Glossary Of Rug Terms

Abrash: A colour variation or stripe of a different hue across the body of a carpet, usually a slight difference in colour in the dye batches used.

All Over Designs: A rug field that has large patterns occupying the work rather than a repeated design.

Anatolian: A rug from Turkey made on the Anatolian Plateau.

Aniline Dye: A dye made from a product of coal tar (benzol); the colours run when damp and UV light fades them.

Antique Finish: A chemically induced fading of the rug.

Aubusson: A pileless rug usually with a floral medallion supporting pastel colours once woven in France now adopted by the Chinese and Indians on piled carpets.

Baff: The Persian (Iranian) word for knot.

Berdelik: A wall rug often made from silk.

Bohcha: A Turkish word for wrapper- a type of bag.

Bokhara: Turkoman rug designs made in India and Pakistan.

Border: A single or series of bands surrounding the field or the focal point of a rug or carpet.

Boteh: An Oriental rug’s motif shaped like a tear drop, pear leaf or pine cone; symbol of possible growth also known as the Paisley motif.

Brocade: A weaving technique on some flat-woven rugs where another weft is added to the ground warp and weft to enhance the pattern.

Carding: The process of preparing wool for spinning.

Cartoon: A piece of graph paper upon which a rug pattern has been drawn for the weaver to follow.

Cartouche: A cloud motif that surrounds an inscription on a rug.

Caucasian: A rug woven in the Caucasus Mountain region.

Ceyrek: A Turkish word for a small rug i.e. 83 x 137cms.

Chrome Dye: A colourfast synthetic dye.

Churdjum: A small woven saddle bag.

Chuval: Turkoman woven bag for storing household objects in their tents.

Cicim: A type of weft float pileless weave, into which there is added interlaced weft into the rug’s normal warp and weft.

Closed Back: The back of a Chinese rug or carpet where the weft threads are covered by the knots.

Cochineal: A red dye harvested from the dried bodies of insects.

Colourfast: A rug’s colour that is uninfluenced by water or sunlight.

Combing: A process whereby the wool fibres are combed which aligns the fibres ready for spinning.

Corrosion: the deterioration of dyed fibre due to oxidants of the dye containing iron, usually recognised in dark brown or black wools.

Cut- Loop Technique: A Tibetan method of weaving carpets. The looped yarn of the warp is cut to
produce the pile.

Dhurrie: A pileless carpet made in India in cotton or wool.

Dozar: Persian rugs measuring 137 x 213cms.

Elem: A Turkoman term used for the skirts of flat-woven strips at the ends of a carpet or an additional panel
or band woven at both ends of most Turkoman rugs or bags.

Embossed Bill: A sculptured rug pile.

Ensi: In Turkoman weaving, it is a rug used as a doorway to a tent or house.

Flat-weave: The technique of weaving that does not use the knotted pile technique e.g. kilim, sumac and jimim rugs.

Float: A portion of warp or weft threads that passes over or under two or more warp or weft threads.

Foundation: The weave of warp and weft threads of a pile rug.

Fringe: The loose ends of the rug’s warp threads at both ends. Fringe can be plain or braided or knotted.

Ghiordes Knot: The Turkish knot.

Gireh: Persian word for knot, similar to baff.

Gul: Persian word for flower. In Turkoman weaving, it describes the repetition of a small medallion.

Hali: An original Turkish tern used in the Middle East as the generic term for rug.

Handle: A term used to characterise the weight, solidarity and flexibility of a rug e.g. still, limp and flexible.

Hatchli: An original Turkoman design in which the field is divided into quadrants by wide bars or stripes.

Hegira: The Islamic way of recording dates using the lunar year which is shorter than the solar year.

Heybe: A double saddle bag woven in the Middle East.

Industrial Dye: A synthetic or chemical dye e.g. aniline dyes, azo dyes and chrome dyes, used for colouring rugs.

Jufti Knots: Also false knots and double knots all used in the technique of weaving every other hole thus weakening the basic structure of the rug i.e. only 50% of the knots and wool are used.

Kellegi: The Persian term for a long narrow rug e.g. (1.8x 4m).

Kellei: The Persian term referring to the main carpet e.g. (2.3 x 5.5m).

Kenareh: A Persian term for runners e.g. (0.8 x 2.4m)

Khorjin: Another word for Kenareh.

Kilim: flat woven rugs made by using the technique by which the coloured wefts that form the pattern are compressed to cover the warps completely, usually by beating. It includes the common slit-tapestry technique and also a well faced weave created by interweaving coloured weft threads through the warp threads.

Knot: The basic unit of rug and carpet production.

K.S.I: Knots per square inch or knots per decimetre; a measure of a rug’s knot density.

Kurk Wood: The finest quality of wool used in rug making, taken from the under-hairs from a lamb’s shoulders and flanks.

Lazy lines: A term used to describe diagonal lines made by reversing the weft thread back on itself, rather than carrying it across the width of the rug.

Lechek: Persian term for the corner design of a rug-same as a spandrel.

Lecket Torunj: A Persian term for a rug designed with central and corner medallions.

Mafrash: A Turkish term referring to the medium-size horizontal bag woven by nomads in the Middle East.

Mihrab: An Arabic word for a niche in a mosque or a community prayer hall to indicate the direction of Mecca. It also refers to the pointed arch-like form in a sedjadeh or prayer rug.

Mordant: An adhesive in the wool dyeing process which enables the dye to be fixed in the wool.

Mosque: A community prayer hall whose floors are covered with rugs.

Namazlyk: A Persian/ Turkish word for prayer.

Naqshe: A Persian term for pattern or design.

Natural Dye: A dye that derives its origin from plants, roots, flowers, fruits, trees and insects.

Node: The loop portion of a knot as it appears on the back of a rug.

Painted Rugs: Rugs designed by applying paint colours made from synthetic dyes.

Palas: A Caucasian kilim.

Panel Design: A rug design in which the field is divided into rectangular compartments, each of which encloses one or more motifs.

Patina: The sheen acquired by a rug pile with age and use.

Pile: The nap of a rug when the knotted wool is clipped.

Programmed Rugs: A term given to Chinese rugs indicating the same design is programmed to be repeated but perhaps with different colours and sizes.

Pushti: Persian term for a small pillow cover or small rug i.e. 61 x 91 cms.

Roller Beam: a type of vertical loom where the warps are dispensed from a horizontal cylindrical beam on the top of the loom and the finished part of the rug is rolled up on a similar cylinder at the bottom, enabling longer rugs to be woven on a small loom.

Saph: An Arabic term for rank or row, usually applied to large carpets designed for mosques with designs divided into rows of compartments- also called a family prayer rug as the mihrabs are side by side.

Savonnerie: A rug hand knotted in France with a thick heavy pile in pastel colours. Modern rugs in this design are made in Romania.

Scoarte: A flat weave Romanian rug with the slit weave design.

Sculptured pile: A rug pile so clipped to give a relief effect.

Seccades: A Turkish rug measuring 114 x 198cms.

Sedjadeh: A Turkish rug measuring 107 x 168cms suitable for a single person to pray on. Also applied to rugs of this size designed with the symbolic arch, doorway or mihrab again indicating the direction of prayer – towards Mecca.

Selvedge: The characteristic finish to the sides of a rug usually consisting of one or more warps wrapped with the wefts’ ends or with additional coloured wool yarns.

Senneh Knot: A Persian rug knot, also symmetrical knot.

Shared Warp Technique: Pilelers rug weaving technique.

Slit Tapestry: Also known as slit weave technique or kilim. A pileless rug weaving technique.

Stylisation: The artistic evolution whereby an original design is gradually changed over a period of time as a result of repeated weaving by individual weavers. It is usually a process where curvilinear forms are expressed in geometric forms.

Talim: A term used in Iran for a document which is read out and used by weavers as a set of knotting instructions.

Traditional Dyes: Are natural or vegetable dyes used by traditional weavers i.e. indigo or madder roots or even amalgams of walnut husks and iron filings!

Turkoman: A rug from the Turkoman region using patterns made of repeated guls each unique to a tribe.

Vagireh: At times called “a sampler”, usually a small rug woven in Iran having a variety of borders and field ornaments.

Warp: a horizontal or vertical structural element attached to the two end beams of a loom, upon which the rug is woven by adding weft and pile.

Weft: The width or horizontal structural element of a rug, passed over and under the warps, forming part of the basic foundation of a pile rug and the design of a flat weave rug.

Yastik: The Turkish word for a cushion. A small rug usually woven with a knotted pile i.e. 46 x 91cm.

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