Rug Terminology – The Basics

If you are developing an interest in rugs, or if you want to buy one with some knowledge under your belt, you should know the common terms that are used when rugs are discussed. In alphabetical order, here are some words and phrases that will help you understand what a rug vendor or rug expert is talking about.

Abrash refers to the changes in color in a hand-made Persian rug. This effect happens when the color of the yarn, or dye has been changed for some reason or other while the rug was being crafted. In antique rugs, abrash occurs naturally, but the look can also be created deliberately to make the rug look older than it really is.

An Aubusson weave, also known as a tapestry weave, refers to a French method of hand weaving that dates from the fifteenth century. Some well known Aubusson designs are Maison, Josephine and Antoinette.

An Axminster can mean a kind of carpet, or a kind of loom. The Axminster loom was invented in the town of the same name in England and was an improvement on other looms of the time as far as the addition of colours and variation of designs were concerned.

Carding refers to a process where wool fibres are smoothed by tugging them through paddles with spikes.

Denier is a unit of measurement for the thickness of yarn. A thick yarn or fiber is said to have a high denier, and vice versa.

Flat weave refers to a kind of weave on a rug that has no pile or knots. Kilims (striking rugs with geometric patterns from the Near East), dhurries (wool or cotton rugs from India, generally with a floral pattern) Navajo rugs (made by the Navajo Indians of America) and Aubusson rugs are all flat weave rugs.

Flokati indicates a kind of hand woven Greek rug made from sheep’s wool. Flokati rugs are soft and luxurious, and can be quite expensive.

Knot count means the number of knots present in 1 square inch of rug. This is a measurement used to assess the quality of a rug. These measurements vary depending on where the rug is from.

The fine wool from the underside of a sheep is called cork, and it is used to make certain rugs.

Luser means the shining quality and brightness of the fibers and yarns used to make rugs.

A medallion is a circular or elliptical design element in the middle of a rug.

Needlepoint rugs are rugs that have yarn worked into a canvas lattice.

Pile is the face of a rug, the wool woven into loops that are perpendicular to the base of the rug. The height of a rug’s pile is measured in tenths of an inch.

Pile weaving refers to creating a rug by forming knots. This common method of rug manufacture is also known as knotted weaving.

Warp refers to the stationary yarn on the loom, strong fibers that form the skeleton of a rug. Weft is the yarn that runs across the warp, giving body to the rug.

Source by Fran Sloan

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