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Distressed Area Rugs 

In recent years, the worn rug look has become popular in the decorative rug market with interior designers that prefer a more used rug or vintage rug look. Distressing is a process that takes new and vintage rugs, and even antique carpets, through various aggressive chemicals, herbal treatments, and even fire to make rugs look worn, old, different, and unique.

Not too different for distressed denim jeans artificially aged rug right for their home and lifestyle give a lived-in look, but are these rugs a good buy or are there better options in the rug marketplace, and

how did we get here ?   

The distressed look started with distressing vintage rugs made from the1950s to the 1980s; at the time, there was an abundance of vintage carpets, but they lacked colors and designs that were popular in the modern decorative rug market.


At the time, Turkey had an overabundance of vintage Turkish rugs that were unsalable in the decorative rug market. To make them more saleable, techniques were used such as tea washing and bleaching to make these rugs more appealing to design tastes in the west and often at a lower and more attractive price than a new rug. The design trend caught on as time went on, and vintage rugs became a catalyst for rug producers to make new rugs with the intent of distressing them, giving birth to distressed area rugs 


Things You Need To Know 

The hidden cost of a renewed area rug 

The process often starts by removing most of the carpet pile with shearing and fire to wear the carpet artificially. The rug's nap is sheared and burned off down to the carpet's foundation.


To make a thin floor covering with no carpet nap  or, as we call them, zero-pile rugs 

Damaged Carpets 

Fire is often employed to remove fuzz and more of the carpet fibers than a shearing machine can reach.

Ultimately the processes used to artificially age and distress carpets cause damage and greatly diminish service life on your floor. Much like new blue jeans artificially aged, worn, and with holes put in them, these area carpets have worn areas and low carpet nap and even damage.


In some cases, this damage is obvious; in others, it's latent, and the damage is repaired or "touched up" with ink, textile paints, and chalk to hide and obscure rug damage. These damages manifest themselves over time with foot traffic, exposure to sunlight, and, most commonly, in cleaning. 


Issues With Vintage Rugs 


In this oriental rug, the pile has been taken down, so low the warps in the foundation of the rug are exposed.


 Textile paint and chalk have been used near the center to hide wear and damage. Often these rugs and carpets have substantial repairs. 


At best this carpet may last a couple of years with low to moderate foot traffic. The methods used to "touch up" and obscure wear and damage it is removed and altered by simple washing.    

Closing Thoughts On Zero Pile Rugs

It's something out of a dystopian novel; Oriental rugs are prized for hard-wearing durability and longevity, pushed aside. Suplanted by something that looks nice and trendy for now but only for a short time. 

In a time when we are more conscious of the environment and waste, many consumers choose what amounts to pre-planned obsolescence by color trend, design, and artificial aging, disposable trends destined for the dump. 

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