Asked on Jan 03, 2017

How do I change the colors in my new Persian rug to look antique?

by Manya
I have a new Persian rug that has very vibrant colours.

I love to change it in order to look old, aged, antique and faded.

any ideas.....of a technique ?

thank you in advance :o)

  37 answers
  • Heidi Heidi on Jan 03, 2017

    When I lived in Iran, the locals would put the carpets in the street for cars to run over...made them look older and less vibrant..real fast. The sun does work to bleach out the colors a bit.

  • Coolfurniturelady Coolfurniturelady on Jan 04, 2017

    There are rug cleaning companies that do over dying and bleaching. Call around. Laying it out in the sun with a spray of diluted lemon juice will definitely help lighten it.

  • Elizabeth Staeheli Elizabeth Staeheli on Jan 04, 2017

    Tea. Make some strong tea (measure the water and amount of tea bags used to make sure all batches are the same color intensity) and soak it up good into the rug, Or, you could just do one area at a time and dab it on. The tea will tea stain the rug yellow/brown and that will take away the new look. You can do this with white cotton to give it that antique look too. It's like a dye.

  • Trixie63 Trixie63 on Jan 04, 2017

    Could you just flip it over and used the reverse?

    • See 1 previous
    • Trixie63 Trixie63 on Jan 05, 2017

      People can be so annoying

  • One8414992 One8414992 on Jan 05, 2017
    Pour a blend of strong coffee and tea and let it dry......
  • Mjb10564735 Mjb10564735 on Jan 05, 2017

    Sun,sun ,sun...let it sit on the deck,terrasse or the drive way for months,let it soaked,rain.dust ,etc....If you use tea,be careful to repartir it evenly; I personally would not use tea but abuse the elements,like the weather.

    good luck !

  • Kj Kj on Jan 05, 2017

    Please consider what your rug is made of (fibers and backing) before you attempt weathering it or staining it with acidic liquids. Good luck!

  • Manya Manya on Jan 06, 2017

    Thank you for your response...great help!

    it is wool.

    • Kj Kj on Jan 06, 2017

      Since it is wool, it will most likely take some weathering abuse, but I would caution you with acidic treatments since it will degrade the integrity of the fibers, and speed up the deterioration of the rug itself.

  • Amelia Edwards Amelia Edwards on Jan 06, 2017

    Since it's wool, I would just enjoy the vibrant colors while they last. Just think, most of those antique rugs were probably as vivid or more so back when they were new, so you're just having the full authentic experience!

  • Lynne Webb Lynne Webb on Jan 06, 2017

    I'd spray coffee on it with a small hand sprayer. We did that to gloves for a wedding when we were desperate for a light beige. You're wise to do some investigating. Some fabrics don't soak up and others are like sponges.

  • Francesca Francesca on Jan 06, 2017

    Heidi (above) is correct. When I lived in Iran the rugs were often put outside so cars could run over them or put somewhere so that they were walked on constantly. If I may add a word of not spray the rug with anything or have a carpet cleaning company do some treatment to try and fade it. If this is an authentic Persian rug you will damage it doing any of that and also devalue it. If it should ever need cleaned there are specialists who can do it.

    • See 4 previous
    • Ayme Calderon Ayme Calderon on May 25, 2020

      The new look is faded. I found palace size rugs at thrift store, tag sales, and consignments stores. Leaving out in the sun will fade the rug evenly without using chemicals to change the integrity of the rug. There are stores online that are selling these rugs for thousands of dollars. A little legwork will save you some $$.

  • Connie Thompson Connie Thompson on Jan 06, 2017

    I would use a tea stain.

  • Charlotte Wood Eckel Charlotte Wood Eckel on Jan 06, 2017

    You don't mention your furniture. Upholstered and wood pieces plus window treatments will draw the eye away from the carpet and it may not seem so bright.

  • Jacky Jacky on Jan 06, 2017

    Please, I hope you haven't "done" anything to it. in doing so, you WILL only have severely damaged its value. Driving cars over rugs is done, in Iran and elsewhere to give the appearance of "age". Experts are not fooled. I purchased a rug when I was in Iran 14 years ago, and one in China 19 years ago. A true "antique" rug has wear on the fiber ends, but what can't be replicated are the dyes. The dye colors mellow over time with exposure to the air; you can't reproduce time. (With a little water, any expert will know if you have used tea or coffee, just sayin') Enjoy it and its brilliant colors, keep copies of its provenance. Know that you have a treasure, even if it was created in the present. Respect it. Vacuum regularly, and if you can, take it outdoors, hang it up and beat it. In the home display it on a rug pad of natural materials, not those compacted plastic sponge thing-ys. A natural fiber pad, albeit thin (good) will do the best job of protecting the knots. The spongey pads encourage the knots to loosen. If you feel the need to have it "cleaned" be sure to find someone who specializes in "oriental rugs"

    I have a rug from Iran, a rug from China, a rug from Turkmenistan, generally 8' x 5'.... (I travelled at lot for work; on a shorter work/job, I collected watercolors; much easier to carry, much less weight; but I remain ever enamored of the fiber arts.

    • Grandmasue10 Grandmasue10 on Jan 09, 2017

      You gals are sure knowledgeable about Persian rugs. Just in case someone doesn't know, Iran was once called Persia.

  • D fuhrman D fuhrman on Jan 07, 2017

    i would put it out in the sun and let mother nature bleach it

    • Grandmasue10 Grandmasue10 on Jan 09, 2017

      That's what I was going to suggest. If you have a patio door, lay the rug in front of it and let the sun do its work. Turn it once a week or so to get and even fade.

  • Lorraine Lorraine on Jan 07, 2017

    Have you considered just turning it over

  • Rav13857069 Rav13857069 on Jan 07, 2017

    That is a very beautiful rug, if you are smart, leave it as is, or take it to a professional, just remember, there are no experts on this side of your screen. I still say, take it to an expert.

  • Manya Manya on Jan 07, 2017

    Thank you so much for sharing 😊

  • Sherry Fram Sherry Fram on Jan 08, 2017

    Turn it over to the opposite side. The back is usually less vibrant than the top. Hope this helps!

  • Robby Treichel Robby Treichel on Jan 09, 2017

    You have a very beautiful new rug with gorgeous and vibrant colors. If you don't like it, you could sell it and pick up several older ones with the money from the sale. Personally, I would keep it and pick out one of the more subdued shades in the rug to decorate your room with. Maybe the french blue around the border.

  • Wor13524985 Wor13524985 on Jan 10, 2017
    Share your thoughts!
  • Sherry Sherry on Jan 10, 2017

    Time will fade it and the sun. I would go with the suggestion of leaving it out in the sun for a day. I had a beautiful blue silk Persian rug and loved the colors. I used it in my sun room - my mistake. It faded. If you want yours to fade, just leave it outside in the sun.

  • How did it go? I have the same rug and dream of changing it.

  • Southwestgal Southwestgal on Dec 28, 2017

    left mine in sunlight..don’t forget to rotate rug

  • Frances Winters Frances Winters on Dec 29, 2017

    Happy to swap you for a more aged rug

  • Melissa Currence Melissa Currence on Sep 04, 2018

    There are Persian rugs that are worth a great deal of money and there are those which aren't - if you have the former you will know it. It's your rug if you want to antique it then do so. The older faded and discolored oriental rugs are far more beautiful and desirable - this why they take pains to "distress" them in the Middle East. I have used a tea stain in the past and it has worked reasonable well.

  • Nina Sabonete Nina Sabonete on May 04, 2020

    I'm looking at doing the exact same thing, but this rug is 100% viscose would the sun work?

  • Jaleh Jaleh on Aug 10, 2020

    Hi Manya, did you manage to fade your Persian rug?

    I'm planning to do the same and wondering which way did you try and what was the result?


    • Manya Manya on Aug 24, 2020

      Not really

      I turned it upside down and looks great!

  • Mogie Mogie on Aug 10, 2020

    You can try sun fading but be aware some colors react differently to the sun then other colors.

    For example, Persian rugs will often have reddish “coral-like” colors present along with burgundies, oranges, ambers, etc. While gorgeous in their original states, these colors tend to be very susceptible to severe sun-fading. The reason for this is that the red color molecules are among the smallest size molecules that are present and literally don’t have enough mass to resist the damaging effects of the suns rays. Also, because of their size, they tend to be very compactly pressed together, leaving little or no “breathing room”. This compact mass of molecules tends to absorb the full heat and intensity of the sun’s damaging rays, and the color is literally “baked” out of the molecules. Of further interest is the fact that light, being comprised of various hues and wavelengths, will concentrate their effects on certain colors.

    • Manya Manya on Aug 24, 2020

      Thank you so much for all your great help and time!!!

  • It may take a while, but putting it outside and letting the sun fade it should work.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 07, 2023

    In the past few decades the process for making rugs look older was to give them either a 'luster wash' to fade the colors, or a 'tea wash' to cover the rug in a dark tone to mute the colors.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 12, 2023

    It isn't fast but the sun will fade the colors.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 03, 2023

    Scrub it with tea or coffee and let it dry! The scrubbing might give the look of wear too.

  • Betsy Betsy on Dec 31, 2023

    Hi Manya: One thing you can try is to spray it down in several areas with water and lay it in the sun, which should bleach it out a bit. Also, if you can drag it along the sidewalk or pation that may help. :)

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 01, 2024

    Hi Manya, hope this helps you. The process for making rugs look older was to give them either a 'luster wash' to fade the colors, or a 'tea wash' to cover the rug in a dark tone to mute the colors. Those past treatments usually kept the wool pile in place.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jan 01, 2024

    Sun will bleach out the vivid colors, that would probably be the best route, also time consuming.