How to Identify Vintage Moroccan Rugs and Spot Fakes Easily
Crafted by Berber artisans. Curated by decor enthusiasts
How do you know if vintage Moroccan rugs are vintage before you buy?
Top interior designers show a vintage Moroccan Berber rug decorating even the simplest of homes. They can get expensive if you are not sure how to spot fakes.
What increases their value and makes them a good investment is whether they are vintage and one of a kind. This can get confusing if you don’t know what to look for.
The truth is, it's actually not that complicated. I can teach you how to identify real vintage Moroccan Berber rugs in a few simple steps.
What Qualifies Something as Vintage?
According to Merriam Webster, the definition of vintage is referring to wine. The secondary definition is “a period of origin or manufacture.” Both are okay, but not exactly helpful.
What is easier to understand is "vintage" being something made 20-100 years ago. It also must show the style and trends of the time. Anything created less than 20 years ago is retro, while items 100 years old or older are antique.
The fashion industry has set the standard for how we use the word “vintage." This influences the rest of the world. Anything considered vintage increases in value over time because it is from the past.
Vintage Berber Moroccan rug art pieces made within the last 20-99 years are collectible. Fewer items produced during a certain time increases the value of the item. With vintage Moroccan rugs, the value raises if they are handmade and one-of-a-kind. You should never find two carpets that are exactly the same.
"Vintage" is something that has been in use since World War I when there was a textile shortage in the United States. Today, the term describes the clothing, home décor styles, and more. It also has a new awareness of improving environmental sustainability.
What Is Considered a Vintage Moroccan Rug?
In Morocco, families use the carpets they create. Each rug reflects the culture of Morocco and each tribe.
They will have imperfections from use. Weavers create functional art for everyday living. They are not used for display only.
A vintage carpet will also show signs of wear. The rug pile may have worn spots revealing the foundation of the rug. Here are a few more tips to help you decide if a Moroccan rug is vintage.
How to Tell If Moroccan Carpets and Rugs Are Vintage
- The back of the rug will look more polished. Newer rug backs feel fuzzy. Walking on a rug and friction from usage removes the fuzzy texture. It will feel gritty, sandy, or smooth on the back.
- Woven Moroccan rugs become more supple over time. It should feel a little floppy.
- The color or natural rug dye will look faded. Fold the rug in half to see if the color is the same all the way down to the foundation. If the rug pile color looks darker near the foundation, then it has faded due to light exposure. Authentic Moroccan rugs use mostly natural vegetable dyes. The colors fade with age and exposure to sunlight or chemicals. Natural dyes look softer and more mellow in comparison to chemical dyes. Watch out for manufacturers creating fakes. They use a bleaching technique to give rugs an aged appearance. This is how you can identify a bleached rug.
- Check for natural wear. Separate the rug pile and look for a gradual transition in color from the top to the base. You will see a noticeable contrast of color in the middle of the fiber in bleached rugs.
- It has an original design. Vintage floor coverings and wall hangings from Morocco are not infinite. You will not find multiples of the same exact carpet. They are finite, with no two ever looking exactly the same.
- The fibers used are from pure sheep wool and not synthetic materials such as nylon.
Beware of a Vintage Looking Moroccan Rug
Sometimes the word “vintage” means a particular style or design that was popular in the past. Modern manufacturers create replica products to capitalize on this trend. Their items are reminiscent of popular gods of another era.
This is why not all vintage rugs are vintage. They are not all made in the past that is reflective of the makers’ artistic tribal culture. Looks can be deceiving.
Why Are Moroccan Vintage Rugs Popular?
Le Corbusier popularized a revival of the unique, old, and unusual. He transformed Morocco Berber carpets into high-end design pieces for exquisite décor. As a result, vintage carpets from Morocco are highly-sought after all around the world.
A mid-century Moroccan vintage rug is a tribal work featuring volcanic colors. This creates contrast in both color and design form. What makes them so popular is their role within Moroccan history.
The indigenous people of Morocco craft these masterpieces for practical usage. Most of the rug crafters do not own a formal degree or artistic training of any kind.
They use simple forms and design patterns with pronounced degrees of color contrast. The creation of thicker floor cloths with a heavier pile is for the snowy mountainous regions of Morocco. The hotter desert climates use thin rugs.
All designs are original and vary from weaver to weaver and artist to artist. The family of a tribe passes these down for generations.
The rug form is very simple, making it work for all types of interior decorating styles. Fine Moroccan rugs from North Africa have withstood the test of time, earning a high status in interior design.
How Much Do Vintage Moroccan Rugs Cost?
Prices begin at $500 and go up to $3,000 depending on the size, quality, and care of each overtime. They will continue to increase in value if kept in excellent condition.
How to Buy a Vintage Rug Online
Before buying a vintage Moroccan carpet, make sure to ask about the age, condition, and the tribe that made it. This will help you understand if it is vintage and plan your interior decorating.
Where to Buy Vintage Berber Rugs
High quality and affordable pricing make Moroccan vintage rugs online from Coco Carpets popular. Rug lovers, interior designers, and art collectors love our selection.
Every piece is a part of Moroccan history, representing true folk art. Families have passed this heirloom down through generations in Morocco. We hope the tradition continues in your own family.
Where Do Coco Carpets Find Vintage Moroccan Rugs and Carpets?
Traveling to various regions of Morocco is how we find a Coco Carpet. We meet with the tribal people who make them. There are hundreds of different tribes in Morocco. That means there is never only one story or journey for a Coco rug handpicked for you.
Tribes purpose their rug creations for personal use, give them away as gifts to others, or sell them. Coco rugs have a deep multi-use journey before it goes into our vintage rug store. They run deep in Moroccan history, tribal culture, family life, and artistic value.
See how simple and easy it is to find the real deal? Be sure to check out our wide selection of vintage Moroccan rugs for sale at affordable prices. I promise it will not disappoint.
Now, it’s your turn to share. What is an easy checklist you like to use while shopping for rugs?