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Rug Glossary

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Abrash variations in color found within a field of color in an area rug. It is a natural effect of hand-weaving, and is sometimes an intentional attempt by the weaver to add interest to monotonous open-field backgrounds, it is generally seen as a desirable feature of tribal rugs.


Man-made fiber used as a less expensive alternative to wool.


A neoclassical style, common motifs include oval and octagonal shapes. Some rugs copied the ceilings of the rooms for which they were commissioned in England. The main colors used in these designs were gray, light blue and jasper.


The Persian name for the all-over layout. Afshan means scattered


The age specifies how old a rug is. There are three major timelines, Contemporary, Semi-Antique and Antique.


A rug layout with no dominant or central design. The motifs on the rug are spread throughout the rug.

Aniline Dyes

The first synthetic dyes used in dyeing pile materials for rugs. The first aniline dye was developed in the 1850s. These dyes faded rapidly with exposure to light and water, hence they were replaced with Chrome synthetic dyes in all countries .


Rugs over 60 years old

Antique Wash

A chemical wash that imitates an antique look.


Rug treatment that diminishes the effects of static electricity build-up.


Intricate patterns of intertwining branches, flowers, leaves and vines. These could be woven in geometric or curvilinear patterns.

Art Deco

A style of interior design (and architecture) popular in 1925-1940, characterized by geometrical designs and bold colors.

Art Nouveau

A late 19th and early 20th century style of art, architecture, and decoration characterized by the representation of leaves and flowers with flowing lines.

Art Silk

Artificial silk yarn for weaving that is made from cotton, rayon or polyester that resembles silk. It is soft to the touch and more affordable than the expensive silk originals.

Asymmetrical Knot

A type of Oriental pile rug knot where only one of the two warps are entirely encircled. The asymmetrical (also known as Persian or Senneh Knot) is used in Iran, India, Turkey, Egypt and China. To form this knot, yarn is wrapped around one warp strand and then passed under the neighboring warp strand and brought back to the surface. With this type of knot a finer weave can be created.


Style of rug that originated in France in the 15th century. Aubusson evolved into several main styles over the course of the next four centuries, including popular Antoinette, Josephine and Maison patterns. Aubusson were originally flat-weave rugs, usually featuring a floral medallion and pastel colors, but today these rug patterns have been adapted for pile rugs.


Rugs manufactured by a particular style of loom and weaving that originated in the town of Axminster, England during the industrial revolution. The Axminster loom offers great flexibility of color, enabling use of up to 70 colors, and design. These machine-made rugs are woven onto a flexible cotton frame, the pile is then cut level to one height and the pile tufts are anchored by strong wefts. Axminster rugs combine many colors in geometric or floral patterns.



Background color

The dominant color in the background of the rug. The most widely used background colors are red, blue, beige, and yellow. These colors range in all shades and hues.


Bamboo rugs or mats are woven from natural bamboo fibers. Bamboo is cut into strands for woven designs and into wide strips for a hardwood floor effect.


Term popularly used to refer to a natural colored look of carpeting. Berber is more accurately or traditionally defined as a group of North African tribes people who crafted rugs of handspun yarn from the un-dyed wool of local sheep.


Carpets composed of more than one kind of fiber.

Border color

The dominant color in the border of the rug. Major border colors are red, blue, beige, yellow and green. These colors range in all shades and hues.


Heavy looped pile.


The original version of paisley, this motif is thought to represent the forms of pine cones, cypress trees or the flame of Zoroaster. Boteh is a very popular motif in many types of traditional Oriental rugs.


Rugs made from braided yarn, often made of 'rag' or muti-colored fabric swatches, that are then sewn into concentric circles or ovals.


The reddish wood of certain tropical trees or shrubs in the pea family, especially a Brazillian tree whose wood is a source of red, purple and black dye used in early Chinese rugs.


Uzbekistan's capitol and a major trading center for tribal Turkish rugs. Turkoman rugs are commonly referred to as Bukharas, however contemporary rugs that are identified as Bukhara are often made in Pakistan. Bukhara rugs typically feature rows of repeating motifs or guls.




Process of arranging and smoothing wool fibers by pulling them between two spiked paddles.


Diagram used as a template for rug design when knotting an oriental rug. These diagrams are especially useful for rugs made by groups of weavers, such as village rugs.


Design element that contains a date or inscription

Catechu Dye

A spiny Asian tree also called Betel Palm with spikes of yellow flowers, dark heartwood. Tannins and brown dyes are derived from the heartwood of this plant. Catechu dye was used in rugs of India


The different settings in which handmade rugs are produced. Handmade rugs are generally woven in the settings of Nomadic, Village, Workshop, or Master workshop.


Fabric with a deep luxurious pile that is often used in rugs.

Chrome Dyes

Colorfast dyes that use potassium bichromate to bond the yarn to the dye.


Ornate court carpets that were originally designed before the turn of the 19th century


Originally a Chinese design, this pattern resembles a swirling band of clouds. Cloudbands also appear frequently in Persian rug designs.

Coat of Arms

A design on a shield that signifies a particular family, university or city.


In creating a handmade rug, one of the most important elements is color. Colors can be derived from natural dyes or made from synthetic dyes. All handmade rugs are identified by their background and border colors.

Color Symbolism

In the East colors have symbolic values. These traditional and religious meanings of colors sometimes affect the choice of colors used in handmade rugs.


Process that organizes carded wool fibers in a parallel arrangement by pulling them spiked blocks or combs. This process prepares wool for spinning.


This attribute specifies the condition of a rug from a quality point of view. The specific conditions in the handmade rug industry are Fine, Average and Worn.


Non-traditional styles of rugs that range from shag and braided rugs to pile-weave rugs with geometric or modern patterns. Also used to describe rugs less than 25 years old.


Soft and fluffy fiber produced by the cotton plant. Fibers are formed within a cotton boll or seedpod. The fibers can be spun and are used in rugs for backing, fringes and sometimes mercerized cotton is used for pile.

Cowhide Rug

Rugs made from the highest quality of cow hides and select chromiun tanned cow hides. Available in a variety of colors and patterns. Sizes will vary.


Cross-woven rugs are made on the Wilton loom. This technique incorporates fringes into the rug rather than requiring them to be sewn on afterwards. Cross-weaving is done from side to side, rather than top to bottom, which allows the use of more colors in addition to delicate details and an elegant abrash look.


Patterns created with smooth curving lines

Cut Pile

Cut-pile is a smooth finish created by cutting off the tops of the wool loops. The cut loops are then twisted to make tufts of yarn that stand erect, creating a soft even surface. Also known as 'velour' or 'velvet' pile




Measurement of linear density (mass in grams of 9000 meters of the measured yarn or fiber). Large fibers or yarns have high deniers, thin yarns have low deniers.


Refers to the amount of pile yarn in the carpet and the closeness of the tufts. The more densely or tightly packed the yarn is, the more luxurious the pile will feel.


Inexpensive flat-woven rugs from India, usually made of wool or cotton. Type of Kilim.


Dyes are used in coloring pile materials such as wool, silk and cotton. There are two types of dyes: Natural Dyes and Synthtic Dyes.




Carved pile around a design or motif that augments the look of the pattern


Needle-work embellishments that decorate a fabric or textile.



Faux Silk

Artificial silk made from synthetic fibers like polyester or natural fibers including mercerized cotton.


The center plain of an area rug that is surrounded by the border and contains the central medallion or other motifs.


A fine rug is a rug in excellent shape with no holes, tears, or stains and no previous repair work. Since handmade rugs are very durable, most rugs are in fine condition.

Flat Weave

Rugs without pile or knots. Flat weave rugs are made on a loom and threaded through the warps. Kilims, Dhurries and the original Aubusson are good examples of flat woven rugs.


Carpets with pile flatten due to heavy traffic. Cleaning and vacuuming can restore the height of the pile.


Traditional Greek rugs, hand-woven from sheep's wool. Flokati rugs come in different weights from 1400 grams to 4000 grams. The higher the gram count, the more plush and more expensive the rug will be.


The basic structural components of handmade rugs, which consist of warps and wefts.


Warp threads that extend beyond the end of the rug.


A small dioecious tropical American tree also called old fustic or dyer's mulberry. A yellow dye is derived from its wood.




Gabbeh are fluffy long piled rugs with simple colorful patterns.


Ends of pile yarn per unit of length across the width of the carp


Patterns created with straight lines.

Guard Stripes

Stripes of color that embellish the main border and separate it from the field


Persian word for flower, it describes the popular ornaments found in Turkoman carpets. This is an octagonal motif, usually elongated and divided into four.

Gul Farangi

A design consisting of all-over repeating naturalistic roses.

Gul Hannai

The henna flower used as a motif mainly in Persian rugs such as Farahan and Josaghan, This motif could be used in all-over or medallion layout. Sometimes it is arranged in a diamond format as seen in Joshaghan rugs.


Background color that accents the rug's design motif.




Rugs made in a manner similar to that of hand-tufted rugs, except that the pile is left looped rather than cut. Canvas backing is spread on a frame and a hooking implement is then used to pull the yarn through the fabric. Latex glue is then applied to the back of the rug to hold the loops in place. Another layer of cloth is added to the back of the rug and the rug is then finished by turning under the ends.


The most expensive and longest to make, hand-knotted rugs are traditionally made with wool or silk. The weaver loops wool or silk around the warps one at a time, creating a thick pile. Cotton yarn is then woven through the warps to hold them together. Generally the cotton yarns are tied off to form a decorative fringe.


Rugs woven on a hand loom.

Hand- Made

Rugs that are either hand-knotted or hand-tufted. More expensive than machine-made rugs.

Hand -Tufted

Hand-tufted rugs are made much like hand-hooked rugs, except that the loops are sheared to create a flat surface. Tufted rugs can be made with combinations of fibers, and offer a great value. Hi-Lo Tufted Rugs feature a combination of cut and looped pile, yielding a three dimensional effect.

Hard Twist/ Cut Pile

Practical type of cut-pile carpet that minimizes flattening with its durable stiffness. The yarns are twisted and set at a high temperature.

Heat Set

Process of using heat to treat twisted yarns to maintain their strength.

Hearti Pattern

A motif consisting of a flower inside a diamond and curving leaves outside the diamond which are parallel to each side. This motif is commonly used in the field of an all-over layout. The leaves sometimes look similar to fish. Many versions of Herati pattern exist from geometric to curvilinear and simple to complex. Also known as the "Fish Pattern".

Heraldic Devices

Coats of arms and the symbols associated with them.

Hooked Rug

Rug made by pushing loops of yarn through a canvas backing. Hooked rugs are an affordable alternative to authentic knotted rugs, because hooking is a very fast technique.




Any of various shrubs or herbs in the pea family with odd-pinnate leaves and usually red or purple flowers. A yellow juice from the plant oxidixes to blue when exposed to air. Indigo was chemically synthesized in 1880.


A rug made in India in Esfahan style.

Islimi Medallion- and- Corner

The field of this design is covered with a motif called islimi, which is based on arabesque forms (intertwining leaves, stems, vines and blossoms). Often the islimi motif is used in conjunction with the shah abbasi motif in which case the design could be called shah abbasi and islimi medallion-and-corner; the shah abbasi motif can be part of the medallion and also be seen in the field and the border.



Jufti Knot

The jufti knot can be seen in rugs of Khorasan, Iran. This knot can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical. The knot is usually tied over four warps making the weaving process faster.


Rugs woven of natural plant fibers that were originally used as doormats. Jute is grown in areas of southern Asia. The fibers are then stripped from their stalks and can be spun into yarn or rope and woven. Jute rugs are woven with loop or flat construction, and have become popular for use throughout the home. Jute yarns are strong and often used as warps in knotted rugs.




Some medallion centerpieces have two small floral extensions on the top and bottom called pendants. Each pendant has two parts. Kalaleh is the Persian name for the part of the pendant further away from the medallion.


Silk or mercerized cotton carpets from the Islamic region of India. Kashmir rugs are woven with Persian knots and have coloration and ornate patterns unique to India.


Some medallion centerpieces have two small floral extensions on the top and bottom called pendants. Each pendant has two parts. Kalaleh is the Persian name for the part of the pendant closer to the medallion.

Kelim (Kilim)

The most well known group of flat-woven rugs. No knots are used in creating kelims. Simply, the weft strands are woven (passed) through the warp strands.


Pile-woven or knotted rugs are created by knots. The two predominant types of knots are Asymmetrical and Symmetrical. Oriental rugs are made with two basic kinds of knots, Persian Senneh and Turkish Ghiordes. Persian Senneh are complex asymmetrical knots. Turkish hiordes are symmetrical knot. Both knots vary with different tribal and regional traditions.

Knot Count

Number of knots per square inch of rug

Knot Density

Knot density refers to the overall number of knots used in creation of a handmade rug.

Knotted Rugs

The knotted carpet refers to a particular decorative and functional textile made by hand on a horizontal or vertical loom using the techniwue of knotting. This weaving style involves wrapping tufts of wool or pile around the warps. They wool or pile is then tied around each individual warp strand to erect the pile at a 90 degree angle to the floor.


Fine wool taken from the belly of sheep.

Kufic Script

Stylized calligraphic script used for decoration.




The four corner elements in a medallion and corner layout.


A Turko-Persian world meaning medallion-and-corner. Medallion-and-corner refers to a special medallion layout with quartered medallions in four corners of the rug in addition to the full medallion in the center.

Lapis Lazuli

An opaque to translucent blue, violet-blue or greenish-blue semiprecious gemstone composed mainly of lazurite and calcite, sometimes used as a source of blue dye.


Emulsion of synthetic rubber or plastic, used in rug adhesives.


A design used in an all-over layout. Lattices consist of ogives (an arch or two connected, or rectangles with usually some floral motif inside them. In classic Persian rugs, lattices are curvilinear and consist of ogives. The new versions are more geometric and consist of diamonds and hexagons.


The overall arrangement of motifs or objects woven into a rug.

Line Count

Number of horizontal knots in a foot of rug. The greater the number of knots, the higher the quality of the rug.


Structure that holds warp strands taut for weaving and knotting. Looms can be vertical, horizontal, fixed or mobile.

Loop Pile

Loop pile is a hard-wearing surface, designed to minimize tracking. Loop pile is the same as cut pile before it is trimmed.


A design which appears on rugs in the paintings of Lorenzo Lotto, a sixteenth-century Venetian painter. Rugs with this design were woven from the early sixteenth until eighteenth century and are usually seen in Ushak rugs from Turkey. Typically, they have a red field with all-over yellow branching lines or arabesque design and sometimes a Kufi border.


A diamond- like shape.


Brightness and sheen of the rug fibers or yarns.



Machine Made

Rugs woven on power-looms controlled by a computer. The computer controls which colors are woven into the fabric and where. Machine-made rugs can be made quickly, and are offered in materials including heat-set polypropylene, art silk and wool.


A Southwest Asian long lasting plant with small yellow flowers, spiraled leaves and a red root The root od this plant was and in some places is an important source of red dye.


This attribute determines where a rug is actually made.


Steps taken to ensure hat a rug is aging gracefully such as vacuuming, rotation and correct wash.


A light to dark green mineral used as a source of green dye.

Mamluk Rugs

Rugs woven in Egypt possibly beginning in the thirteenth century until the sixteenth century with complex geometric designs and large medallions.

Manganese Dioxide

A black crystalline compound used in dyeing weaving yarns.

Master Worksop

Master workshops are specialty workshops run by usually a well-known master designer/artist. They pay attention to the artistic aspect of weaving rather than the commerical aspect. Two of the well-known master designers of Iran are Seyrafian and Arabzadeh.


Large design in the middle of some oriental and European rug styles.


A special medallion layout with quartered medallions in four corners of the rug in addition to the full medallion in the center.

Mina Khani

An all-over pattern consisting of two or more flower blossoms connected by a diamond lattice.

Minor Border

Many rug borders consist of one wide band known as the main border, or simply the border. One or many narrower bands on each side of the main border are known as the minor border.


Multiple rows of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal small boteh.

Moharramatt Ghakanadaani

A design consisting of vertical stripes with equal width. Each stripe contains different or sometimes the same motifs and is a different color from its neighboring stripes. This design can be seen in Qum rugs.


Any single form or interrelated group of forms which make up part of the overall design of a rug.

Multi-Level Loop Pile

Varied heights of yarn loops that create a three dimensional effect.




The direction which the pile of the rug faces.

Natural Dyes

Until the late nineteenth century only natural dyes were used for coloring weaving yarns. Natural dyes include plant dyes, animal dyes and mineral dyes.

Natural Rug

Rugs made of natural fibers that are usually ivory or neutral colored. Texture is the main feature of these rugs.


A revival of ancient Greek and Roman styles in art and architecture in the 18th and 19th centuries, which was characterized by order, symmetry and simplicity.

Nomadic Rugs

Rugs woven by sheepherders who mostly live in tents and migrate from the valleys to the mountain pastures in the summer. These rugs are generally small because the rugs must be finished in time for migration.


Strong synthetic fiber with good dyeing ability




Any of several earthy mineral oxidees of iron ocurring in yellow, brown, or red and used as pigments.


Considered to be the finest type of kilim rug, usually featuring ornate flower and leaf patterns.


A rug layout where the design is woven in one direction. Prayer and pictorial rugs fall into this category of layout.


Out-of-date word for 'of the Eastern World', or the region of the world that was found by early European explorers who circled Africa.




The way lines are used to form shapes on a rug. In the rug industry, pattern is divided into the three categories of Curvilinear, Geometric, and Pictorial.


Small floral extensions at the top and bottom of the medallion (centerpiece) in a medallion layout.

Persian Knot

Knot that is tied onto two warp strands, wrapped around one and looped behind the other.


A pattern portraying people and animals.


The material (fiber) used for weaving rugs. The main pile materials are wool,silk and cotton.

Pile Height

Height of the pile, measured by tenths of an inch from the top surface of the rug backing to the top of the pile's surface.

Pile Weave

Pile weave or knotted weave refers to the method of weaving used in most rugs. In this technique the rug is woven by creation of knots.

Pile Weight

Weight of pile yarn per square yard of the rug.


Cut pile rug in which the tuft ends blend together.


Number of yarns spun together to form a tuft of pile. Measurement of the yarn's thickness.


One tuft of pile.


Synthetic fiber most often used in staple spun yarns.


A petroleum-based synthetic material which is often heat set to guarantee vibrant color, long lasting beauty, easy maintenance and enduring performance.

Power Loom

A loom operated by mechanical or electronic power.

Primary Backing

Backing in a tufted carpet into which the tufts are inserted. The backing is then bonded with latex on its back side to hold the tufts in place.

Programmed Handmade Rugs

Programmed or continuity rugs are handmade pile rugs of popular classic Persian or other traditional designs, which are woven in a variety of shapes, color combinations and sizes in workshops. From a construction point opf view, programmed rugs are of the same quality as one-of-a-kind rugs and they require the same amount of hard work and time to weave. They are simply a response to a modern lifestyle.




Round motif with four symmetrical lobes.




Ability of carpet pile or cushion to recover original thickness after being subjected to compressive forces or crushing under traffic.


Any of several plants of the Rheum family, which have edible long, green or reddish, acidic leafstalks. Yellow to copper-red dyes are derived from the leaves and used in rugs of China and India.


Motif that looks like a round flower.

Rug Pad

A term used to describe any kind of material placed under carpet to provide softness and adequate support when it is walked upon. These rug pads provides a softer feel underfoot. It usually provides added acoustical benefits and longer wear life for the carpet. Also referred to as "cushion" or "underlay"


Long, narrow rug used primarily for hallways and stairways. Most runners are between 2.5 to 3 feet wide and 6 to 20 feet long and in some cases even longer.




A yellow dye is produced from the orange flowers of safflower. This dye may have been used in some early rugs of China, India and Tibet.


A plant with purple or white flowers with orange stigmas. Saffron was used to dye some early rugs in China, India and the Balkans


The name given to French piled carpets made until 1890 that look similar to Persian Kermans. These rugs were more foot friendly than their cousin the Aubusson and had an impressionist quality many find very appealing. This rug is the model for many of today's Indian and Persian rugs.


Beautiful factory woven carpets from central Iran and Iranian Azerbaijan, manufactured for export.


Cut pile rugs made with a dense cut pile and heavy yarns. Similar to shag rug, but with shorter pile.

Secondary Backing

In tufted carpet, an additional backing is bonded onto the primary backing with latex.


Rugs between 25 to 60 years old.


Combing process that removes shorter fibers, resulting in a more lustrous looking yarn.


For good tuft definition, yarns are twisted and then 'set' with heat to hold the twist's shape.

Shag Rug

Contemporary rug style with long, typically synthetic, pile.

Shah Abbasi Medallion-and-Corner

Shah Abbasi Medallion-and-Corner A design consisting of a circular or diamond-shape medallion filled with Shah Abbasi motifs with Shah Abbasi pendants. If there are corners, then the corners will also be filled with Shah Abbasi and islimi motifs. The field also contains Shah Abbasi and islimi motifs .

Shah Abbasi Motif

A group of palmettes that can be seen in all-over and medallion layouts as well as in borders. This motif is frequently seen in rugs of Kashan , Esfahan, Mashad, Nain and in rugs of countries which copy Persian styles such as India, China and Pakistan.


Design that features feather and lotus motifs. Popular pattern in many modern Persian rugs


A carpet having a high luster, usually produced by a special chemical washing.

Sheikh Safi Medallion-and-Corner

Sheikh Safi medallion-and-corner copes the dome of Sheikh Safi's shrine located in the city of Ardabil in northwest of Iran. The medallion is surrounded by 16 leaf-lke pendants; two lamps are also connected to the medallion, one to the top and one to the bottom. The corners look very similar to the medallion itself. This is also the design of the two famous Ardabil carpets now located in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Los Angeles County museum.


Expensive fiber that comes from the cocoon of silkworms.


Plant of the genus Agave that yields a fiber often used for making natural rope. The name sisal is used for both the plant and for the fiber. Sometimes referred to as hemp, sisal is not actually hemp but a fiber that resembles it. Sisal rugs are natural rugs, woven from sisal fibers.


A group of flat-woven rugs where no knots are used in the weave.


Corner designs in the field of a rug, often arc shaped

Spoumak Weave

Complex reversible rugs that are woven with a weft-wrapping technique. Extra wefts of dyed wool are added to create a pattern, like a brocade.


Interlacing pattern resembling straps.


Build-up of electric charge when a person walks over a carpet. Occurs with both natural and synthetic fibers, and is effected by humidity.


Style could be defined as the way different motifs, colors and patterns give character to a rug.

Symmetrical Knot

The symmetrical knot is used in Turkey, the Caucasus and Iran by Turkish and Kurdish tribes. It is also used in some European rugs. To form this knot, yarn is passed over two neighboring warp strands. Each end of the yarn is then wrapped behind one warp and brought back to the surface in the middle of the two warps.

Synthetic Dyes

Dyes made chemically beginning I the mid-nineteenth century for dyeing weaving yarns used in rugs.




In rug terminology tapestry refers to a weft face weave with complicated designs.

Tea Wash

Process used to antique the colors of the rug.

Textured Loop Pile

With loops of differing pile height, textured loop has a unique sculptured look. Like level loop pile, this hard wearing texture minimizes tracking.

Tibetan Knot

Distinctive knotting technique that originated in Tibet and has now spread to other regions. A rod is placed in front of the warp. A single strand of yarn is then wrapped around two warps and then around the rod. When the row is finished, the rod is removed and the resulting loops are cut, creating the pile.

Tip Shear

Cut pile rugs where some of the loops of yarn are left uncut. This finishing style is desirable since it minimizes tracking and flattening effects.


Two or more tones of the same color in a rug. This look is achieved either by mixing yarns of different tones or by using the same color of yarn in a rug with both cut and looped pile.


The Persian name for medallio, the centerpiece in a medallion layout.


Style name that refers to the characteristic designs of the European and Oriental/Persian schools of weaving. Modern traditional rugs replicate the classic patterns, colors, and styles of antique rugs


Broad style that falls between traditional European and Oriental rug designs and new contemporary styles. Floral and botanical patterns are good examples of rugs in this category.

Tribal Rug

Style of rug woven by North American or Middle Eastern tribal peoples, or woven in the traditional styles or patterns of these groups.

Tufted Rug

Technique of punching tufts of wool through the base fabric. Used to create inexpensive versionse of hand-knotted rugs.

Turret Gul

Octagonal motif with eight points and another small octagon in the center of the gul.

Turkish Knot

Symmetrical knot tied around two adjacent warp threads, each of which are encircled by the strand of wool; the ends of the woolen strand reappear between these two warp threads. The weft is then compressed against the row of knots with a heavy metal comb and a new row of knots is started. After the rug has been completely woven, the loops of wool are then clipped, creating the pile of the rug


A widely cultivated tropical plant of India with yellow flowers and an aromatic root. It is used as a yellow dye.


Winding of the yarn around itself to create a neat, well-defined strand.




Cut-pile with a velvety surface.


Rug featuring a motif of interlocking birds.




Vertical strands of weave that extend through the entire length of the rug. The warps are the yarns onto which the knots are tied and the wefts are woven.


Chemical treatment of wool rugs that tones down the colors and gives the rug a soft texture. Sometimes imitates the effects of aging. Some purists believe that rugs should be allowed to age without the wash.


The technique used in weaving. There are two major weaving techniques, pile weave and flat weave.


Strands of yarn that run across the width of the rug between warp threads. The weft threads hold the pile knots in place.


A European plant with long spikes of small, yellowish-green flowers. A yellow dye is derived from its stalks.

Wilton Rug

Machine-loomed carpets with limited color palettes. Modern Wilton rugs were the first type to be made on a computerized machine. Wilton cross-weaving offers great flexibility in color placement and design.


Fiber acquired from the hair of sheep, goats and a selection of other domesticated animals, including alpacas. Wool is the most frequently used pile material in handmade rugs.

Wool Sisal

Wool sisal-look rugs are popular alternatives to real sisal (coir and seagrass).


Before wool is spun into yarn, it is combed, then worsted to improve its quality by leaving only the longer pieces of fiber for final spinning. It is used for more intricate patterns.

Woven Carpets

Carpet made on a weaving loom where backing threads and pile are woven at the same time, creating strong anchors for the tufts. Axminster and Wilton are both well known woven carpets, offering a wider range of patterns.




A design consisting of all-over repeating vases with floral arrangements. An example of this design can be seen in Qum rugs.