Is It Worth It To Repair Your Antique Rug?
All the Questions You May Have About Rugs and Carpets
So Should You Repair Your Antique Area Rugs or Leave Them As is?
One of the most frequent questions that we get about antique rugs is whether it is best or worthwhile to repair rugs or to leave them alone. Most of the time, the answer to this question revolves around the value of the rug, rather than the aesthetic qualities.
This seemingly simple question is quite involved and depends on many different factors. But the bottom line is this:
Repairing your rugs does affect the value of a rug. In some cases, the restoration will increase the value for your rugs. In others, the repair may decrease the value of your carpets – especially if the repair was done poorly.
This leads to the next obvious question:
How To Determine If Your Rugs Are Worth Repairing
The first question should be whether or not the carpet is even worth the investment of repairing it. If the concerns revolves around “future value” then it depends on whether the carpet is likely to appreciate in value or remain about the same.
This is a question filled with generalizations, and in almost every case, there are exceptions to the rule. For the most part, it is usually not worth repairing new modern rugs because they don’t really have any intrinsic value. That said, if you like the carpet, have some sort of sentimental attachment to it, and can afford to do it, then certainly go ahead and repair your rug.
When it comes to antique area rugs, the question of repair is more of a grey area. Value depends on much more than age alone when it comes to Persian rugs and Oriental carpets. Color, pattern, construction technique, material, age and the place where it was created all come into play when determining the value of a carpet.
Rugs that will probably be worth investing the money to repair them:
- Earlier carpets that represent a certain period, such as those from the Safavid Dynasty, or Mamluk rugs will be more likely to appreciate over time because of their historical significance and rarity.
- Specific carpet patterns will also be more likely to appreciate over time such as Mashahir rugs, vase carpets or tree of life patterns.
- Fine rugs made by master weavers such as Haji Jalili, Ustad Mohtashem, and Kermani will always bring a good price in the right condition.
- Carpets from certain places such as Tabriz, Bidjar, Kashan and Heriz will also be more likely to hold their value if they are better examples from these areas.
- Tribal carpets, such as those from the Berber tribes in Morocco are also popular and tend to hold their value but since they are not expensive rugs to begin with, you need to weigh the cost of repair vs the how much the rug costs.
Keep in mind that the above are just generalizations and do not speak for the appraisal value of any particular carpet.
In general, the more likely a carpet is to hold or appreciate in value, the better it is to keep it in a good state of repair. Also, it is a good idea to have the rug professionally cleaned by someone who specializes in cleaning high end rugs.
***Never take a rug to a general dry cleaning service. The chemicals in the dry cleaning solutions can strip / cause the carpet to bleed color or cause damage. Only allow a professional who specializes in cleaning antique and very high end carpets to clean your investment.
Not All Rug Repairs Are the Same
If you have an investment caliber rug, or you just have a piece that you like, and you want to have it repaired, tread carefully. Not all rug repair services are the same. Repairing and restoring an antique rug means reweaving and re-knotting it using the exact method used to create the original. A highly skilled rug restoration professional can reproduce the technique exactly, and it will be difficult even to see that it was repaired. However, a poor repair job will be glaringly obvious and will ruin the looks and negatively impact the value of the rug.
There is much more to carpet repair than simply sewing it back together. Some companies who say they do repair will serge the edges with a modern machine and call it done. This is not the way to repair an antique rug. In addition, it is difficult to match the dyes used in the original rug precisely. Natural rug dyes are less of a science and more of an art. The color obtained has many variables. Besides, the colors may have faded over time. Modern rug dyes will always look off when placed next to the plant based vegetable dyes, but a good repair person can get an almost perfect match. This takes quite a bit of skill and practice, but it can be done.
Sometimes The Answer Is Not to Repair The Rug
There are cases where investing money in rug repair is the wrong choice. Such cases where you might not want to repair the rug is if you have a rug that does not have much resale value or you have a museum quality and extremely rare or collectible rug. A repair can devalue a highly collectible rug of this caliber. The only exception is if the repair is necessary to preserve the integrity of the rug itself and stabilize it to keep it from falling apart further. If either of these cases is your situation, it is best to consult a professional for an opinion.
Currently, there is a design trend that favors carpets and items that look a bit rough around the edges and have an aged look. They are even machine manufacturing carpets to look this way intentionally, but why settle for a fake when you can have the real deal? If you have a carpet that shows its age, it is the perfect piece for shabby chic, rustic, French farmhouse, tribal, Bohemian or eclectic style. They can also be used effectively to tone down the harshness of modern interiors or add interest to minimalist or Scandinavian modern schemes. You can get creative and have fun in a way that will give it new life.
Deciding Whether to Repair or Not Repair Your Antique Rugs
As you can see, the decision of whether to repair your carpet or not depends on many different factors. It is always best to consult with an experienced professional regarding your particular situation. If you decide to repair your rug, be sure to ask what methods will be used. It is also a good idea to see examples of the quality of work.
Repairing an antique carpet is not a simple process and is typically a major investment in itself, so it is important to make sure you choose someone who is experienced and reliable to get the job done right. This is a decision that you will have to live with, so make sure you choose the right person for the job.
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This rug blog in our Rug Q&A’s series about weather or not you should repair your rugs was published by Nazmiyal antique rug gallery in NYC.