Is Your Rug Faux-Real? How to Distinguish Authentic Persian Rugs From Fakes

authentic persian rugs

The Persian rug industry was once a booming business, bringing in more than $425 million each year. But with new sanctions in place, getting a hold of new Persian rugs is getting more difficult.

For owners of authentic Persian rugs, this is good news. It means your rug is more valuable than ever before. But it must be the real thing.

How can you be sure that the rug in your home is a genuine Persian rug? Luckily, telling the difference between real and fake rugs is surprisingly easy.

Here’s what you need to check:

Figure Out Where the Rug Is From

Authentic Persian rugs are only made in the Middle East, specifically in Iran. If the rugs you have at home come from any other country, they’re not a true Persian rug.

That doesn’t mean they’re low-quality or not beautiful. It just means they’re not Persian.

Hand-knotted rugs made in countries like China, India, Pakistan, and even Turkey are technically Oriental rugs. They often share similar patterns and textures, but despite their beauty, they’re not authentic and you may have paid more than you should have for the rug.

Inspect the Backing

Handwoven rugs are a work of art. The top surface of the rug shows beautiful intricate designs. And those designs show up on the back of the rug.

When you turn your rug over, take a close look a the backing. Authentic Oriental and Persian rugs have backs that clearly mimic the design on the top. And the individual threads should make up the bulk of the backing.

Mass-produced or fake rugs have a plastic backing to hold everything together. It’s what keeps the fibers glued into place and keeps the rug from falling apart.

And you’ll be able to see it clearly. The design from the top of the rug will look faded or you’ll notice defined plastic lines running throughout the rug.

A plastic back is a sure-fire sign that you have a fake gracing the floor of your home.

Think About the Price

If the rug is incredibly cheap, you’re not getting a great deal. You’re getting a fake.

Think about how craftsmen make the authentic rugs you love. They’re made by hand and the process takes time, training, and immense skill.

When you purchase a rug, you’re paying for that expertise.

If you paid several thousand for a large rug, you likely invested in the real thing. But if the price was too good to be true or you got the rug at a steal, it’s likely a fake.

Check Out the Fringe

Handmade rugs have perfectly laid fringe that’s hand-knotted onto the rug itself. This makes it incredibly durable, but also gives the fringe more freedom of movement and helps it lay better on the floor.

Machine-made or mass-produced rugs have fringe that’s sewed on at the end of the manufacturing process.

Look at the fringe on your rug. If you see nothing but knotwork holding the fringe in place, you have the real thing. But if you see a straight sewed line or feel glue beneath the string, your rug is a fake.

Look at the Materials

Modern mass-produced rugs are well-known to have synthetic materials. These include polyester, nylon, and plastic.

Why? Because they’re cheap to make and relatively easy to work with.

But true Persian rugs use much higher quality materials. If your rug maker used dyed wool to create the intricate designs you love, you’ve got an authentic rug.

So, how can you tell? Most manufactured rugs will have a tag telling you about the types of materials used. And those materials will often feel stiffer than natural wool.

With a Persian rug, the materials will be soft to the touch and the fibers should move more easily. Pick up the corner of the rug and see if it bends easily. If it does, it was likely handwoven.

If the rug itself is stiff and feels difficult to move or position, it’s likely made from manufactured materials.

The Colors Bleed Together

There’s a huge difference between high-quality hand-dyed wool used in real Persian rugs and the synthetic fibers used on fakes.

The most obvious is that the colors tend to bleed together in fake Persian rugs. This is because machines lack the precision required to create beautiful and unique designs. The fibers get mixed and the lines between the different designs start to blur.

With handmade rugs, the maker takes time to separate the fibers and keep the design consistent. The result is clearer lines, finer details, and a nicer overall pattern full of vibrant colors that give meaning to the patterns.

Search for Imperfections

Genuine Persian rugs won’t ever be completely perfect. They can’t be. Each maker, no matter how experienced they are, will make at least a few mistakes in the process.

Those mistakes won’t impact the value negatively. Nor will they hurt the quality of the rug.

Machine-made rugs are consistent to a fault. Look at the edging and see if things are completely straight or pulled to a uniform tightness.

If so, there’s a good chance that the rug is a fake. If you notice a few imperfections, it shows that the rug was likely made by hand and is thus the real deal.

Authentic Persian Rugs Are Worth the Price

Authentic Persian rugs are one of the best ways to add visual appeal and class to any room. If you have one on-hand, do whatever you can to keep it in good condition.

It will hold its value for decades. But you do need to have the rug professionally cleaned and repaired anytime you notice damage or wear and tear.

If you’re worried about your genuine Persian rug, contact our team and let our dedicated staff restore your rug to its former splendor.

Handle with Care: 7 Antique Rug Cleaning Tips You Need to Know

antique rug cleaning

Did you know an antique rug could be worth as much as $1 million? When you care for such a rug properly, it could stay in your family for generations.

If you own an antique rug, it’s vital you know how to take care of it and how to clean it properly. Here are 7 greats tips for antique rug cleaning.

1. Consider Treating Them Like Art

If you own an antique rug, you’re aware of how beautiful they can be. In order to reduce wear and tear and the need for cleaning, you could consider displaying your rug like a piece of art instead of using them conventionally.

For example, you could display them on a wall. When you show off your rugs like this, the need for you to clean and care for them is significantly reduced. In the long-run, displaying your rugs in this way is going to make them last a lot longer.

2. Get Them Professionally Cleaned Every Five Years

When you look after your antique rug properly, it could last for generations to come. But if you want it to, just cleaning it yourself isn’t enough; you’ll need to bring it to a professional cleaner now and then.

On average, you should send in your rug to be cleaned around once every five years. A professional rug cleaner will have the skills and equipment necessary to ensure your rug isn’t damaged during the cleaning process. They’ll also have the necessary facilities to make sure it dries at the right temperature.

3. Position the Rug Right

If you do decide to use your antique rug as an actual rug, where you choose to place it in your home can make a big difference as to how dirty it gets. If you place it in a location where it’s going to get a lot of foot traffic going over it, it’s going to suffer from more wear and tear and will need cleaning more often.

Consider repositioning your rug somewhere it can be seen and enjoyed, but won’t be stepped on as frequently. When you place your antique rug in the right place, it’ll significantly reduce the need for having it cleaned.

Generally speaking, you need to have your rug cleaned around once every five years. But if you place it in the optimal location, you might be able to get away with waiting longer. On the other hand, if your rug is placed in a high foot traffic area, you might need to have it cleaned more frequently.

4. Be Wary of Cleaning Solutions

Most antique rug experts would agree that using chemical cleaning solutions on an antique rug is not a good idea at all. If you use any chemical cleaning solutions on your rug, you run the risk of doing irreparable damage to it.

Professional antique rug cleaners will almost never use any kind of chemical cleaning solution. Instead, they would use warm water and gentle chemical-free ones.

You should avoid using any chemical-based cleaning solutions on your rug at all costs since they can be corrosive and harsh. If such a solution somehow ends up getting on your rug, you should contact a professional for emergency cleaning.

As a rule of thumb, if you’re in doubt about using a certain type of cleaning product on your rug, don’t do it! It’s not worth the risk; leave these kinds of decisions to the professionals.

5. Handle Spills Correctly

If you accidentally spill something on your antique rug, the first thing to keep in mind is not to panic! You should blot the area of the spill as quickly as possible. Then, you should put a towel or cloth under the rug and pour warm water through the rug until it rinses out.

Before doing this, you need to make sure it isn’t going to cause the colors to bleed. To test this, use a wet cloth on a small area of the rug to see if any color transfers over. If it does, you should probably get in touch with a professional rug cleaner who will be able to help you.

6. Keep It in the Right Environment

To keep your rug in optimal condition, you need to keep it in the right kind of conditions. For example, you should keep it in the driest environment possible. Plus, you should also keep it out of direct sunlight.

Ideally, you should also avoid placing it in any areas that are going to get too hot or too humid. There are a whole lot of factors which can influence the condition of your antique rug, so it pays to take the time to do research. Even things like smoking near it could potentially cause damage to it.

7. Don’t Worry Too Much

If you have an antique rug, it could easily be over a century old. If it’s managed to stay in good condition for that long, it’s probably going to be fine for years to come. In fact, the oldest rug ever found was around 2,500 years old and was in almost perfect condition!

As long as you do your due diligence, have it cleaned regularly, and take care of it properly, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. Many people assume that just because something is an antique it means it’s fragile. But if your antique rug was that fragile, would it really have lasted so many decades, allowing it to come into your possession?

Work With Antique Rug Cleaning Professionals

If you are unfortunate enough to damage your antique rug, all is not lost. Not only can antique rug cleaning pros help you to clean your rug, but they can also assist you with restoring it to its former glory in the event of any damage. So relax and keep our 7 tips in mind when dealing with your beautiful rug.

Thinking of buying an antique rug to display in your living room? Then take a look at our collection of 17th century rugs.

Antique Mid 19th Century Fereghan Rug From Central Persia Measuring 6.7 x 4.1 feet

Check out this week’s Fred Moheban Gallery featured rug.

Type: Antique Central Persian Fereghan Rug.

Measurements: 6.7’ x 4.1’

Date: circa 1860

Color|Design: Exceptional and charming all-over pattern with rare, vivid color dyes.

Fred Moheban Suggestions: This piece would make a wonderful addition to any important private collection or serve as a beautiful statement piece in any interior.





This week’s rug featured at Fred Moheban Gallery is an antique mid-19th century Fereghan Rug from Central Persia. It is circa 1860 and has an all-over pattern with rare, vivid color dyes. This rug has a lot of charm. The more you delve into the rug; you will find lots of little animals and birds throughout the field. The rug was woven with an embossed technique as you can see in the border and in some parts of the field. It was woven with very fine quality wool, and the weave is extremely fine. This rug just glows at you. It would make a wonderful addition to any important private collection, or it would be a beautiful statement piece in any interior.

You can view this stunning rug here or for any inquiries or questions, call Fred Moheban Gallery at (212) 397-9060 or email us at

An exceptional and rare Antique Lavar Kerman Persian Rug (6.6′ X 4.8′)

Check out this week’s Fred Moheban Gallery featured rug.


Type: Antique South Persian Lavar Kerman Rug.

Measurements: 6.6′ X 4.8′

Date: circa 1870

Color|Design: Stunning rare color combination with a pale blue background and intricate pattern.

Fred Moheban Suggestions:  This piece would make a perfect addition to any private collection or serve as a gorgeous statement piece to any interior.




This week’s Fred Moheban Gallery featured rug is an antique Lavar Kerman from South Persia circa 1870. It is extremely, finely woven with a rare, superb color combination on a pale blue ground. It was woven by a true master weaver for an Amir, who was a governor of Persia at the time. Note the highly stylized calligraphy and the crisp detail of the drawing. In order for that to be, the rug needs to be extremely finely woven and can be seen in the execution of the weave. The quality of wool used is as soft as velvet, and it is one of the finest Lavar Kerman’s we have seen. It would be a wonderful addition to any important private collection or a beautiful statement piece in any interior.

You can view this luxurious rug here or for any inquiries or questions, call Fred Moheban Gallery at (212) 397-9060 or email us at