Whether it’s been passed down through your family for generations or you just picked it up, owning an antique rug is a unique experience. It requires care and attention, as well as the occasional rug repair. Accidents happen! Even a small hole in your antique rug can be devastating, especially when your antique rug holds sentimental value or is worth a good deal of money.

The good news is there’s a chance your favorite floor covering can be saved. However, repairing an antique rug is not just an everyday patch job. If you’re looking at possibly doing a rug repair on your antique rug, here’s what you need to know.

Types Of Rug Damage

The first thing you have to understand is the types of damage that can happen to your antique rug:

Holes: Whether from insect damage or excessive wear and tear, one of the most noticeable damages to your antique rug will be a hole. It may be small, but it’s important to quickly address a hole before it continues to grow and destroys your entire rug.
Fringe Breakage: Common with antique rugs, fringe breakage can range anywhere from a few pieces of fringe to entire sections of fringe. It also might look like one side is longer than the other. Whatever your fringe concerns, these can be fixed with professional intervention.
Loose Fibers: You don’t think about your rug as often as you’re walking on it. The more foot traffic your rug gets, the more wear and tear on the fibers. These loosening fibers can also happen thanks to your family pet. Luckily, loose fibers are a relatively easy fix for professional rug repair experts.

Sources Of Damage

Knowing the type of damage you can get doesn’t include knowing the sources of your damage. Understanding how your rug got damaged can help a professional know how best to go about repairing it.

The following are common causes of antique rug damage:

● Fire
● Heavy foot traffic
● Dry rot
● Mildew
● Moths
● Carpet beetles
● Other insects
● Flood
● Sun
● Mold

Why Repair Your Rug

If you had a relatively inexpensive rug you just bought that somehow got damaged, you would likely think about simply replacing it. So, what makes an antique rug different? Why go through the cost and hassle of a repair? Or why not just leave the damage


Even a small hole can throw off the entire look of your antique rug. Depending on the pattern or weave, the most minimal of damages could mean you lose the appeal of the rug. Aesthetics can’t be overlooked when it comes to a rug and keeping your rug in good repair can actually elevate the aesthetics of an entire room.

Sentimental Value

Certain types of rugs are so durable, so beautiful, such an investment that families pass down their favorite rugs from generation to generation. And why not? In your antique rug, there is a record of decades of lives that have passed over it. Some might say it’s just a rug, but to you, it’s memories. With a rug repair, you can hold on to those memories rather than simply throwing them out.


As with many antiques, when something ages and becomes a rarity, its value increases. Part of maintaining and increasing the value of any antique is keeping it in good repair. The same is true for your antique rug. In some cases, repairing damage to your antique rug can maintain its value, if not increase it.

Cost Of Replacement

Ask yourself how much it would cost you to go out and buy your rug from an antique dealer today. Depending on the weave, pattern, designer, and origin of your rug, you could be spending thousands of dollars to replace it. In these cases, a repair is by far the more cost-effective option.

Is It Worth It?

So, your rug is damaged. Now you’re curious about whether it’s worth it to repair it. Start by asking yourself these questions:

● Will my antique rug appreciate in value?
● Is a rug repair cheaper than a replacement rug?
● How significant is the damage?
● How much of a repair is needed?
● Would the rug survive a repair?

Depending on the answers to these questions, you may decide to go ahead and have your antique rug repaired. Along with these questions, there are some general rules of thumb when it comes to knowing whether a rug is worth repairing. Generally speaking, these are rugs that you should definitely consider repairing versus replacing:

● Rugs that represent a certain period, the earlier the better. Examples would include rugs from the Safavid Dynasty or a Mamluk rug. These will likely appreciate in value because of this historical period they come from, as well as their rarity.
● Certain patterns are going to likely appreciate in value over time. This would include Mashahir rugs, vase patterns, or tree of life patterns.
● Rugs crafted by master weavers, like Haji Jalili, Ustad Mohtashem, and Kermani. If they have this heritage, they will likely always bring a good price if you were to sell them.
● Rugs that come from certain locales, like Tabriz, Bidjar, Kashan, and Heriz. These tend to hold their value, especially if your rug is a well-kept, beautiful example of the craftsmanship from that area.
● Tribal rugs, like those from the Berber tribes in Morocco, for example, should be saved if possible. They are popular and hold their popularity, meaning they also hold their value, even if they aren’t expensive originally.

The Basics Of Rug Repair

When your rug is damaged, your first thought might be that you could repair it at home. Unless you are an antique rug repair professional, you will not be able to do a DIY antique rug repair, and here’s why.

The process of repairing an antique rug involves reweaving and reknotting the rug. It’s not as simple as sewing the rug back together or affixing it with a patch. A master rug repair professional will use the original method of weaving or knotting to reproduce the technique exactly, matching the pile and look of the rest of the rug. Beyond that, they will need to custom-dye the repaired area, something that can be incredibly difficult depending on the age of the rug.

Rug repair requires specialized skills, time, and techniques that the layman doesn’t have. Your best course of action is to call the professionals.

Cost Of Rug Repair

Estimating the cost of an antique rug restoration or repair is tricky. It depends on two main factors:

Square Footage: Often a repair or restoration will be priced by the square foot, with the average cost being $1 to $10 per square foot. That means a full rug repair or restoration can range from less than $100 to several hundred.
Labor Time: Another popular way to price an antique rug repair or restoration is the cost of the time spent repairing and restoring it.
Preventing Damage

Far easier than repairing an antique rug is preventing the damage to begin with. Here are some general guidelines to keep your rug in good condition and prevent damage that could require a repair:

Maintain it. Clean it regularly using professional rug cleaning services and specialists who know how to work with antique rugs. Regular vacuuming is a must.
Keep it in lower-traffic areas. The easiest way to prevent excess wear and tear is to simply move your rug. If it’s one that you want to display in a prominent area of your home, you might consider carefully how you arrange your furniture to prevent as much foot traffic as possible.
Store it properly. If you must put your antique rug in storage, start by thoroughly vacuuming it and having it professionally cleaned. Before proceeding, make sure it’s completely dry. Then, spray it with insect repellent to ward off any nibbling pests. Roll the rug tightly and store it up and off of the floor.

When It’s Too Late For Repair

Tragically, some damage is simply too great to be repaired and the rug will need to be replaced. For example:
● Large, gaping holes
● If a repair would reduce the value of the rug too much
● If a repair would ultimately destroy the rug

Where To Turn

Because of the amount of skill necessary to repair an antique rug, you should always turn to the professionals at S&S Rug Cleaners to have any repairs or restorations done. S&S Rug Cleaners are members of the Association of Rug Care Specialists and members of the National Institute of Rug Cleaning, they know how to properly care for your delicate rugs.

Your antique rug doesn’t have to sit damaged or be thrown out. There is a chance to save it. If you need rug repair in the Atlanta area, call S&S Rug Cleaners today to see how we can help save your prized antique rug.