top of page

  Guide To Buying Vintage Area Rugs 

 Affordable Vintage Area Rugs

You don't have to break the bank to buy a decent area rug. Vintage area rugs can be a great addition to any home, adding character and history to a room. When buying a vintage rug, there are a few things you should consider so we put together this guide to buying vintage area rugs.


What is a vintage rug?

A vintage rug is roughly 20-80 years of age, depending on who's buying and who's selling, and tends to be the determining factor of what one calls vintage. For purposes of this discussion, rugs were made from 1950 to 1990 as vintage and most commonly made in Iran, Turkey, Morrocco, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China.

Shopping for vintage rugs.


Make sure the rug is in reasonable condition; understand a vintage rug may have some wear and show their age, and that's to be expected. The biggest issues when shopping for vintage rugs are latent or hidden damage like rotten areas and moth damage, frayed ends, and sides. An area rug at a good price or a money pit in disguise.


 Overall, it's important to do your research and be aware of any potential red flags when buying a vintage rug. It can be a great investment, but if you want to ensure you're getting a high-quality piece drop the rug by our workshop for a free evaluation. Renaissace Rug Cleaning can check the condition, and our experts will let you know if there are any issues to be concerned with 

Rug Materials

Wool is king, and nothing holds up to foot traffic or has the resilience and warmth as a wool area rug. I've been cleaning rugs for 35 years; a handmade wool rug reigns supreme for warmth, durability, and longevity. We clean one hundred-plus-year-old antique rugs all the time but rarely clean cotton, rayon, or synthetic rugs that are over 20 years old. The reason is that they don't have the resiliency or durability of wool, and we cannot recommend wool enough. 

Interior design

Maybe your style is bohemian decore where anything goes, but if color and design are important, decorating with a vintage rug can be a little challenging. When shopping for a vintage rug, consider inverting the typical design/process. Add colors and design elements or items to your room to compliment your vintage rug so the rug fits.

Vintage Rug Pricing

Vintage rugs vary in price 8x10 hand-woven Persian style can be had for around 900.00 and up. Compared with new hand woven 8x10's that start at 3,500 and up and often aren't the same quality.


Learn the lingo of confusing rug terms hand-knotted isn't the same as hand-made, hand-tufted, or hand-loomed. Hand-knotted rugs tied one knot at a time around warps; the others are quicker and cheaper methods of making rugs, and they are not as durable. You can learn more about tufted rugs here, tufted rugs are much cheaper to make but are held together with adhesives, and many only last a few years.




Common Issues with Vintage Rugs 

Vintage area rugs can be a great deal, but there are a few common issues we see with some vintage rugs you should know about.

  1. Wear and tear: Vintage rugs, especially those that are many years old, may show signs of wear and tear. This can include frayed edges, thinning pile, and fading or discoloration of the fibers.

  2. Stains: Stains can be difficult to remove from vintage rugs, especially if they have set in over time.

  3. Odors: Vintage rugs may develop musty or stale odors over time, especially if they have been stored in a damp or poorly ventilated area.

  4. Vintage or antique rugs could harbor mold and mildew: Vintage rugs that have been stored in a damp or humid environment may develop mold or mildew, which can be difficult to remove.

  5. Moths: Moths can be a problem for vintage rugs that have been improperly stored, and months can chew holes in a rug; they can be a trojan horse hatch in your home, infesting other rugs and protein fibers( wool clothing, furniture)

  6. Some vintage rugs are "washed" with strong chemicals to destroy dyes, or the pile is trimmed down in what the industry calls "zero pile," meaning the rug is close to worn out. 

  7. Poorly done repairs that don't hold up well to foot traffic, color touch-ups (ink) that fade over time or wash out when the rug is cleaned. 

If you are having issues with your vintage rug, it may be a good idea to consult a professional rug cleaner or restorer for help. They will be able to assess the condition of the rug and recommend the best course of action.

To Clean Or Not To Clean 

It is generally a good idea to clean a used rug before bringing it into your home, especially if you are unsure of its history.  

Cleaning a rug can also help to remove any potential allergens or pests that may be living in the fibers. If the rug has a musty or stale odor, a professional cleaning can help to eliminate this as well.

Overall, cleaning a used rug before bringing it into your home can help to ensure that it is hygienic and free of any potential health hazards and moth eggs that could infest your home. 

If you are unsure, our professional rug cleaning service can help you assess if your rug is clean and look for any signs of moth infestation. 

Where to buy vintage rugs in Portland, Oregon; Luckily, Portland has a network of vintage rug retailers.



Other retailers of vintage rugs

Vintage Persian rug
bottom of page