Frequently Asked Questions
We love talking rugs! If you don’t find your question and answer listed below, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org. We do our best to respond within 2 business days.
What’s the difference between your Collections?
Revival vintage rugs are categorized into the following collections: Original Vintage, Overdyed, Distressed, or Antique Washed. Kilims are always kept as is, as are Revival Cushion Cases, which are made from vintage kilim rugs. Visit Our Rugs for an overview of the general aesthetic of each collection.
Depending on its natural state, every vintage rug is closely inspected to determine how best to categorize it, based on its color vibrancy, patterns, and style. Some rugs undergo a second dyeing process to give the colors added vibrancy.
For our Studio Revival rugs, we’ve taken everything we’ve learned from sourcing thousands of vintage rugs and applied it to collaborating with trusted partners on new ones. This means you can expect the same high quality of our vintage rugs, made under ethical conditions using all-natural materials, dyed with lab-tested, eco-friendly, azo-free free dyes.
Our new rugs are woven with the same exacting artisanal standards of our vintage pieces. By operating in-country in India, Morocco and Turkey we are able to vet our weaving partners closely and visit them on a monthly basis to ensure they meet our ethical and eco-standards.
As a minimum requirement, the larger weaving houses we work with must be certified by one or more of the following internationally recognized organizations: GoodWeave India, Craft Mark, Fairtrade, and/or Social Accountability International.
Can I be sure that the color of the rug in photos will be the same in person?
We do our best to make sure rug colors are represented as accurately as possible. The photos that we take of our rugs are color corrected to match the actual color of the rug as seen in person in natural daylight. Keep in mind that if the lighting conditions in your home are different than natural daylight, the colors will appear slightly differently than on the website.
Also, be aware that for rugs with a higher pile, colors may seem more or less intense depending on which side the rug is viewed from. This is because knotted rugs are created upright on a vertical loom where the weaver pulls down on each knot before trimming the yarn. This positions the yarn to lean slightly to one direction and away from the other, so if you are viewing where the pile is angled towards you, the rug will appear lighter—and if you are viewing the rug from the other end where the pile is oriented away from you, the colors will appear slightly more saturated. The effect becomes more pronounced as the pile height increases.
Finally, there may be slight variations in what you see on your computer depending on the screen’s color, contrast, and brightness. Within the product descriptions, we will also note any inherent color variations.
If the color of your new rug is not what you were expecting, we are happy to work with you to get you the color you had envisioned. Email us with details at email@example.com or fill out our contact form. We’d love to help you in selecting a new rug, and if you don’t find anything you love, we’re happy to process your return, or issue a store credit for a future rug. Please refer to our "Shipping & Returns" section of the FAQ for more details. Since our vintage rugs are all one-of-a-kind, we are constantly receiving new inventory. We’re confident you’ll find a rug you love!
How thick are Revival Rugs?
Our rugs vary in thickness depending on their construction and processes.
We hand-shear our rugs as part of the Revival process. All rugs naturally “fuzz” over time with use, and shearing reveals an even surface layer. The lower pile also reveals parts of the woven foundation which gives the rug a more muted, textured color palette and adds to its vintage appeal.
For our Revival-Made knotted rugs and some of our Original Vintage rugs, the pile is maintained at its original height, making the rug quite plush and thick. Product descriptions will have notes on pile height as well as close up shots to help you understand texture.
Finally, Vintage Kilims are not sheared, since kilims are flatwoven and do not have a pile.
If you have questions about whether you think you need a rug pad or not, please see “Do I need a rug pad?” under the Rug Care section.
What’s the difference between handwoven, hand-knotted, hand-loomed, hand-tufted, and machine-made?
We're democratic when it comes to rugs, selling pieces with a wide variety of construction, material, design, and place of origin. From handwoven to machine-woven, there's a use case for every rug type: it just depends on your needs and priorities. Handwoven rugs are meticulously made by hand, with foundations in which the horizontal weft yarn is interlaced onto vertical warp yarn. Without a pile knotted onto this foundation, the resulting rug is called a flatweave or 'kilim' in Turkish.The warp yarn at the ends of the loom are what form the fringe of the rug, and are integral to the rug’s integrity. An authentic fringe is a telltale sign of a quality, handwoven rug. Hand-knotting refers to a process in which knots are individually knotted onto the foundation as the rug is being woven, to create a pile.
Hand-loomed rugs are pile rugs made on a loom, with an innovative technique that lifts the warp yarn to create a pile that’s looped or cut.
Hand-tufted rugs are start as a pattern drawn on canvas where yarn is shot in loops onto the canvas with a mechanized "gun" to form a pile, which is then trimmed for a smooth cut-pile finish. To secure the loops, a rubber or latex backing is painted onto the back of the canvas. Machine-woven rugs are often made by power looms, and the speed and efficacy with which they can complete a rug makes these pieces highly affordable.
Is there a difference between natural and synthetic materials?
Yes! There are a number of commonly used natural and synthetic materials. Natural materials for rugs typically include sheep wool, goat wool, cotton, jute, hemp, and silk. Synthetics include nylon, acrylic, viscose, polyester, and polypropylene.
We source handwoven vintage rugs with primarily natural materials. We especially love wool for its durability and texture. Having sourced thousands of vintage rugs and tested hundreds of swatches in developing our Studio Revival rugs, we found wool unmatched as a rug material. Wool also acts as a great noise insulator and is more stain-resistant than other types of materials, so it’s a solid choice for most places in your house or apartment. That being said, if you’re placing a rug in a location where you want moisture to be absorbed—for example, near your bathroom—cotton may actually be a preferred choice because it can better absorb the moisture. And if you’re looking for an outdoor rug, synthetics are worth a look, as they're more rugged for all weather conditions.
Is there a difference between natural and synthetic dyes?
Natural dyes are more expensive than synthetic dyes because of the time it takes to produce them. Apart from the dye itself, however, it’s really a matter of preference—both natural and synthetic dyes can be aesthetically pleasing. Synthetic dyes produce dyed fibers that are more evenly saturated, which results in a more monochrome appearance, whereas natural dyes produce slight variations of a single color tone due to a small-batch dyeing process that yields subtle variations of one shade with each dye bath.
All Revival-sourced vintage rugs are originally dyed using traditional techniques. After cleaning the selected rugs, we inspect each rug’s natural state before deciding which rugs will undergo a second dyeing process. Kilim rugs are kept as is. Likewise, Original Vintage rugs that have retained their color vibrancy, patterns, and styles are also kept in their original state.
If a rug is not selected for our Original Vintage collection, the rug’s original color is first desaturated (which often produces interesting variations and shades) and then undergoes a second dyeing process where synthetic dyes are used. These styles of dyed rugs comprise our Overdyed, Distressed, and Antique Washed Collections.
For our Revival-Made rugs, we use undyed, natural, and eco-friendly wool wherever possible as well as low-impact dyes for our designs which involve color. This means azo-free, no heavy metals, and higher absorption rates than conventional dyes, creating less gray water run-off and reduced water consumption.
If you have any concerns or allergies to synthetic dyes, we suggest our Kilim and Original Vintage Collections, which have not undergone further dyeing. Revival Cushion Cases are made with vintage kilims, so have not been dyed using synthetics. If you have more specific questions, feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s the Revival process for vintage rugs? Are your rugs professionally cleaned?
All of our vintage rugs go through an extensive selection, preparation, and cleaning process to ensure that the quality is what you expect from a vintage wool rug. Please note that given the vintage nature of our rugs, there may be natural imperfections.
Selection: All of our vintage rugs are handpicked from villages in Anatolia where we inspect their quality and durability. After this initial assessment, we receive them at our cleaning and processing facility.
Tumbling: We use the same cleaning techniques that have been used for centuries to ensure the integrity and lifespan of the rug. When received at the facility, the rugs are placed inside a traditional piece of equipment to undergo tumble dusting (imagine an octagonal cylinder with slotted openings). As the tumble dusting chamber rotates gently back and forth, the rug’s woven foundation bends and moves to dislodge, agitate, and effectively remove any dust.
Shearing: The pile of our knotted vintage rugs are all made of 100% wool fibers, which naturally “fuzz” over time with use. As such, our vintage rugs (with the exception of Kilims) are hand sheared using a rug shearing tool to even the surface layer in preparation for washing and dyeing.
Washing: Next, our vintage rugs are saturated with water before a gentle, pH-balanced cleansing shampoo is applied. A broom with soft bristles is used to hand-scrub each rug before it is rinsed thoroughly of all residue. This shampoo-scrubbing process is repeated 3 times. This seemingly simple process is so effective that it has been relied upon for centuries. Steam cleaning and dry cleaning can actually damage a wool rug, by introducing harsh chemicals that can break down the wool.
Categorization and Processing: TThe vintage rugs are inspected one by one for their color and unique patterns and are placed into 1 of 5 categories: Original Vintage, Overdyed, Distressed, Antique Washed, and Kilims.
In the Original Vintage category, the rug’s vibrant color, pattern, and style make a strong visual statement independent of any further processing; these remain as-is.
Overdyed rugs are selected based on their patterns. While the rugs retain their original visual structure, our dyes update a faded or outdated color scheme to a more monotone, on-trend palette that can easily be worked into any interior.
Distressed rugs take dyeing a step further, where the original pattern plays a more subtle role and a more modernist, saturated coloring process is used to highlight the unique fading patterns of the rug.
Antique Washed rugs are put through a process that mutes the original colors and gives them a neutral, tea-washed look.
Lastly, Kilims are kept in their original state. They are flatwoven, no-pile rugs often favored for their distinctive geometric patterns and contrasting bright colors, and do not undergo any further dyeing.
Drying: After the vintage rugs have been cleaned (and some dyed), the rugs are line-dried in a shaded area as the wool takes on its new vibrancy.
Mending: For the final step, our Revival artisans inspect every inch of the rug for any need of repair. Vintage rugs that require repairs are brought to our repair partners, where the rugs are carefully mended and treated like kings (we repair our rugs in the same village where England’s Royal Family sends their personal collection).
What can I expect from a vintage Revival Rug? What materials and dyes are used?
Not all vintage rugs are created equally. As purveyors of unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, we carefully curate our collection to ensure that you’re getting a quality vintage piece that’s aged beautifully and retained its durability. Your rug merited our selection, and we think you’ll love it as much as we do.
The vintage rugs that we select are entirely woven by hand. For our knotted rugs with a pile, these are rugs are also hand-knotted onto the handwoven foundation. This means that an experienced weaver has inserted the wool strands into the foundation of the rug (an intersection of the handwoven “warp” and “weft” threads) and tied each knot by hand. The warp strings at the end of the loom are what create the fringe, which signals the integrity of the rug. Together, the knots form the pile of the rug. Slight variations in the weave lend to the rug’s authenticity and uniqueness. This tedious process also ensures that the knots are secure and the quality is closely monitored by the weaver at all times.
Revival Rugs only sources handwoven vintage rugs that use 100% handspun wool because we love their durability and texture. The process of handspinning wool prevents the wool fibers from breaking, and also allows the fibers to retain their natural lanolin oil that gives the rug some protection from staining. Unlike machine-spun wool, handspun wool is also less uniform, creating a gentle color gradation when the wool is dyed. This imparts depth and a sense of authenticity and unique character to the color palette. The wool threads are doubly secured using the Turkish double-knot. Wool also acts as a great noise insulator and is more stain-resistant than other materials, so it’s a solid choice for most places in your home.
All vintage Revival Rugs are originally naturally dyed using vegetable dyes. Upon seeing each vintage rug, we inspect each rug’s natural state before deciding which rugs will undergo a second dyeing process. Kilim rugs are kept as is. Likewise, Original Vintage rugs that have retained their color vibrancy, patterns, and styles are also kept in their original state.
If a rug is not selected for our Original Vintage collection, the rug’s original color is first desaturated (which often produces interesting variations and shades) before undergoing a second dyeing process with synthetic dyes. These styles of dyed rugs comprise our Overdyed, Distressed, and Antique Washedcollections.
If you have any concerns about or allergies to synthetic dyes, we suggest our Kilim and Original Vintage Collections, which have not undergone further dyeing. Revival Cushions Cases are made with Vintage Kilims, so have not been dyed using synthetics. If you have more specific questions, feel free to shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Why should I buy a vintage rug?
For so many reasons! Rug purists love that vintage rugs honor a rich tradition of artisan tapestry makers who meticulously weave and knot a rug by hand. Some purchase vintage because they favor the authenticity and elegance of a gently faded, worn-in look that distinguishes it from “vintage-like” new rugs that have been artificially faded. It’s also viewed as a way to reduce our carbon footprint by reclaiming a rug that is still in perfectly usable condition.
Regardless of the reason, the age and history of a vintage rug make a beautiful statement piece. The traditional handwoven, naturally-dyed process is labor intensive, but produces a rug that in the end is durable and ages gracefully.
What’s the difference between vintage and antique?
While both terms refer to an item that is old, there are differences. “Antique” refers to an item that is more than 100 years old. This is also the legal definition that US Customs uses.
According to most experts, “vintage” (sometimes also referred to as semi-antique) is used to describe something that’s at least 20 years old, but less than 100 years old. It’s not antique yet, but still a long-treasured piece that has been carefully worn and stood the test of time. We’re sure that with proper care, our vintage rugs will become antique pieces that your family will treasure for years to come.
Recently, the term “vintage” has been improperly used to describe new items that mimic designs of an older era. For example, you’ll often find vintage-style rugs made with new materials, but purposely faded or printed to approximate the natural aesthetic that has taken a real vintage rug decades to achieve. At Revival Rugs, we stay true to the traditional definition.
My rug has an imperfection. Why?
As vintage pieces, our rugs have natural wear and tear, but we think these imperfections only add to the beauty and timelessness of the rug. You may notice slight discolorations on the underside of the rug, but we ensure that the front-facing design of the rug meets all our standards for quality and does not detract from the overall aesthetic. Vintage rugs that have any markings apart from natural wear and tear (e.g., any small markings or stains) will have additional notes on the product's page. If you have concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the white areas/ patches that are visible on some of the rugs?
These are gently worn-in areas which expose the rug’s foundation, but they’re not threadbare nor do they compromise the structure of the rug. This distressed element both looks timeless and enhances the piece’s fine construction.
Why does my rug have white dots?
Some vintage rugs have visible tie-offs that look like white dots.They are part of the handmade process and occur where weavers tie off strings from the warp that can break during hand-weaving. They do not compromise the integrity of the rug in any way, and can be more pronounced with low-pile shaven rugs.
What are the zig-zag marks that appear on some rugs?
Zig-zag marks, not uncommon on vintage rugs, are from the rug’s original construction and reflect tie-offs of the cotton foundation/weft. When present, they indicate that the rug was most likely woven by several people who consistently worked on the rug to completion. The weavers most likely handled the weaving within their own designated section, rather than changing their seated position multiple times as they moved across horizontally to knot the rug. The subsequent knots with zig-zag patterns show where the cotton thread was reconnected between each pass-off between weavers.
Do you have tips on how to best determine the color of the rugs online?
The color is the hardest part to portray because lighting and screen settings can change how it looks. To account for this, we’ve implemented structures to communicate the color as accurately as possible. Please consider the following as you look at the images and listings.
The close-up image (last image, left to right) is generally most accurate in terms of color and brightness. This shows the front vs. back of the rug.
The overhead shot (generally the first, main image) allows you to zoom in on the rug and get a better sense of the color and details.
Note that often the overhead photo can appear more muted. From afar the colors of the yarn used to weave the rug can blend with any white that may come through from the foundation, which can give the overall appearance of more muted tones.
We recommend: Try to cover the whole rug as you scroll to see if there are areas you may want more details about (white dots, white patches, zig-zag patterns). Read more about some of the details commonly found on vintage rugs upon close inspection that contribute to the rug’s unique beauty.
On each product page, there should be a color palette bullet in the product details section which notes color nuance and undertones.
If you have a question about what a color description means or any other details for a specific rug, please always feel free to reach out to us. We are happy to clarify, and even work with our Turkey team that handpicks all of our rugs to provide further information to help as you make your decision!
What’s the best way to care for my Revival rug?
For Turkish and Revival-Made rugs:
With regular care, your rug will last for decades to come. If you’ve owned synthetic rugs in the past, you might find that our wool rugs actually look cleaner for longer periods of time. Wool rugs have tiny natural grooves that allow dirt to settle in. In contrast, the plastics in a synthetic rug prevent the dirt from moving downward into the rug—not necessarily a good thing.
We recommend that you regularly vacuum your rug to remove dirt and grime. Depending on how heavily your rug is used, just once or twice a month is adequate. Too much vacuuming can wear down the knots and fibers more quickly. If you have a suction attachment on your vacuum cleaner, use that instead of a rotary vacuum. Every few months, you’ll also want to flip your rug over and vacuum the back to get the grit out of the foundation of the rug. It also helps to rotate your rug once a year to ensure even wear over time.
Every 3-5 years, we recommend getting your rug professionally hand-washed. Please do not take it to get steam or dry cleaned—this will almost certainly damage the rug! Hand-washing requires the use of a pH-balanced shampoo, worked into the rug by hand with a soft-bristled brush, before being rinsed thoroughly. This process should be repeated a few times.
For Moroccan rugs:
Dust and dirt that accumulate in your rug can erode the fibers over time. The best way to combat this is to take your rug outside and give it a good shake once a week. Depending on how large it is, you may need to recruit a friend to help. Also, be sure to get a rug pad—this helps to preserve your rug in spite of dirt.
If shaking it out isn’t possible, you can vacuum it instead—just be cautious, and don’t use a rotary vacuum, because it can damage the fibers. Once or twice a month, use the suction attachment gently, from side to side. Once or twice a year, flip your rug over and vacuum the back.
Once a year, let it sunbathe. Hang it in the sun for a few hours when it’s hottest, and flip it over midway through, to expose both sides to direct sunlight. This sun-bleaching helps further sanitize the wool. It’s a natural method to bleach and deodorize it.
To ensure equal wear and protect against walk patterns, change your rug's direction periodically. You can also flip your rug upside-down once in awhile, and use it like that for a bit. With Moroccan rugs, the back is typically as nice as the front.
Every 3-5 years, we recommend getting your rug professionally hand-washed with a Moroccan rug expert. Please do not take it to get steam or dry cleaned—this will almost certainly damage the rug! Hand-washing requires the use of a pH-balanced shampoo, worked into the rug by hand with a soft-bristled brush, before being rinsed thoroughly. This process should be repeated a few times.
Why should I avoid using a rotary vacuum?
The beater bars in a rotary vacuum (that rolling cylinder brush at the bottom) pry into the carpet fibers by pulling on the rug, thereby loosening dirt more efficiently. While this may sound great, the result is actually increased shedding, possible damage to the wool fibers, and reduced rug lifespan. It’s especially important to avoid vacuuming the fringes using a vacuum with a beater bar, as the bar will pull the fringes and may cause unevenness in the weave overtime—it’s similar to what happens when a thread on your wool sweater gets caught on your nail!
Should I steam or dry clean my rug?
Please do not do this! While it may sound like a great deep cleanse, it could irreversibly damage your rug. Imagine for a moment all the dirt that is trapped inside the grooves of the rug. Now imagine forcing steam into these grooves. The result is a muddy mess. Not only that, the combination of high heat and chemicals will strip the wool fibers of their natural oils. It’s better to find a location that will hand-wash your rug with a pH-balanced shampoo and a soft-bristled brush. It’s the traditional way to clean a wool rug, and it will help maintain the rug’s luster.
I spilled something on my rug! What do I do?
Don’t fret too much—the natural oils in a wool rug, called lanolin, provide the first line of defense in preventing spills from penetrating the fibers quickly. That being said, you still should act quickly.
If the spill is organic and non-oily (e.g., wine), use a paper towel or cloth to blot the liquid. Add some clean water sparingly to the spot to dilute the stain (or wet a paper towel or cloth) and blot. Repeat this process until the stain is removed.
If the stain is persistent, resist the urge to scrub. Scrubbing can damage the wool fibers and more easily allow the stain to penetrate. You may try using a mild detergent, such as very diluted dishwashing soap, following the same blot-and-rinse procedure.
If the spill is a denser, more oily liquid, try first to scoop what you can from the surface using a spoon or perhaps some heavier paper, and then do the blot-and-rinse. If the spill is non-organic and/or composed of chemical substances, or the above methods don’t work, we suggest getting the rug professionally hand-washed as soon as possible.
Blot the spill until it is dry, but do not add liquid. Consult an Oriental rug specialist immediately for cleaning. Adding liquid can make it harder to remove stains, and can even extend them further. This is because moisture travels along the fiber, so in rugs with horizontal fibers (like flatweaves), it can get trapped.
Do I need a rug pad?
We strongly recommend it, especially for flatweaves, which can become slippery (and dangerous) without one. A good-quality rug pad will help extend the life of your rug. Rug pads keep rugs stationary, ensuring they don’t rub unnecessarily along the floor. Having a rug pad will also allow for more noise absorption in the room, and give the rug a more cushioned, plusher feel under your feet. There are dozens of options available, from thick to thin, made of all sorts of non-skid materials.
We offer a Premium Rug Pad that’s 1/8” thick made of recycled felt and natural rubber (so that it doesn't damage your floors). The rug pad comes in various sizes and may be trimmed to fit your rug. Please note that our rug pads cannot be returned for hygienic reasons, unless there is a product defect. You may refer to our returns policy for more details.
I received my rug and it’s rumpling instead of laying flat. What should I do?
Our rugs do generally lay flat. However, because of how of how they are stored, they need a couple of weeks to adjust to their new environment and position. We often don't have time to lay our rugs flat for very long before our photoshoots, so they can even sometimes show the ripples in the product shots. You can lay some heavy books on the rug to help it along.
If for any reason the rumpling does not come out after a couple of weeks, send us a picture to email@example.com and we’ll take care of you!
Do you fulfill custom orders?
Yes! If you’re a professional, visit our Design Trade page for more information. We love working with interior decorators, designers, and architects! You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in sourcing Revival for your next project. If you’re looking for custom rugs for a personal project, visit our custom rugs page.