Abrash - A graduated or transitional change in the color of a
rug - seen as darker or lighter striations of hue/value - due to differences in either the wool or dye batch.
All-over design - A term used to describe a rug without a central
medallion but with a design repeated throughout the field.
Antique Finish/Wash - a chemical soaking process designed to to simulate aging
by modifying color saturation and intensity
Arabesque - Ornate curving design featuring intertwined floral and
vine figures - often seen in intricate workshop rugs such as those from Tabriz, Isfahan,
Nain and Qum.
Art Silk - Also called artificial silk - refers to the use of
processed (mercerized) cotton as a substitute for silk.
Aubusson (Aubuson) -
These fine flat-woven carpets, featuring formidable sized rugs in pastel colors
with floral medallions, were produced in France from the 15th - 19th centuries.
Axminster Rug (Loom) - First produced in the 1880's,
machine-made rugs were mechanically woven to a flexible cotton frame and having up to
70 colors of wool.
Baktiari (Bakhtiari) - Named for the Iranian tribal peoples who
produced them - rugs noted for durable construction, typically featuring a
repeated square-grid motif with a floral detailing in each grid.
Border Rug - A rug featuring a design on the outer rim, or
border, of the rug, surrounding the field.
Boteh - A pear-shaped figure often used in
oriental rug designs characteristic of the
paisley pattern The boteh may represent a
leaf, bush or a pinecone.
Broadloom - Carpet(s) produced in widths of at least 6'.
Weft float weave used to add design and embellishment. Often seen on the kilim
bands at the ends of oriental rugs
Oval-shaped ornament incorporated
into the rug design containing a signature, date, or inscription
Carved Pile/(Map) -
Design or pattern cut or "embossed"
into the pile of a rug - common in Chinese and Tibetan carpets.
Chain Stitch - A crochet stitch used in rug
construction that consists ol successive loops
to lock the final weft in place at the end of a rug.
Dhurrie - A flatwoven rug from India, usually
made of cotton or wool.
Endless Knot - A Buddhist emblem symbolizing long duration
often used with other symbols.
Flat-Weave - term describing any rug without (wool) pile: including Soumaks,
Kilim, Verneh, Sozani, and Dhurie.
(Aubuson carpets, though flat, are excluded from this category
due to factors such as their complexity)
Field - The part of a rug's design surrounded by the border.
The field may be blank or contain medallions or an over-all
Fringe - Warps extending from the ends of a rug which are treated
in several ways to prevent the wefts and knots from unravelling.
A long-piled rug style with a simple colorful design - originally used as mattresses -
that have attained recent popularity.
Gul - A medallion either octagonal or angular in shape used in Turkoman
designs It is often repeated to form an all-over pattern in the field.
Handmade Rug - A rug that is either entirely handknotted (or handtufted)
and usually made of wool, and which may also include the addition of silk.
Design type found in Persian carpets featuring the repeated pattern of
four pinecone or leaf-like figures woven around a diamond shape -
an effect sometimes noted to resemble
a fish-like motif.
City on Iran-Azerbaijan border and name for the geometric medallion rugs popularized
in the early 20th century. This design remains extremely popular in Europe and the U.S.A.
Hooked rug - A hooking device pushes and loops yarn through a canvas producing either a
loop hook or latch hook rug
(also the loops can be sheared to create an open pile).
Jufti Knot -
A 'False' knot, either Turkish or Persian, which is tied onto four warp threads
instead of the normal two.
This time-saving knot lessens the quality and the amount of material in a rug.
Kashmir - Upscale carpets made of either silk or mercerized
cotton from the Islamic region of India - woven with a Persian knot.
Kazak - Referring to the Turkish-style rugs produced by the peoples of
Kazakhstan and of that region.
Kilim - A flat-woven (pileless) carpet, often reversible, in which a
design pattern is formed by colored weft strings being wrapped around the warp.
Knap - the brush-like surface of the rug, created when the knot
loops are cut.
the basic technique used to create an Oriental carpet:
Two types of knots are used:
- The Persian Senneh knot is a fine, assymetrical knot used in relatively
complex carpets, giving them a "light" and a "dark" side.
- The Turkish Ghiordes knot is symmetrical and gives a rug a deeper, longer-wearing pile.
Knot count - In the process of making a hand knotted rug,
each strand of yarn is knotted to the foundation:
The higher the number of knots per square inch - the higher the
quality of the rug.
Knotted - Process by which a rug is hand woven with wool (or silk)
and secured to a cotton foundation by knotting - thus producing a rug of superior quality.
Such a rug could be classified as "knotted", "hand-knotted", "hand-woven" or "hand-made"(handmade).
Factors that may affect or increase value/cost are the density of the pile (knots per square inch)
as well as the intricacy of the design motif.
Line Count - The number of horizontal knots per linear foot.
(As with knot count, the higher the number, usually the higher the quality of the rug).
Large design element located in the very center of the rug's field - the hallmark of
the traditional, symmetrical Oriental area rug. In
rugs with an All-over design or a random or contemporary design format a medallion will not be
Mori - The weaving technique of certain Pakistani and Indian rugs.
Natural rug - Often refers to an earth-toned rug whose texture - sisal,
jute or wool - is the identifying feature.
Oriental - referring to an Oriental rug or carpet:
". . . handmade of natural fibers (most commonly wool or silk), with a pile woven on
a warp and weft, with individual character and design made in the Near East, Middle East,
Far East, or the Balkans."
... as defined by the Oriental Rug Importers Association
Overcasting - the technique of rounding the wool edges of the vertical sides of a
rug to prevent fraying
Patina - Term referring to the "mellowed" surface appearance of a rug -
due to age or use
Persian Knot - Looped around one thread with
only a halt-turn around the other thread.
Pile - The nap of the rug or the tufts remaining after the knotted yarns are dipped.
Pile weave - The structure of
knotted carpets and rugs forming a pile or nap:
Wool, silk, (sometimes cotton) is knotted around the warp in a variety of techniques.
Plain Weave - The simplest interfacing of warp and weft.
Prayer Rug - Typically small, this rug features an arch motif at the top of the field -
either geometric or curvilinear - depending on where it was woven.
Runner - A long, narrow rug, usually under 3 feet wide,
primarily used in hallways and on
Sarouk - Woven carpets produced in Sarouk region of Iran
renowned for their beauty. Frequently seen in lobbies of fine American hotels and
estates in post-WW2 era.
Savonerie - The class of beautiful impressionist-quality
pile carpets, made until 1890 in France, that have a similar appearance to Persian Kermans.
Selvage - the area between the edge of a rug and the fringe
Soumak - A flatwoven rug made from a technique that
produces a herringbone effect.
Tapestry - Generic term referring to a flat-woven wall hanging characterized by rich pastoral design settings.
- Any variety of weaves where the pattern is created by ground
wefts that do not run from end to end.
Tea Wash - A procedure used to soften the colors in order to give a rug the appearance
Tribal rug - A term used interchangeably with gabbeh to
describe a primitive-looking or Southwestern rug.
Tufted - A process in which
tufts of wool are punched through a base fabric. The underside of the base is then
painted with Latex glue and covered with a backing material.
Turkish Knot - Tied around two adjacent warp threads.
Warp - Comprising
the structure parallel wrap yarns run the
length of the rug and are interlaced with wefts.
Weft - The yarns woven horizontally through the warps.
Weft-Faced - A rug where the weft yarns are
more closely spaced than the warps.
Yarn Ply - Number of single strands of yarn that are twisted together
to form a plied yarn.