A GLOSSARY OF RUG TERMS
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
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.
Border Rug - A rug featuring a design on the outer rim, or border, of the rug, surrounding the field.
Brocade - Weft float weave used to add design and embellishment. Often seen on the kilim bands at the ends of oriental rugs
Cartouche - 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.
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 pattern.
Gabeh - 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.
Heriz - 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.
Kashmir - Upscale carpets made of either silk or mercerized cotton from the Islamic region of India - woven with a Persian knot.
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.
Knot - the basic technique used to create an Oriental carpet: Two types of knots are used:
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.
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).
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:
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
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.
Runner - A long, narrow rug, usually under 3 feet wide, primarily used in hallways and on staircases.
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.
Selvage - the area between the edge of a rug and the fringe
Tapestry - Generic term referring to a flat-woven wall hanging characterized by rich pastoral design settings.
Tapestry Weave - 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 of age.
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.
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.