That 'authentic' Oriental rug you have your eye on might be too good to be true. The best rug store, such as Modern Rug Importers, will never try to dupe you with a fake. If you are looking elsewhere, here are some signs that will help you determine if a traditional rug is fake:
1.It Has a Hard Plastic Back
Hand-knotted Oriental rugs have a supple, softback, and its pattern is a mirror image of the top pile. If that is not the case, and the rug has a rigid backing, it's a fake. The top pile is probably made from synthetic material (such as nylon, polyester, acrylic, and polypropylene), and the rigid plastic backing holds it in place. While these materials are budget-friendly, they don't last longer than three to five years compared to authentic Oriental rugs, which can last for decades.
2.The Colors Bleed
Original and vintage Oriental rugs are dyed with natural dyes since chemical dyes weren’t available back in the day. The former are able to withstand stains, spills, heavy traffic, and don't bleed if they get wet. Naturally dyed rugs age like fine wine – they get more beautiful with time.
To determine if the rug you have your eye on is genuine or not, leave a damp cloth over it for over eight hours or overnight. If some color bleeds onto the cloth, the rug is far from original since the dye is not colorfast. Only try this option if you already have a rug at home or a rug from a dealer who offers a trial period for their rugs.
3. The Fringe Is Separate
The fringe of an original Oriental rug originates from the main weave, so it should not be sewn on. They have fringes that are the foundations of the looms they emerge from.
Some questionable rug dealers try to sell fake machine-made rugs for the price of an original one. Don’t be fooled. You can determine a counterfeit just by flipping the rug over. If the fringe is sewn or glued on, it’s fake. This is a common scam that some rug dealers use to make a massive profit at the expense of their clients.