Vintage Rugs :: What to Look For


I’m the proud owner of three vintage rugs, including the one above, and I hope to use a few more in my house over time. (Stay tuned for my One Room Challenge reveal next week to see this rug in action.)

I used to think vintage rugs were a bunch of thin, stinky old things that no one would want.

Who would want a gross, used rug, right?

Now I know that they can be the exact opposite.

Think about it, if a rug is 50 years old (or more!) and still is beautiful, my family and your family probably can’t destroy it. And if it’s been cared for and cleaned it’s not gross at all.


How do you look for a good deal with a vintage rug?


I asked Ashli from SF Rugs  to help us know what to look for when shopping for a vintage rug, here are three things to pay attention to:

  • Hand-knotted or hand-woven — not hand-tufted

Okay, I had NO idea that hand-tufted was that different from hand-knotted or woven. I mean they all have the word “hand” in it, it must be great, right?

Hand-knotted or hand-woven means that someone tied each knot by hand, as opposed to hand-tufted where a tool or machine is used to help everything go quickly which is cheaper to make so the rug should cost less. Hand-tufted rugs don’t go for as much as hand-woven/knotted rugs. It doesn’t mean they are bad, just be aware of the difference so you don’t over pa.

  • Made of natural fibers like silk, wool, and cotton – because they last longer

Have you noticed how many rugs are made of “polypropylene”? It’s a fancy name for petroleum and they are great for outdoor use but don’t always provide a cushy, soft place to sit on the floor. The lifespan of a polypropylene rug is 3-5 years where a wool rug can be handed down to your kids, unless they hate it.


  • The design YOU LIKE

Speaking of hating a rug. Vintage rugs just won’t die easily, so you better like it because the only way you can get rid of it is by selling it or giving it away. Look for something you can enjoy for years, even if you style and favorite colors change over time.

So, that’s enough to get you started if you’ve been curious about vintage rugs. So far, I’m really happy with mine. And funny side note, whenever I get a new rug, my animals all go a little cuckoo the first few days. I’m guessing they must smell the previous family (I never can) and they all usually end up napping on the new to us rug for the first week or so!

Need more rug info, check out this post.

All photos from SF Rugs.






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