How To Spot A Fake Vintage Rug?

Antique and vintage rugs are hot sellers all over the world for rug connoisseurs. But you can’t completely rule out the possibility of getting duped. Buy genuine vintage and antique rugs by looking out for these red flags.

A Plastic Backing

One of the biggest signs that an antique rug is fake is the back of it. Flip the rug over and inspect the backing. First of all, there shouldn’t be any backing on an authentic vintage rug. If there’s a hard, plastic-like backing or canvas on the back of the rug, then you better believe that you just saved yourself from being duped.

Original and authentic rugs are super soft and can be bent in any direction. There is no support or backing in the rug that gives it a stiff look. That’s common in machine-made rugs that can be very stiff and sturdy to the point where they stay put in one place and not move at all.

This is a huge sign that the rug you’re trying to buy is not authentic and you should back away from the deal as quickly as you can because you’re one step closer to making the biggest mistake of your entire rug-buying life. Always go for rugs that have no backing at all, because those are original vintage rugs.

Glued On Fringes

When you’re looking at a rug to buy, try to take a closer look at the fringes. Are they a bit weird? Are they positioned awkwardly? Do they look crooked or, maybe, not part of the rug? Well, you’ve hit the jackpot. If the fringes or tassels are glued on the sides of the rug, rather than being the real ends of the woven material, then the rug is fake. This is a huge alarm bell and you should not even think about buying this rug, no matter how cheap it is.

Real vintage rugs have fringes that are the ends of the woven strands and they’re a part of the rug, so they can’t be tugged or ripped off. The glued-on fringes are super tacky and all it takes is one wash for the fringes to fall apart and the rug will look hideous.

So, save your money and don’t go for rugs that look fake and tacky at first glance, because your gut is never wrong, and if something is off about the rug, then there probably is. Spend your time and money on getting a rug that’s going to last you a long time and will give the impression of a real vintage rug.

The Colors Get Muddy

The color of the rug also plays a major role in finding out whether the rug you’re buying is real or not. Real vintage rugs have amazing color payoffs and they don’t bleed into one another easily, even though they’re super old and worn out. This is just the quality of an authentic area rug and the main reason is the choice of dyes used to color the strands. These dyes are not your usual chemical and powder dyes. They’re sourced from natural ingredients and the vibrancy is just out of this world.

On the flip side, fake vintage rugs are dyed with industrial dyes that can only last for so long. The result will be color bleeding and the rug getting muddy after a couple of washes, even though the retailer said that it wouldn’t happen.

Well, it’s safe to say that those rugs are not worth the money at all and you should be a bit more vigilant when buying rugs because it’s very easy to get scammed. But, if you know what to look out for, then you’re good to go and you’ll always get the best thing, judging by the money you’re spending.

Knots Are Not Made By Hand

Hand knots might seem pretty hard to identify, but they’re really easy. You can easily identify whether a knot is made by hand or by a machine. Real vintage rugs are obviously Handmade rugs VA, which is why they last for a long time, about 50 years or even more. Hand knots are very random and they will vary in appearance from the others.

The knots will be tight in some places and loose in others and that’s typically the biggest indicator that they’re done by hand because inconsistency is something that only humans can master. If the knots are made by a machine then they are going to be carbon copies of the neighboring knots and all of them will be stretched over the same length and there won’t be any inconsistencies. That is immediately a dead giveaway that the rug is machine-made and probably a fake vintage rug, and you want to stop yourself right there, from making the wrong purchase.

Machine knots will also unravel after a couple of months and you’ll be left with a pile of frayed-up fabric and nothing else, so it’s good to ask yourself: Is this rug even worth it? It’s evident that you know the answer to it.

You Got The Rug At A Huge Discount

It’s time to swallow the bitter pill; authentic vintage rugs are never going to be cheap. They are seldom on sale and even if they are, it will be a small percentage waiver. Handmade rugs are a pretty big investment and you can’t just get them on a “buy 1, get 1” deal.

You either have to get them at full price or find a pre-loved rug. The latter would be a bit cheaper than the real deal if bought from someone directly without the intervention of a professional rugs seller, but other than that, there’s no way for you to save money.

Now that you know this fact, whenever you see a vintage rug on sale, then you better not be tempted to take a quick peek because it’s probably not real. Retailers use this as a way for people to be attracted to their shops and make a hefty purchase, but what they’re buying isn’t exactly a real vintage rug. It’s a knock-off version of the rug, probably fake and it will not be worth the money you’re spending on. So, if you want a real and classic vintage rug, then you better start making a budget for it.

It’s Not Wool

Even though it says it’s wool, fake vintage rugs aren’t made out of wool, silk, or cotton. They are usually made with a blended or synthetic fabric and they market it as wool or silk. You don’t want to fall for this trick.

Real woolen rugs are pretty warm and they’re fluffy, but they’re not a land cloud either. Machine-made rugs are designed to be super fluffy and tufted and if someone doesn’t know how to distinguish between wool and synthetic materials, then they are the perfect prey.


These things are good to know because you never know what a person could be selling, and if you’re not too careful, you can get scammed by these con artists pretty easily. Moreover, to avoid fake rugs, go to stores that are known for showcasing genuine oriental and Persian antique rugs Virginia. It’s not bad for a rug store to have multiple types of rugs, but genuine sellers don’t label newer rugs as vintage rugs.

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