Glossary

Abrash (Arbrush)
Color variations in a field of color on an area rug that may or may not be intentional. Can be the result of using yarn from different dye batches or from using yarn that is thicker in some areas than others (common when using hand spun yarn).
All Over Design
A repeating pattern or a design that covers the entire area rug without the use of a border or central medallion.
Antique Wash
An effect given to area rugs using a chemical washing technique that results in an antique looking rug.
Arabesque
A rug design that involves patterns of flowers and vines which intertwine with each othe
Asymmetrical Knot
An asymmetrical knot is one that has yarn knotted around only one of the two warps. A Persian Knot is considered asymmetrical.
Aubusson (Aubuson)
A rug style that began in the 1500′s in France as flat–weave rugs often with a floral centerpiece created using pastel colors. Popular styles that evolved from Aubussion patterns including the Antoinette, Maison, and Josephine.
Background Color
This is the base color, or color behind the focal points, borders, and other designs on an area rug.
Backing (Area Rug)
The material that yarn is attached to when making an area rug.
Border Rug
An area rug that features an outside border that is a different design or type of carpet from the carpet in the center of the rug.
Boteh
The first style of paisley which is a common motif on many traditional oriental rugs. This motif features what is believed to resemble cypress trees, pine cones, or the flame of Zoroaster.
Brocade
Area rug embellishments featured on some kilim rugs that are made using a floating horizontal weave.
Chrome Dyes
Chrome dyes are one of the most used synthetic dyes today with over 600 colors to choose from.
Classical
Elaborate court area rug designs that originated toward the end of the 19th century. (see also Aubusson).
Cloudband
Swirling band of clouds often seen in Chinese or Persian area rug designs.
Color (Area Rug)
An important design element in area rugs. Colors are created using synthetic or natural area rug dyes.
Contemporary
A catch–all phrase for rug designs that are considered modern rather than traditional.
Cotton
Cotton is a popular natural fiber that is used to make rugs of a variety of colors and patterns. It is soft to the touch but wears quicker than wool.
Cross-woven
Rugs that are constructed using the Wilton loom which weaves side to side instead of top to bottom. These rugs have fringed edges rather than smooth finished edges and often feature delicate patterns made of several colors.
Embossed (Area Rug)
A decorative element where areas of the pile are carved to create multi–dimension designs.
Embroidery
Decorative needle–work embellishments that can be used on many different textiles including area rugs.
Field
The plain center or background on an area rug’s design.
Flat Weave
These area rugs do not have a pile or knots. Flat weave rugs can be machine made or hand woven. Although they are not as comfortable underfoot as those with a pile, you can usually see the pattern on both sides of the rug therefore they are often reversible. Aubussion, Kilims, and Dhurries are all flat weave rugs.
Flattening
A flattening condition that can occur to the pile of an area rug due to heavy foot traffic.
Fringe
Decorative threads that hang off the ends of some area rugs.
Ground
The color used in the background of a pattern or design on an area rug.
Gul
Persian for “flower or rose”. When used in relation to area rugs, it often describes an elongated, octagonal motif which is often found in Turkoman carpets.
Hand-Knotted
To make a hand knotted area rug, a weaver has to tie each individual knot to the backing, making it truly a one of a kind piece. These rugs are usually made of wool or silk knotted around warps with cotton woven through to hold the knots in place. Because of the long amount of labor that goes into making a hand knotted rug, they are usually the most expensive rugs.
Hand-Made Area Rug
Hand–made area rugs are made by a skilled rug maker and can take a great deal of time to make, especially hand knotted area rugs. Besides being hand knotted, hand–made area rugs can also be hooked, looped, tufted, or flat woven.
Herati Border
A rug design that features a centerpiece of a rose, often encased in a diamond shape that is surrounded by four leaves.
Kashmir
Area rugs made in the Islamic region of India with unique color and patterns. These rugs are usually made of silk or mercerized cotton and are hand–knotted with Persian knots.
Kilim
A double–sided, reversible, flat–woven area rug that is usually woven with wool. Kilims are like dhurries but more tightly woven.
Knot Count
Knot count or knots per square inch measures the number of knots in one square inch of an area rug. This can range from 40 – 2,000.
Kufic Script
A decorative style of calligraphy sometimes used in area rug design.
Line Count
“Line Counts” are a measurement of how many knots run across one linear foot of carpet.
Loom
A piece of equipment that is used when knotting or weaving area rugs to hold the warp strands taunt.
Medallion (Area Rug)
A large central focal point or centerpiece on an area rug. Medallions are common on European and oriental rug designs.
Motif
Individual or repetitive elements of an area rug’s design.
Needlepoint Rug
A method of rug making that involves yarn being stitched onto a canvas similar to the way a needle point pillow is made.
Pattern
The design or picture on an area rug.
Persian Knot
A type of asymmetrical knot, also known as the Senneth knot that is used to make hand-knotted area rugs. (See also Asymmetrical Knot.)
Prayer Rug
Small rugs woven in several areas in the middle east that were once used to kneel and pray on.
Raj
Number of knots in 2–3/4″ or 7 centimeters of an area rug.
Rug Pad
Rug pads or underlayments are thin layers of material that are placed under your rug to resist rug slipping and protect those walking on its surface. They also help to extend the life of both your rug and your floor covering underneath and add cushioning for more comfort underfoot.
Shah Abbas
An area rug design element that is common in Persian rugs made today. Shah Abbas rugs feature lotus and feather motifs.
Soumak Weave
Complicated rugs that are made using a weft–wrapping technique where extra wefts of colored wool are added in to create a design or pattern.
Spandrels
Designs in the corner of an area rug (often arc shaped)
Tea Wash
A wash used to give area rugs an antique look.
Traditional (Area Rug)
Area rugs that are classical or antique.
Tribal Rug
Area rug designs that were originally woven by tribal people.
Turkish Knot (Ghordes)
A popular type of symmetrical knot commonly used to make hand–knotted area rugs.
Vegetable dyes
Dyes that are derived from plants that contain no synthetic additives.
Village Rug
Area rugs that are made by several different workers, working together, often around the clock.
Warp
Yarns that extend throughout the length of an area rug which knots are tied into.
Washing
The act of chemically treating area rugs to give them a soft texture or antique look.
Weft
Strands of yarn that hold the pile knots in their place.

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