A rug is more than just a flooring option – it’s also a piece of artwork with the power to define a space, set a tone and give a room that ‘wow factor’. Vintage turkish rugs offer an intriguing mix of colors, textures and patterns that can add a pop of drama or an understated elegance. And while we all love the idea of a statement piece, sometimes finding a runner or accent rug on a tight budget can be challenging.

Fortunately, there are plenty of places to find a gorgeous vintage rug on the cheap. Emily, the interior designer behind the Fig House project and our go-to expert on all things design, has compiled a list of her favorite ways to score an antique or vintage rug for less. From shopping local thrift stores and estate sales to using e-commerce sites and hunting on Craigslist, Emily shares her best tips for scoring the perfect rug for your home.

When buying a vintage rug, be sure to understand the difference between an antique and a traditional Turkish rug. A vintage rug refers to one that is 25 years old or more and an antique refers to one that is 100 years or older.

While many types of rugs are considered antique, a true traditional Turkish rug will be created with hand-knotted wool. These rugs are considered to be a piece of art and can be extremely expensive, but they offer the buyer the opportunity to own an item with a rich cultural heritage.

The weaving of carpets and rugs is a time-honored tradition in Turkey that dates back to the 13th century when the Turks of the Seljuk Empire first began producing them. These first rugs were mainly geometric in nature and often featured hexagons, squares and rhomboids arranged in diagonal rows garnished with stars, flowers or Kufic-like ornaments (Kufic is the oldest form of Arabic writing).

After the Seljuk period, production continued to evolve with more refined compositions and pattern styles. This is when the central medallion pattern became a staple in the world of Turkish carpets.

Today, Turkish rug producers create both traditional and contemporary pieces that employ the region’s traditional techniques. However, modern rugs often incorporate synthetics into the weave for cost-effectiveness and durability that is suited to 21st century life.

Sheep’s wool is the main material used in a Turkish rug. This natural fiber is soft, durable and easy to work with. It’s also hypoallergenic and insulates against heat and cold. Traditionally, the wool is dyed with natural, plant-based dyes but now, as elsewhere, chemicals are often used.

There are several different weaving centers in Turkey, each producing their own unique style of rug. For instance, Bergama produces tribal-influenced Turkoman pieces, Hereke offers elegant curve-linear designs and Oushak specializes in decorative room-sized rugs. The majority of rugs produced in Turkey are either Kilims or Turkish town rugs that feature more elaborate geometric and floral patterns.

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