Antique Wash – A New Rug That Looks Antique

A New Rug That Looks Antique- “Antique Wash”




Antique Wash

Antique Wash, Tea Wash, Over-Dye Rugs- These are common terminologies known to rug merchants and rug insiders, yet not quite clearly defined for the consumers. Buyers should know some basic information when purchasing a rug treated with such processes.

When keeping up with the interior designer’s demands, it may be an easier task to re-upholster furniture, paint a new color on a wall, or change the kitchen cabinets. But, area rugs are a long lead items and even a medium quality handmade rug will take over a year to weave. Rug merchants have used these processes to accommodate fashion trends in the past and even today. Over-dye or Color Reform is the latest fad splashing rugs with bright colors and re-purposing an undesirable area rug.

What Is An Antique Wash?

Antique wash is a chemical process applied to a rug giving the impression that the rug is older than it really is.  Trying to create the patina and mellowing of colors that a true antique rug has, by fading and muting the original colors of the rug. You will be buying a new cheaper rug that has the look of an antique rug. But, it is not always a new rug that was used to make your new antique washed rug. Sometimes old inventory of damaged rugs, rugs with heavy stains, or pet stains were antique washed to hide the problems and turned into new inventory.

It is noteworthy to mention this process is not an exact science, and inexperienced rug cleaners can easily damage the wool fibers. In a way, it is similar to tea wash, except mostly used on the darker rugs or, those heavily stained. This was the best way to turn around an undesirable darker rug to a softer patina, or a stained rug to good inventory.

Was Antique Wash A Fashion Foe!

This process left a yellow/gold tint on the rugs which are very undesirable today. The chemical stripping also causes some fiber damage, more in some rugs than others depending upon the skillset of the rug cleaners performing the antique wash. Nevertheless, antique washed rugs are not the “look” buyers are searching for nowadays. Therefore, pallets and pallets of rugs previously treated with antique, or tea wash remain as un-movable inventory in the rug galleries around the country. On the other hand, new trends and unique area rugs from around the world are making the area rug market ever so more competitive.

But, there is good news. revitaRUGS has a couple of different washes that can revitalize these rugs to a desirable new look. Here is a before and after photo of a Peshavar rug gone through combination of our cool wash and snow wash processes:


Antique Washing RugsAntique Wash Rugs


This two-step process was to achieve the client’s desire for the lightest/whitest result possible. Each rug is evaluated based on original condition and the requested end result.

Are you ready to recycle and re-purpose your dead inventory?

For details about our cool wash process, and any other form of color repairs, please contact us at 1.855.5.REVITA or fill out our contact form here. We will have our specialist in this field assist you with your specific needs.