How to Determine the Condition of Rugs or Carpets Like an Expert – Lofty Marketplace
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How to Determine the Condition of Rugs or Carpets Like an Expert

This article will explain what experts look for when determining the condition of rugs and carpets. It will also give you the tools to determine if any condition issues are present in the item that you own. Keep in mind that if you discover condition issues, they will not necessarily hurt the sales value. Our experts can recommend a qualified restorer should we determine that restoration prior to a sale will net you more money for your item.

The following are some of the most common condition issues that might be present in the rug or carpet you own:


  • Tears or Rips
    Look at the back of the rug, especially along the edges and at the center. Are there any patches? Do you see any re-woven areas (these may be a slightly different color) that would indicate the item has been repaired?
  • Water Damage
    Are there any discolored areas, or areas with a different texture? These might indicate that the rug came into contact with water or another liquid. If the rug is silk, water contact may have permanently altered the fibers. If the rug is wool, water contact could make the colors bleed and run.
  • Fading or Overcleaning
    Fading can be inherent to the natural aging process of the fibers, or it can be caused by exposure to sunlight, or an over-zealous cleaning that removed the color pigment in the fibers.
  • Surface Dirt
    A layer of surface dirt will naturally accumulate on the surface of a rug over time. If you notice that the rug is soiled, do not attempt to clean it yourself.
  • Exposure to Pets, Cigarette Smoke or Moisture
    A buyer will need to know if the rug has been exposed to cigarette smoke, any type of pet or small animal, or stored in an environment with a "mildew” smell. If you do not report this, you will be responsible for the return shipping fees if a potential buyer chooses to return the rug.
  • Fringe
    The smaller edges of your carpet or rug, where the fibers were vertically attached to the loom, probably have a fringe. Look carefully at this area. Has the fringe been cut or altered? Is it thin or worn? 
  • Documentation of Past Repairs or Conservation
    If your rug or carpet has been professionally conserved or restored, the treatment report should accompany the item so that future owners will know which treatments it has received and when the services were completed.