The subject of 'forged' signatures and reweaves in oriental rugs has been brought up several times in our Rug Rag forum. A very high quality reweave can be extremely difficult to detect, sometimes even to a well seasoned professional in person.
There seem to be two main types of signature fakes when it comes to Oriental Rugs. 1. A re-weave. An already finished rug will have knots removed and rewoven with a signature. 2. Straight forgery while the rug is still on the loom. For purposes of this post, we're going tocover re-weaves.
Generally, originality is very important when it comes to rugs. Additionally, if a rug was intentionally signed by one weaver to appear as another, this too can severely impact the value. While it is often extremely hard to tell, we wanted to point out a few indicators which may be used in any type of rug. Whether it be for checking a rewoven signature, or a repiling made for repair.
In the first image below, the white wool boxed off in the red (original vs. signature) shows both a slight difference in color, twist and less clearly defined yarn ply. Boxed off in the blue and the green same discrepancy: different shades, different twist, luster, ply,
and other. After a rug is woven, it's often torched to clear up loose
wool and yarn. The signature area which appears to have been rewoven does not have the same clarity of the surrounding area, and color shades which presumably should be the same, actually appear different.
In the image below (which is of the signature) shows the Iranian flag blending into a design element of the rug. More commonly, a signature that's woven when the rug was made will accomodate for a cartouche
or design. The fact that there are a few design elements partially 'hidden' may be an additional indicator of a reweave.
These two discrepancies, in conjunction, may raise a bit of suspicion.
Physical inspection/manipulation of the rug may help to confirm a reweave or repaired area if the rug does not pass visual above. Here are some things to pay attention to: A slightly different feeling fiber/material (e.g. is the wool softer in that area?). Does the carpet have a different weight or handle in the suspected area (looser, denser, etc.) Does the pile "Grin" (slight breach from bring rolled onto itself) differently in the perimeter than other areas of the carpet?