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Glossary of Rug Terms



Abrash - A graduated or transitional change in the colour 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 simulate aging by modifying colour 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, rayon and/or viscose as a substitute for silk.


Aubusson (Aubuson) - These fine flat-woven carpets, featuring formidable sized rugs in pastel colours 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 colours 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'.


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 of successive loops to lock the final weft in place at the end of a rug.


Dhurrie - A flat woven 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 pattern.


Fringe - Warps extending from the ends of a rug which are treated in several ways to prevent the wefts and knots from unravelling.


Gabeh - A long-piled rug style with a simple colourful 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 hand knotted (or hand tufted) and usually made of wool, and which may also include the addition of silk.


Herati - 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.


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.


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 (pile less) carpet, often reversible, in which a design pattern is formed by coloured 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


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