New Rugs vs Antique Carpets

Comparing New Rugs to Antique Carpets

People compare new rugs to antique carpets all the time..  Antique rugs have a beauty that many consider difficult to match. The designs reflect centuries of both cottage craft and highly developed artistic traditions. Antique Oriental rugs are hand-knotted in unique patterns that intertwine and play on color, texture and motif.

The materials, whether silk, cotton, wool or something else, are generally of high quality, durable and resilient.

Carpet dyes are made from natural materials available to weavers in their home environments, so colors are unique from rug to rug and region to region. As they age and are used, antique rugs develop a sheen and luster that enhance the color palette and character of the piece. Because antique rugs are rare, they tend to be expensive.

Antique Persian Heriz Serapi Rug 48645
Antique Persian Heriz Serapi Rug 48645

New rugs are less than 30 years old. New modern contemporary rugs often build on or incorporate the traditions of antique rugs, using motifs, patterns and colors that are associated with a particular type of rug. Over time, these carpets also develop their own patina and character. Though not always the case, many of the new rugs tend to be less expensive than antique rugs.

New Rugs - A Modern Swedish Inspired Carpet 48475
Modern Swedish Inspired Carpet

Many new rugs are the products of innovative artists and weavers. Spectacular pieces are being made by Scandinavian rug weavers, who experiment with texture, wools, color and design. Moroccan workshops are producing rugs with bold yet simple designs that blend with interiors of all types.


The weaving traditions of Persian rugs have been kept alive through the workshops of innovative master weavers such as Fathollah Habibian. Habibian has built on the timeless beauty of the antiques  and created the spectacular modern Persian carpet genre of modern Persian Nain rugs.


If you are trying to decide between old and new, the most important consideration is how a rug affects you. Each rug, whether antique or new, has a character. Particular nuances of color, motif or texture in one carpet may be more appealing to you than another. The age or pedigree of a carpet is not as important as how it appeals to you and how well it can be integrated into your living or working space.

Antique Persian Sultanabad Carpet by Ziegler 50198
Antique Persian Sultanabad Carpet by Ziegler 50198

Each rug can be looked at as a piece of art. Try to explore what attracts you to a carpet and learn more about what elements make a piece unique or stand out. Seek out reputable carpet experts and use their expertise and knowledge to help expand your own. You will be able to select rugs that complement your taste, set a mood and give vibrancy and cohesion to your living space.

This rug blog about comparing new rugs to antique carpets was published by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs in NYC.