The factual guide to investing in an antique rugs. Worthy of becoming a cherished heirloom and also, the piece de resistance.
However, it might sound ridiculous to spend a heart-stopping or extreme amount of money on a task of art, only to walk all over it unless you’re in the market of buying a stunning, one-of-a-kind, hand-knotted, antique rugs. There’s nothing quite or like owning a piece of woven story for your home, one that has a history to tell in its vibrant tapestry, both metaphorically and literally. Antique rugs are so great investment options provided you know what you’re looking for. You caught up with Dhruv Chandra of the rug Cellar, to get details on how you can bag an investment -good piece. He begins with a great premise, the journey to find the right rug for your office and home is both singular and enriching, hence shouldn’t be rushed.”
WHY AN ANTIQUE RUG?
First, let’s address an important question, why would one invest in a 150-odd-year-old rug as opposed to a new one? The critical difference lies in the technique used to make or create the former one. For example, the vegetable’s dyes created by extracting or removing natural stains from barks of trees, leaves, minerals, fruits, and rocks, among other sources, have a finer patina and hence have a longer shelf-life as compared to chemical dyes. But the prohibitively labor-intensive vegetable dyeing has become an increasingly rare and obsolete technique in the modern rug industry, hence making the antique ones even more sought-after and as a result, a worthy investment.
KNOW YOUR RUGS
The most desired rugs come from the traditional rug-weaving areas of the world: Asia, Western China, Turkey, Iran, the Caucasus, India, and Central Asia, (particularly Rajasthan and Kashmir).
Among these, the ones created in the Iranian cities of Isfahan, Nain, Qom, Tabriz, and Kashan, hold top buck. In terms of design, the Persian rugs can be segregated into two categories, tribal carpets and city rugs.
Unlike the flat-woven tribal carpets (popular as durries and kilims) that have geometric patterns and are produced or made purely out of the weaver’s imagination, the commercial-oriented, city carpets mostly have floral designs created using a hand-drawn and a naksha plan plotted to the graph. These colors and motifs are particular to each region and carry the fingerprint of its heritage story and humble origins. Whether the carpet is piled or flat woven, the primary components are the warps, which run from end-to-end of the rug, and the wefts, which are passed from side to side alternately over and under the threads, as a result of this, binding them together to produce the foundation of the carpet.
AGE, NOT JUST A NUMBER
Age is a vital factor to many collectors, but the process of determining the age of a rug is a tricky one. Many experts roughly define new carpets as those younger than 25-30 years, and ‘old’ carpets from 30-50 years. The semi-antique rug is from 50-100 years, and antique ones are decidedly older than 100 years. In general, a good quality old rugs is a favorable starting point for a novice buyer.
LEARN WITH YOUR EYES
Best way to determine the quality of a rug is by merely touching it and looking for the below signs.
- Real Aging: Acid-washing, a standard way of faux-aging, will lead to a washed-out tone or beige, whereas a right antique rug will maintain its vibrant colors, despite its age, for hundreds of years.
- Natural Dyes: Unlike harsh chemical dyes that come out flat, vegetable dyeing technique is a slow process, which results in color gradation on the rugs, giving it texture and depth.
- Note the Knots: Each rug is traditionally made using a knotted pile style, so the back should match the colors and design on the front. There are a double knot and single knot techniques, double knot being superior in strength and most extended wearing.
- Lay it Out: Check for a density of the bumps, knots, straightness, and unevenness by laying it on a flat surface.
- It Varies: Size ranges from tiny, mat-like pieces to large, floor size rugs. No two genuinely handmade rugs wouldn’t be of the exact size.