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Differences in antique carpets


The world of antique carpets is full of very beautiful examples but also of very good copies. New, well aged carpets, others put in the sun for a long time, others so worn out that the subject is no longer visible and then it is painted on, then again others completely ruined by moths and so on. When a customer brings us the carpet to wash, if it has problems we have to point them out: the problems can adversely affect the outcome of the wash and on this we are very clear and precise.

This antique carpet is very beautiful.

I have seen many times, especially in occasional auctions in villas or on television, specimens of 40-50 years old carpets; and this also happens in some websites, where sometimes you can see recent carpets classified as “semi-antique”. The think of anything in order to sell !! In more than thirty years in the field I have never heard of a “semi-antique carpet” (perhaps half the carpet is new and the other half is ancient?). Why not call it “old” as one has always done with 50-80 year old carpets? He probably does not even have those. We know that a carpet to be classified as Antique carpets must be a minimum of a century old, but if it has less it is termed “old” or old manufacture. Look at these Saruk’s details. Which of these two carpets is antique? It is difficult to determine it. The above is the first of the recently manufactured series Woven Legend carpets which are so beautiful that they seem old; faithfully reproduced are Caucasian, Persian, Mamluks, etc. and you can see them in the group Woven Legends Collection. Underneath you can see instead a beautiful Saruk Farahan Antique carpets from the 800’s. You’ll notice that we declare the Saruk Ferahan carpet below as authentic antique carpet high epoch, while the Saruk Ferahan Woven Legend on the left and all his peers are proposed as new carpets and not antiques.

Antique carpets Saruk Ferahan Antique carpets , Saruk Ferahan

Comparison between a new Shirvan carpet and an antique one.

If it were not for shave a little ‘higher and the colours that have to become softer, to the layman’s eye it would look Antique carpets  . They are carpets that we produce in Azerbaijan, knotted by women working at home using the old frames and the same knotting methods of the ancient people.

Antique carpets , Shirvan mogan

Antique carpets , Shirvan mogan

The importance of the Manchester keshan Antique carpets’s conservation status.

When you think of antique carpets , you should be aware that the rug has been used for at least three quarters of its life, that is, for at least 70-80 years and therefore cannot look as good as new. Just like  antique furniture carpets, although younger, have lived their adventures; then some restoration may have been needed and the fleece has definitely lowered. So when you get close to an ancient specimen you need to appreciate it as a unique work of art, accepting the fact that it can also have some defects, but not too many. It doesn’t have to be too worn out  or exaggeratedly restored, as the one in the photo. Another very important thing is to look at it against the light: this way you can see if there are any missing knots or if it has any little holes. In the images on the right: The big difference between the back of the first restored Shirvan carpet (way too much restoration) and a specimen in a perfect condition.

Antique carpets , Shirvan

Antique carpets , Shirvan mogan

The ri-coloured antique carpets

Every time we say to a customer “Here there are no more knots and it has been painted”, these assume the typical expression of the scandalized person. The fact is that it happens very frequently. Many worn out carpets, not having fleece any more, show the plot. In order to be able to resell them as antique carpets in fairly good condition they are painted. Look at the detail on the left of the nineteen century‘s Kirman: we see quite clearly that the cotton texture, which should be white, was painted following the design of the carpet. In time the colour becomes ugly and rough, passing his hand on the carpet one can feel that it is prickly as a wall still unfinished. With this treatment, the result is that in a short time the carpet will be very ugly and could also break. Photo above: it shows an antique Kirman carpet whose cotton weft has been coloured. Photo underneath: a Kirman Raver with perfect fleece.

kerman Raver

kerman Raver

Be careful of the moths: they eat the carpets’ wool.

Many antique rugs have not been preserved in dry places or have remained closed up for some time without  light, air and, most likely, not very cared for.

Many often there are carpets which have laid for years in warehouses and have never been washed These situations are the ideal environment for the moths that eat the carpets’ wool. So, because of this, at the time of purchase you should double check the carpet at the back and against the light to see that there are no areas or knots eaten by moths

The moth can attack even a carpet that stays on the floor for a long time without being moved, perhaps under a piece of furniture without air and light . These white worms with black head are eat the knots without touching the wefts, if these are cotton, otherwise they eat those too.

In your own interest we recommend that you wash your carpets at least every two years.

In the photo above you see an example of carpet literally eaten by moths. In the antique Keshan below everything is in order, without eaten areas, either on the fleece or the back.

Antique carpets

Manchester keshan Antique carpets


The first things that get ruined are the borders and fringes and for this reason it is very important to check that they are in good condition or that they have been recently restored. In the details below on the right we see a neglected carpet and on the left a perfectly restored Kashkuly. The Bokara was not purchased recently but if a periodic maintenance is not adequately made it will lose many knots. If you buy a carpet where the edges are a bit run down and the fringes lack the chain that holds the knots, this will start to slip off as in the carpet on the left.


Before handing an antique carpet to a customer, we do a complete and accurate overhaul so that he receives it in an excellent condition and we provide it with our excellent non- slip web to make it more resistant to wear. All this means that, because of their advanced age, these Antique carpets  are to be highly respected.

Photo: Trimmings and fringes in poor condition while in the Kashkuli Antique carpet are perfect.

Tappeto Bukara

Tappeto Kashkuli antico

In closing let me give you one last very important piece of advice:

Be wary of cheap antique carpets, there could be something going on

The real ones are an “endangered species” and if they have a very low price  there must be a reason: many of these are actually carpets aged in the sun and well camouflaged, or there have one  of the reasons that I have explained so far, but definitely there could be something strange.