Independent of style, color or size, there are two options when buying a rug: spend a few hundred dollars on a machine-made rug of middling quality, or invest thousands in a high-quality, hand-woven piece that will last for decades. New direct-to-consumer company Revival Rugs wants to bridge quality and price without sacrificing either.
Helmed by Ben Hyman, a founder of Brooklinen, Revival Rugs sources one-of-a-kind vintage Turkish rugs, cleans and repurposes them to suit contemporary tastes and sells them for about $10.50 per square foot, for an average price of $300–400. For comparison, rugs sold on Etsy average $13 per square foot, and high-end retailers like ABC Carpet and Restoration Hardware list similar products for upwards of $55 per square foot.
“We felt like there was an opportunity to sell really high-quality, unique, vintage pieces at affordable prices to consumers,” Hyman says. “Particularly, young, urban consumers who might not want to get a cookie-cutter rug, and also might not have the money to get a really fancy Persian rug.”
Turkey-based cofounders Kurt Korkmaz and Joyce Kong work with local artisans to source and rework rugs. If a rug is in good condition, the pile is shaved down and washed. If a color scheme is faded or outdated, the rug is shaved, washed and overdyed so that the rug is monochrome, with the original motif preserved in a darker shade. Particularly worn-down styles, which Revival Rugs classifies as “distressed,” are dyed in such a way that fading is preserved, “like what you’d have with a great pair of vintage jeans,” Hyman explains. Revival Rugs also offers vintage kilims, or flat-woven rugs, and sets of cushions made from repurposed rugs. All of its wares are between 20 and 100 years old, and each is one of a kind.
Once they’re cleaned and dyed, the rugs are transferred to the U.S., where Revival Rugs’ warehouse is located. Then, when a customer claims a style, the rug is folded and shipped in a slim cardboard box with a sturdy, built-in plastic handle — city-friendly packaging that eliminates the dance of squeezing a tall box through a doorway and up a narrow stairwell.
Recognizing the challenge in purchasing a rug online, Hyman says that Revival Rugs plans to educate customers on how to select a rug in proportion to a furnished room. In the meantime, the company offers free shipping and free returns for store credit.
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