are likely to continue to have value to these collectors in future decades.

Design oriented homeowners, on the other hand, are focused on a rug for its aesthetic value in the context of their broader home vision. Currently, these design trends have embrace signs of wear and distress, and opt for smaller patterns in more muted colors to serve as a foundation to their home’s design. A rug will retain its value as long as its aesthetic aligns with the desired look of future home owners.

Regardless of the type of rug purchaser you may be and the type of rug you are investing in, there are several factors that can help a vintage rug or antique rug to maintain its value over time.

Factors That Influence the Value of an Antique Rug

  • Age and condition. rare antique rugs are regarded as quite valuable, but this is also dependent on how well kept the rug is, its condition, design intricacies, as well as other considerations. The fact that a handmade rug is ancient does not imply that its value will skyrocket.
  • Material. The higher the quality of the wool and dye, the higher the price it is likely to command, and retain - and the longer the rug's life. If the wool is nice, bouncy, and does not shed, it is likely to be good wool. If you massage the rug with your palm and it starts to shed and feels harsh, it's likely made of low-quality wool.
  • Color. Color is a huge driver of demand for specific rugs, whether a rug’s original colors or the color made possible by artful application of antique washes to semi-antique and antique rugs. While no particular color holds value better than others over time, the predominant colors of an antique rug will greatly influence the rug’s overall appeal based on color trends and aesthetic preference at the time of sale.

What You Can Do to Enhance and Retain Your Rug's Value

  • Vacuum: It's extremely vital to vacuum your antique rug regularly to keep the natural fibers from becoming compacted by foot movement.
  • Rotate regularly: Consider rotating the rug at least once a year or more (if it’s in a high-use location) to allow for more evenly distributed wear. This will give your rug a more consistent appearance and help to preserve both beauty and value.
  • Always use a rug pad: Padding beneath an antique rug helps to keep it stable, retain the rug's shape, and avoid wrinkling. This protects the rug from undue strain on the rug's foundation, and can protect the rug from rips or damage that require costly repair.
  • Wipe It Down: You can freshen the surface of the rug without beating it by wiping it down with a wet cloth or sponge dampened with cold water. This will assist to eliminate any surface dust and restore the rug fibers to their original state.
  • When needed, engage professional repair: it’s important to use only professional repairmen with expertise in oriental rugs and antique rugs if any part of your rug is damaged. This will ensure that the value of your rug is maintained as best as possible, with repairs done in a way that blends into the original rug’s design as much as possible
  • Obstruct excessive sunlight: Color in an Oriental rug can fade dramatically over time due to exposure to sunshine. To avoid early or uneven fading, try to keep the rug out of direct sunlight as much as possible. If this is not possible, rotate your rug every 6 months to a year to ensure more uniform fading.

Still have questions? Reach out, we are here to help.