Previously we’ve talked about how to give an antique rug a new life. In this blog piece we gave tips that were appropriate for rugs that are dirty, torn, or frayed around the edges. What do you do if your rug is really beyond rehabilitating, though? If it’s worn in many places and generally unsalvageable? Here we’ll talk about what your options are for Oriental rugs that are no longer suitable to grace your floors.
Layer your rugs – If your Oriental rug is badly worn or stained in the middle but its edges are still in good shape, you can layer another rug over it and still keep it on your floor. Layering rugs is trendy right now, so that is an extra benefit. If you have a large space and not enough money for a big rug to fill it, using the damaged rug to help cover the floor is a great hack. If you don’t have a damaged rug but would like try out the layering trend with an old rug, put the word out among your friends and family. Someone may have a worn rug available to give you.
Donate your rug – If you have a worn but historically significant rug, you can donate it to a historical society, museum, or nonprofit organization. If it’s recognized as a 501(c)(3) public charity, you can claim a tax deduction for the value of the rug. In 2017, Congress passed tax reform that increased the standard deduction, so whether this suggestion works for your situation will be dependent on income and the value of the rug.
If you are no longer using the rug, however, you may still want to donate it to put it in the hands of people who would appreciate it or use it rather than have it gather dust in your basement or attic.
Repurpose your rug – Because Oriental rugs are woven on the warp strings that make up the rug fringe, you cannot just cut them down as you could a carpet remnant or a machine sewn rug. An experienced upholsterer could create a small rug, a pillow, a wall hanging, or upholster a footstool or chair, though. The project would depend on how much of the Oriental rug remains in good condition. If your rug is a family heirloom or has real sentimental value for you, repurposing it into a smaller item is a great way to keep the rug as a part of your home decoration (minus the damaged parts).
If none of the above suggestions work for you, there is always the option of offering it to friends, relatives, or young people who are just starting out in life and have the energy to fix things up. An Oriental rug really is a work of art, so it’s a shame to discard one if it can still be cleaned, repaired, or repurposed in some way.