Learn about rug terminology, density of knots, rug dyes, the difference between handmade and machine made rugs, designs, oriental rug symbols

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Acrylic: Man-made fiber with wool-like appearance. Does not dye as
well as nylon and is less durable.

Add Fringes: Weave new fringes onto rug.

Afshar: A Turkic speaking nomadic and partly settled tribal group in
Southern Persia with summer pastures in the mountains south and west
of Kerman; they are weavers of excellent pile and kilim rugs.

Agra: The capital of the Moghul dynasty in north central India which
reached its golden age in culture, architecture and carpet weaving
during the 16th and 17th centuries. From 1850, an organized structure
of workshops began being established in Agra, weaving large rugs in
square formats which were designed with all over floral patterns.
Structurally they have a cotton foundation, are double wefted and use
the asymmetrical knot. Some cotton rugs were woven as well.

Ahar: Heriz style carpets NW Iran Azerbaijan.

Ahura Mazda: Pre-Islamic god. Zoroaster fire temples Yazd.

Aimaq: West Afghan group of tribes/clans.

Akkoyunlu: also called the White Sheep Turkomans (Turkish: Akkoyunlular,
Azerbaijani: Ağqoyunlu, Turkmen: Akgoýunly, Persian: آق قویونلو or آغ قویونلو),
was a Sunni[1] Oghuz Turkic tribal federation that ruled present-day Azerbaijan,
Armenia, Eastern Turkey, part of Iran and northern Iraq from 1378 to 1501.

Akstafa: Caucasian rug type distinctive bird with tailcomb motif.

Alcaraz: An important Spanish rug weaving center which flourished
during the 15th to the 17th centuries.

All-Over Design: A pattern which is repeated throughout the field. No
central medallion is present. A herati pattern is a good example for
an all-over design.

Amritsar: A northwest Indian city known as an important weaving center
for rugs during the late 19th early 20th centuries. It was very
prolific during this period due to the strong demand for carpets in
the United States and Europe. Amritsar rugs have cotton foundation,
are double wefted and use the asymmetrical knot. Very good quality
wool is used. There are many designs employed and include Persian
16th-17th century classical motifs as well as patterns from other
Indian and Turkish cities.

Anatolia: The Asian (as opposed to the European) area of Turkey.

Andkhoy: Afghan turkoman rug type.

Aniline Dye: Dyes which are derivatives of aniline - produced from
coal tar. These were invented in Europe in the 1850's and by the
1870's were widely used as inexpensive alternatives to vegetal dyes.

Antique Finish: A modern washing procedure that tones or antiques the

Animal trapping: Weavings used primarily as decorations for horses,
donkeys and camels. They include blankets and various head ornaments.

Aqcha: Afghan steel backed postwar rugs.

Arab: The name given to various unrelated sub-tribes in south and east

Arabesque: A very popular design in oriental rugs consisting of
scrolling (or intertwining) vines, flowers, buds or branches.
Arabasques can be either floral or geometric in nature.

Arak: Many high quality rugs were woven in this city and province in
northwest Iran. Most rug production took place in the late 19th
century when European companies commissioned large decorative rugs for
the European market. Rug weaving centers include those of Mahal,
Sultanabad, Sarouk, Lilihan, Ferahan and Saraband.

Ardebil Carpets: A pair of palace size Persian carpets woven on silk
foundation with about 300 knots per square inch. The two were produced
around 1535-1540 and are currently housed in the Victoria and Albert
Museum in London and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
respectively. These rugs which many consider to be the pinnacle of
Persian weaving, had the original dimensions of approximately 34ft x

Art Silk: Artificial silk, normally made with mercerized cotton.

Ashkhabad: Turkmenistan city and home of the modern "5 year plan
factory turkoman".

Assadabad: Hamadan Area herati designed rugs with nicely small central
medallion aubusson antique French tapestry carpets.

Asymmetrical Knot (Persian knot): One of the two major knot types used
in oriental rugs - the symmetrical knot being the other. Both knots
usually wrap around two strands of warp. The Persian knot (also termed
Senneh) can be either looped over a warp on the left and opened up to
the right or it can be looped over a right warp and opened up to the
left. This knot is in contrast to the Symmetrical knot (Turkish knot)
which wraps around both warps and opens up in between the two.

At joli: horse cover

Aubusson: A center of French carpet production which began in the mid
17th century. At first, rugs woven in Aubusson were based on Turkish
models but from the mid 19th century, designs began competing with
those of the English. Many tapestry woven rugs were woven in the 18th
and 19th centuries and generally those have designs of flowers and
bouquets and architectural motifs.

Asmalyk: Camel-flank hangings, presumably always made in pairs. The
most usual form is pentagonal but there are some rarer _ heptagonal
examples known. Large rectangular weavings by the Salor with _
indented "T' -shaped compositions are also presumed by many Turkmen
experts to have served the same function. Rectangular weavings without
specific 'T' -shaped compositions but which do not seem to have had
backs, are often called jollars and are presumed by some writers to
have also been used as camel-flank hangings.

Ayatlyk: funerary rug

Azeribaijan: Straddling Iran and the Caucasus this Turkish speaking
province could be the most important rug weaving area in history.

Adras: type of handmade semi-silk fabric.

Aina gul: (Turkmen), literal translation - mirror with horns, pattern
seen in some small Turkmen weaving such as chuvals or mafrash.

Ak Chuval: (Turkmen), literal translation - white chuval, a type of
chuval with horizontal bands of pattern in pile and flat woven bands
of plain weave, the elems are usually woven in pile with a white
background colour, hence the term "ak chvual."

Arabatchie, Arabatchi: A tribe of Turkmen, weavings are distinguished
by a knot that is open left and often there is cotton in the wefting.

Babur: The babur nama gives a view of the life of a nomadic central
asian horseman driven from his ancestral lands by the emergent uzbeks
to found the Moghul dynasty in N India.

Braided Rugs: These are rugs made from heavy strips of new or used
yarn or fabric which have been braided into thick ropes and are then
sewn dide-to-side in spirals, ovals, round and oblongs to create a
reversible rugs.

Bactria: historical Central asian dynasty.

Bakhtiari: A nomadic group in southern Persia migrating between the
central Zagros mountains and the low-lying areas around Ahvaz; in
common with the Lurs they speak a Persian dialect with archaic
features. They are also settled in numerous villages in a wide area
east of the mountains around Shahr Kord, know as the Chahar Mahal.

Bakhshaish: A village in the Iranian Azerbaijan which is southwest of
Heriz. The area is mostly known for its late 19th century carpet
production which includes large room size rugs with either the Herati
or central medallion patterns. Rugs frequently resemble antique
Herizes in design and technique.

Baku: Caspian sea Port.

Balkh: N Afghan ruin of importance.

Behbehan: Luri centre between shiraz and ahwaz.

Baluch: (Also Balouch, Beluch, Balooch) Known for the distinctive
black-tents made of goats hair, the Belouch are a nomadic group
inhabiting eastern Iran, western Pakistan and Southern Afghanistan.
They speak a language related to Persian. Their weavings have a
uniquely archaic look although some confusion reigns over the
distinction between them and the weavings of the Aimaq and Timuri
tribes of eastern Afghanistan.

Benares: India famous brocades.

Bergama: West Anatolian anthic city with a strong weaving tradition.

Beshir: Place and generic name for colourful turkoman weaving.

Beysehir: Anatolian town, famous for it's great antique rugs
discovered at the seljuk built mosque.

Bhadohi: North Indian 20th century weaving town.

Bibibaff: Name for a rug "woven by a respected grannie".

Birjand: East Iran centre for both floral and tribal weaving.

Bijar: An important center of rug production in northwest Iran which
is inhabited by a Kurdish population. Antique rugs which were woven on
wool foundation had three wefts between every row of knots. This made
the rugs extremely heavy, stiff and almost impossible to fold.
Contemporary rugs are usually double wefted and are woven on a cotton

Border: A design that surrounds the field in an oriental rug.

Bordjalu: Georgian style of Kazakh and a type of sombre Kurdish rug.

Boteh: A pear-shaped figure often used in oriental rug designs,
characteristic of the paisley pattern. The botch may represent a leaf,
bush or a pinecone.

Bokche.: Small envelope-like bags woven in one piece with the four
sides forming four triangular shaped flaps.

Broken Border Design : When border designs cross over the line and
enter the field (or vice versa) this is referred to as a broken border
pattern. It looks as though the motif is not confined to its intended
position on the rug. Frequently a broken border design is found on
Chinese rugs, Persian Kermans and other weavings with a French

Boteh: A very common paisley-like motif which probably represents a
leaf. Various styles and designs of the boteh are found throughout the
orient. Frequently botehs are found to decorate the entire field as a
repetitive all over pattern. It is thought that the design originated
in Kashmir.

Bukhara: (Bokhara) 1- For centuries a center of Muslim learning and
spirituality, and the principal trading point for Turkmen tribal
carpets; many Turkman carpets as a result have erroneously been called
"Bukhara". 2- The trade name for inexpensive and uninspired carpets
woven in Pakistan with Turkmen designs.

Badam:literal translation from all of the Turkic based languages
including Uzbek, Turkmen, Farsi 'almond', refers to a pattern seen
more often in Ersari weavings used as a border motif.

Bashtyk: Kirghiz storage bag, may be either pile or an embroidered

Canakkale: West Anatolian city known for its squarish red rugs.

Carding: A process in the preparation of raw wool (or other fibers)
for spinning accomplished by drawing it repeatedly across rows of
small metal teeth.

Cartoon: Map of design and colors necessary to weave a rug.

Cartouche: A design that surrounds a woven signature, date or
inscription in a rug.

Carved Nap: A process of carving around a design or symbol to enhance
the look of the rug. Commonly done in some Chinese and Tibet rugs.

Caucasus:An area of southern Russia which is bordered by the Black Sea
on the West and the Caspian Sea on the east. The Caucasus mountains
border the region from the northwest diagonally to the southeast.
Caucasian rugs usually have geometric designs and bright lively
colors. Rugs are most frequently doubled wefted and usually woven on
either a full wool foundation or on wool warps with cotton wefts.
Warps are undyed. Knot count ranges from 60 per square inch for Kazaks
up to about 120 for Kuba rugs.

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

Chahal Shotur: A center of Bakhtiari rugs from western Iran with a
compartmented garden design.

Chakesh: afghan turkoman rug type.

Charschango: North Afghan gul (rose) type.

Chemical Dyes: Modern synthetic dyes used in rugs woven after 1935.

Chemical Wash: The application of some chemicals such as lime,
chlorine or wood ash to a rug in order to soften the colors, the wool
and increase the sheen of the pile.

Chobash: Blue/red turkoman carpets.

Chodor: Turkoman tribe.

Chrome Dyed: A group of modern synthetic dyes that are used with a
mordant of potassium dichromate. These dyes are fast and non-fugitive.

Cloth Backed Rug: Normally on the back of an Indian or Chinese tufted

Color run : Bleeding of dyes into the surrounding areas. Dyed yarn
which has not been washed properly after the dyeing process may bleed
or run into the surrounding areas. Bleeding can also occur to chemical
dyes which are not stable or color fast. Most common color affected is
the red pigment. There are some chemical treatments which can remove
this bleeding.

Chuval (jallar): large woven storage bag

Cloud Band: A design usually associated with Chinese rugs but which is
used in a variety of rugs as floral pattern. Resembles the Greek
letter omega or wispy clouds.

Chi-chi:A certain design of Caucasian Kuba rugs consisting of a border
decorated with diagonal bars alternating with large geometric
rosettes. Most Chichi rugs have an average area of 25 square feet and
their foundation is either completely wool or wool warps with cotton

Cochineal: Deep red dye obtained from the dried bodies of a type of

Colorfast: If a rug has colorfast dyes, the colors are steadfast and
will not run when washed.

Combing: Process for preparing wool's in the same direction, before
they are spun.

Chemche: (Turkmen) literal translation, spoon, refers to a secondary
gol used in Turkmen pile weavings.

Daghestan: NE Caucasus fine bluish rugs.

Daoulatabad: NW Afghan collecting centre of carpets esp. the wazirate
large type.

Density: The measure by which the quality of the rug's construction is
judged. Determined by two factors: number of knots and the height of
the pile in a given area.

Dezlyk: Shaped weavings somewhat similar to kapunuks (see above) but
smaller and often with an extra rectangular flap at the base of the
cross-bar'. Used as decoration for the camel's breast. Khalyk is the
word favoured by Western writers, modern Soviet researchers preferring
dezlyk (or dezlik).

Dhurrie rugs: A flatwoven rug from India, usually made of cotton or

Diyarbakir: Kurdish rug collecting centre in East Anatolia.

Directional Rug: Any rug having a design which is intended to be
viewed from one particular view point. A prayer rug or a pictorial rug
are good examples of such.

Doruksh: Jufti knotted Qainat carpets in the floral city style.

Doshemealti: Red and blue postwar good Anatolian commercial rugs
popular with tourists.

Dozar: A Persian name used to describe approximately a 4.6 x 6.6 size

Dobag: The Turkish "Natural Dye Research and Development Project"
which began in 1981. It's main objective was to teach Turkish weavers
the art of using natural dyes after years of using only chemical
colors in carpet production.

Donegal: An Irish factory for rug production which was established in

Doroksh: A town in northeast Iran noted for producing rugs with floral
motifs and medallions. Older rugs have wool foundations while newer
ones have cotton. The jufti knot is mostly used.

Double Prayer Rug: A prayer rug which has two opposing niches or
mihrabs opposing one another.

Dragon and Phoenix : Together these two motifs represent happiness and
good fortune in Chinese rugs. The dragon represents the emperor and
symbolizes the powers of the universe and nature. The phoenix
represents the empress and the five cardinal virtues.

Dragon Rugs : A group of 16th-18th century Caucasian rugs decorated
with large S shaped dragons throughout the field. They are rare and
are very sought after by collectors.

Drugget: This non-pile type of rug comes from India and the Balkans
and is usually of goat hair, cotton and jute.

Dry rot: After many years the rug becomes dry and brittle, or liquids
or moisture on a rug for an extended time can cause the rug to become
dry rot.

Eastern Turkestan: An area of western China in the southwestern part
of Xinjiang province. Rugs from this region are sometimes referred to
as Samarkand. Common sizes are 4x8 or 4x9 and popular designs include
three medallions, pots with flowers and thirdly all over geometric
elements throughout the field.

Embossed: A process of carving around a design or symbol to enhance
the look of the rug. Commonly done in some Chinese and Tibet rugs.

Endless Knot: A buddhist emblem symbolizing long duration, often used
with other symbols.

Erivan: Armenian rug centre.

Ersari: A large sub-tribe of the Turkmen distributed along the Amu
Darya valley and in northwest Afghanistan. Recently, many Ersari have
settled in Pakistan.

Eyerlyk: saddle rug

Ensi (engsi): Used to cover the entrance to a tent, in other words a
woven 'door'. Because of the mihrab-like design of many ensis, some
writers have assumed that they were also used as prayer rugs; there
appears to be no evidence of this usage and a number of authorities
have specifically excluded it.

Ezine: European Turkey Town noted for elegant simple small rugs.

Elem: (Turkmen) additional border in pile rugs, situated at the ends
of a main rug or at the bottom of a mafrash, torba or chvual.

Ersari: A large sub-tribe of the Turkmen distributed along the Amu
Darya valley and in northwest Afghanistan. Recently, many Ersari have
settled in Pakistan.

Eshik tysh: door hanging or rug used by the Kirghiz, a Kirghiz word.

Eyer: (Turkmen) saddle.

Fabricated (Inlaid) Rugs: Tufted broadloom carpet is cut and inlaid on
a patterned form to create a customized rug.

Faux Silk: "False silk" is usually a synthetic, such as polyester, or
cellulosic fiber such as viscose/rayon. Mercerized cotton is also used
as a silk look-alike. Also called art silk, faux silk is usually used
as small accents or in a short, dense pile constructions.

Fur Rugs : There's nothing quite like natural fur rugs for adding
elegance, style, comfort and warmth to your home. Professional
interior designers all rely on fur rugs for adding special accents to
rooms and creating an atmosphere of opulence without the opulent price
tag! Today's interiors are returning to a more romantic and more
natural time.

Fars: A large region in southwestern Iran which is famous for high
quality tribal weavings. Important tribes include the Qashqai,
Khamseh, Lurs and Afshar. The main city in the region is Shiraz. Most
nomadic rugs from this region are woven on wool foundation and
produced on horizontal village looms.

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.

Ferahan carpets: An area north of the city of Arak in western Iran.
The region is known for finely knotted late 19th century carpets with
designs such as Herati, Mina Khani or Gol Hinnai. Most rugs have
cotton foundation with wefts dyed in either blue or pink. Green color
is commonly used.

Flat Weave rugs: Weaving in which no knots are used. The weft strands
are simply passed through the warp strands. For example a Kilim, Cicim
or Soumac.

Foundation: The warp and weft is the basis/foundation of a rug.

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

Gabbeh: A Lori word to describe fairly coarse, long-piled rugs made by
nomads of the central Zagros Mountains for use in the tent. They are
decorated with bold abstract patters or nave designs and used to be
considered too crude to be worth trading but recently their artistic
value has been recognized.

Garden Design: Panel designs throughout the field woven with floral
motifs, particularly found in a Persian Bahktiari.

Genje: A town in the Caucasus famous for 19th long rugs (mostly 3ft or
4ft by 9ft or 10ft) depicting diagonal and colorful bars throughout
the field.

Gerus: Bijar design.

Germetch (germetsh): Small pile-weaving, narrow and rectangular in
shape, suspended in the tent-entrance on a rod about 25cm. above the
ground to keep out dirt and animals. Visually, such weavings are
indistinguishable from torbas and according to Azadi in Turkmen
Carpets, only four examples are known.

Gol (Gul): Flower, rose, a name etc.

Gordes (Ghiordes): West Anatolian town classical prayer rugs.

Gorevan: A town in northwest Iran in the vicinity of Heriz. In the
trade, Gorevan is used to denote a grade of Heriz rugs which have a
coarse weave with a Heriz design.

Ground: Background color which sets off the principle design motif of
the rug.

Ghiordes: A town in western Turkey in which many small (usually 3x5ft)
prayer rugs were woven. Knot densities are between 100-200 per square
inch. Typical designs depict small geometric and pointed mihrab
surrounded by three or more borders.

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.

Gul: A term of disputed origin and significance. Perhaps it is a crude
transliteration of the word for flower (Persian) or roundel (Turkish).
In practice it is used to describe the discrete ornaments arranged in
an endless repeat pattern used by Turkmen weavers to decorate their
carpets, bags and other weavings. It is possible to say that each
tribe had its own weaving style in which certain colors and guls were
used in easily recognizable combinations.

Gul: The small repeating almost looking elephant foot design found in
Bohkara rugs.

Gajari: (Uzbek, Turkmen, Kirghiz) type of warp faced flat weave
technique with the pattern only on one side a loose warps on the back.

Gilam: also kilim, kelim, a flatwoven rug.

Hadith: the Islamic traditions.

Hamadan: A Kurdish populated city and region in northwest Iran which
is famous for its carpet production. Rugs from hundreds of surrounding
villages may be termed Hamadan. Rugs are woven in many sizes, are
single wefted, woven on cotton foundation and are mostly made for
export. The symmetrical knot is mostly used and knot count is usually
between 40 to 100 per square inch. Each village has it's own specific
design elements.

Hand Hooked (Hand Tufted): Rug-making process by which craftsmen
insert yarn into a backing with a hand held single-needle tufting
tool. The machine is often called a "gun." The rug's pattern is
stenciled on primary backing material. After the tufting is complete,
a backing is attached to protect and anchor the stitches.

Hand Knotted: Rug made by weavers who knot pile yarns around the warp
fibers that run the length of the rug. Generally, the more knots per
square inch, the more valuable the rug.

Hand: Tactile qualities of a fabric including softness, stiffness,
rough, scratchy, etc.

Hand-made: Constructed by hand. The category can include hand knotted,
hand tufted, hand hooked, needlepoint, aubusson and hand loomed rugs.

Harshang: Popular 18thC Caucasian rug design.

Hatchli: A design found in Turkish rugs.

Hazara: Personable ethnic group of Central Afghanistan.

Heatset: Twisted yarns are treated with heat to retain their
"permanent wave" for better performance and appearance retention.

Herat: W Afghan centre and state of mind. often art capital of Central

Herati: A very common repeated field design which consists of a flower
centered in a diamond with curving leaves located outside the diamond
and parallel to each side. The term can be also referred to "Mahi" - a
fish design in Farsi.

Hereke: A western Turkish town known for very finely woven rugs having
designs of classic Persian motifs, curvillinear Ghiordes prayer rugs,
and frequently include border inscriptions. Rugs woven in Hereke may
have knot densities of up to 800 per square inch. Silk is frequently
used in these weavings.

Heriz: One of the most famous centers for rug production. The city is
located in northwest Iran about forty miles west of Tabriz. Although a
low knot count of about 30-80 is commonly used, these types of rugs
are some of the most sought after in all of oriental carpet weavings.
Sizes are usually large and depict a dominating squarish medallion
having pendants attached on both ends. Herizes are double wefted,
woven on cotton foundation and use the symmetrical knot.

Holbein: Dutch painter's name attached to a type of Anatolian carpet
design and group.

Indigo: Different blue shaded dyes obtained from the leaves of the
indigo plant.

Isfahan: A former Persian capital and one of the most famous cities in
the production of Persian rugs. Isphahan is located in western Iran
and was the capital city during the golden age of Persian carpet
production in the 16th and 17th centuries while the Safavid dynasty
was in power.After a decline in culture and prosperity from the early
18th century, Isphahan began regaining its status in the 1920's when
fine rugs based on classical Persian themes began being woven once
again. Many rugs from the postwar period are very finely woven with
knot densities up to 750 per square inch and frequently the use of
silk is added. Popular designs include intricate floral medallions or
animal pictorial rugs.

Istanbul: major crossroads and bazaar of the carpet world.

Izmir: SW Anatolian market centre.

Igsyalyk: small bag for a spindle.

Jaipur: A north central Indian city in the province of Rajasthan. The
city is known for having prisoners weave rugs for commercial purposes.
Rugs are based on 17th century Indian Mughal designs.

Jajim: A flatweave made by combining a few warp strips together.
Jajims will then be made into bed covers or curtains. They are most
commonly found in northwest Iran, Turkey and the Caucasus.

Jufti: A false knotting technique that simplifies the knot for the
weaver. A knot tied over four wraps instead of the usual two.

Julykhyrs: also julkhir (Uzbek), literal translation - bearskin, a
type of pile rug made by both the Kirghiz and Uzbek weavers, usually
with long pile, thought to serve as sleeping rugs.

Jolami: Tent hand, usually on a white ground. Usually less than 0.30m.
wide by more than 20m. In length. The more usual type has the design
piled on a flat-woven ground hut there is a small number of highly
valued all-pile examples. Most jolami are attributed to either the
Tekke or Yomut tribes. There are various types of band used within the
tent to give strength to the structure; these have different names
depending on their function, with the main kind of band described
above being called ak yup or 'white girth'.

Joshagan: A town in north central Iran, thirty miles southwest of
Kashan. This weaving center is mostly known for the design of an all
over lozenge pattern - each consisting of a geometric floral motif.
Rugs are woven on cotton with a knot count of 100-200 knots per square

Kabul: Afghan and moghul capital.

Karabagh: A region in the Caucasus known for large format rugs. Many
designs are found and the most famous are the Eagle Kazak and the
Cloudband Kazak. Foundation is usually wool and knots count is around
65 knots per square inch. Symmetrical knot is used.

Karachov: A town in the Caucasus famous for Kazak rugs. Design is of a
large centered octagonal medallion with two small rectangles above and
two below the medallion.

Karaja: A town located in the Iranian Azerbaijan province close to
Heriz. Many runners are woven in this area. They are single wefted,
woven on a cotton foundation and have a distinctive hooked hexagon
medallion. Antique Karaja large rugs resemble those of Heriz except
that they are single wefted.

Karagashli: A Caucasian village south of Derbend known for small rugs
depicting geometric palmettes. Karagashli rugs are frequently
classified as Kuba rugs.

Kandahar: Pashto centre S Afghanistan.

Kashmir: Controversial home of some moghul carpets.

Kars: A city in northeastern Turkey known for small geometric rugs
based on modified Caucasian motifs.

Kathmandu: market for some himalayan weaving.

Kayseri: Centre of turkish commercial weaving especially silk.

Kazak: In origin, a tribal name, now a town, river and district in the
extreme west of Azerbaijan, the Caucusus. Kazak rugs are noted for
their coarse, long-pile carpets with shiny wool and vigorous designs.
The weavers were Turkic nomads, now settled, who came to the region at
the time of the great westward migration of Turks in the eleventh

Kapunyk: rug placed inside the entry to a yurt

Kashan: An important and famous center for carpet production in Iran.
The golden age of Kashan with its magnificent court carpets, took
place during the Safavid rule in the 16th and 17th centuries. After
about a 250 year decline, Kashan began emerging again as a leading
weaving center in the late 19th early 20th centuries. During this time
Australian wool which was actually spun in Manchester England was
used. These "Manchester Kashans" had a glossy sheen to their finish
and their floral designs were frequently on a red background.
Contemporary Kashans are woven on a cotton foundation, are double
wefted and have about 200 knots per square inch. Their primary design
includes a diamond shaped medallion with pendants at top and bottom.

Khali: main carpet

Kellegi: A Persian word for a wide runner, for example 6 x 13.

Kerman: elegant east persian traditional weaving centre.

Kilim (Kelim, Gelim, Gilim): A pileless smooth surfaced weaving in
which pattern is formed by the wefts, which completely conceal the

Kirshehir: Centre of anatolian prayer rugs.

Knot Count: The number of knots in a square inch of a rug. Hand made
Chinese rugs are often described in terms of "line." A 65 Line rug
would have 65 knots per foot of width, 65 knots per foot of length,
and 29 knots per square inch. Knot makes the pile or nap of a carpet
and distinguishes it from the machine made and flatweaves.

Knot: A knot is formed when wool, cotton or silk yarn is looped around
the warp threads. There are different procedures for knotting and each
knot type has a name, for example there is a Turkish (Ghiordes) knot
and a Persian (Sennah) knot.

Knotted Pile: The type of weaving most associated with oriental rugs
in which tufts of wool forming pile are wrapped around one or more
(usually two) warps to project at right angles to the plane of the
weaving. They are tied individually, one row at a time, and held in
place by ground wefts. The process is to be distinguished from the
making of hooked rugs in which tufts of wool are poked into
pre-existing loosely woven fabric.

Konya: important anatolian weaving and cultural centre.

Kork Wool: The very finest quality wool obtained from the shoulder and
flanks of shearling lambs.

Kouchi: Gerenic afghan name for tribal pastoralists.

Kowdani: a type and quality of afghan rug.

Kolyai: A Kurdish village 50 miles west of Hamadan in northwest Iran.
Rugs have bright colors, are single wefted and are woven on cotton

Konya: A famous Turkish city of rug production. Prayer rugs with red
backgrounds are popular as well as yastiks and mats.

Koum Kapi Rug:Turkish Rug, size - 246x132. Offered at Christie's,
London, April 27, 1995 as Lot 494, estimated at œ20,000-30,000, sold
for œ38,000.

Kuba: A city and district south of Derbend in the Caucasus. Most rugs
are of a small format, finely woven with a knot count of 100-120 and
use the symmetrical knots. Major types of Kuba rugs are: Seichur,
Karagashli, Chi-chi and Perpedil.

KPSI (Knots per square inch): Number of knots per square inch rates
the knot quality.

Kufic: early islamic script stylised in carpets usually borders.

Kula: A town in western Turkey with a long history of rug production.
Prayer rugs are most commonly seen and these are similar in design to
the Ghiordes prayer format except for the flowers or vases which
occupy the field in the Kula rugs.

Karakalpak: a tribal group often thought to be aligned with the
Uzbeks. Jon Thompson called them either Uzbekicised Turkmen or
Turkmenicised Uzbeks, living primarily in the Khiva region of

Karchin: also karshin - storage bag.

Kejebe: (Turkmen) wedding litter placed on top of the camel, baskets
for transporting a load.

Kerman: A city and province in southeastern Iran which is responsible
for rug production since the Safavid empire in the 16th century. Major
production began in the 1890's when most of Kerman's rugs were
exported to America. Designs include those of floral patterns, central
medallions, pictorial designs, panels, and of prayer formats.
Foundation is of cotton with triple weft between each row of knots.
Knot count is usually high - between 150-400 per square inch.

Kermanshah: A Kudish village in western Iran which is currently named
Bakhtaran. Many village are exported from this village.

Kepse Gol: (Turkmen) pattern name for a motif seen only in Yomud
Turkmen rugs and weavings.

Kese: (Turkmen) tobacco pouch.

Ketken: plant used as a mordant in treating yarn before dyeing.

Khali: (Turkmen) pile rug, related to the Turkish word for rug (Hali).

Khamseh: A group of five tribes occupying southwestern Iran. The area
is known for the production of tribal rugs with designs of geometric
flowers and animals scattered randomly throughout the field. Material
for pile and foundation is wool.

Khalyk: (Turkmen) long narrow small rug hung on the chest of the
wedding camel.

Khorjin: (Turkmen) also korjin, a saddle bag.

Khorassan: A province in northeast Iran which includes the city of
Mashad as its leading rug weaving center. Khorassan rugs are woven on
cotton foundation, many use the jufti knot (see entry) and resemble
the Mashad weavings in design. Many Kurdish rugs are woven here.

Khotan: A city in Eastern Turkestan (western China) which produced
fine quality rugs in the 18th and 19th centuries. Designs are usually
of three medallions embedded on a red or purple field. Sizes are
commonly 4x8 or 4 x 9ft. Some of the older rugs have metallic threads
in them.

Kirmizi: (Uzbek) cochineal dye.

Kizyl: (Turkmen) red.

Loom: The basic frame used for weaving. Two horizontal beams are used
to tie the vertical warps and hold them tightly in place. Looms can be
either horizontal or vertical. Horizontal looms are small, used for
nomadic weavings and can be folded in order to be transported on an
animal such as a donkey, horse or camel. Vertical looms are used for
weavings of large rugs and are stationary. Three or more people can
sit side by side and work simultaneously.

Ladik: A famous Turkish carpet production center as early as the 18th
century. Ladik is most known for small prayer rugs with triple arch
mihrabs, stepped mihrabs, or two column mihrabs. Main colors are red
and blue and the foundation is made of wool.

Lahore: A city in northern Pakistan which currently produces Turkoman
design rugs. During the 17th century Lahore was a major rug weaving
center for the British East India Company. In the 19th century
prisoners in jails were the ones weaving carpets for export.

Lavar (Ravar): A village north of Kerman known for very finely knotted
Kerman rugs. The name of the village is actually Ravar so these types
of Kermans should actually be termed Ravar Kermans as opposed to Lavar

Lenkoran: A Caucasus town on the Caspian sea which has a medallion
named after the city. The medallion resembles a geometric crab with
two or four arms. The medallion has been used commonly on Kazaks,
Karabaghs and Talishes.

Lesghi Star: A prominant design in Caucasian rugs which depicts an
eight pointed star with four radiating arrows. It is found most
frequently on rugs from Daghestan.

Lilihan: A town south of Arak in western Iran which is known for rugs
similar in design to Sarouks. Like Sarouks, many Lilihans were
exported to the United States in the 1920s and 1930s and were painted
with a burgundy colored background. Lilihans are single wefted and are
woven on a cotton foundation using an asymmetrical knot.

Luri (Lori): A tribe of black-tent nomads and settled villagers, long
established in the northern and central Zagros mountains of south
Persia, politically and linguistically linked to the Bahktiari. They
make interesting piled and pileless weavings.

Machine made: A rug constructed on an electrically powered machine,
now usually computer controlled.

Mafrash: The smallest format Turkmen single-faced bag which, like
chuvals and torbas, has a flat-woven hack, usually in undecorated
plain weave, and 1oop fastenings. The word mafrash, it should he
noted, appears in various Central Asian languages to describe
different types of woven hag. Among the Shahsavan of the Caucasus and
northwest Iran, for example, it refers to a large multi-sided bedding
hag or woven 'trunk', usually in the sumak technique Some examples of
all three types of single-faced hag retain long, free-hanging
side-cords and side-tassels.

Madder: A powder extracted from the root of a Rubia plant used to make
red natural dye.

Manufactory: Made by hand in a factory.

Mahal: A name which is probably derived from the village of Mahallat
in the Arak region. The term is also frequently referred to carpets
from this region that have a medium weave and knot count, are woven on
cotton foundation, are double wefted and use the Persian knot.
Although these carpets are of average quality, please remember that
the design and color combination are more important than knot count in
terms of how much a rug is worth.Current trends among interior
designers for carpets with all over patterns and soft colors have
recently boosted the price of Mahals. Very soft and lustrous wool is
frequently used.

Mahi: In Persian Mahi means "fish". The term refers to the Herati
pattern which at times can resemble a fish eye design.

Mamluk Carpet: A group of carpets woven in Cairo Egypt from the 13th
to the early 16th centuries. They were woven in the Turkish traditions
and most are large format rugs with an octagon medallion in the
center. Tiny geometric motifs surround the medallion creating an
almost kaleidoscopic effect. Main colors are red, yellow, blues and

Manchester Kashan : A Persian Kashan rug using Australian wool which
was spun in Manchester England. These Kashans were woven between
1890-1930s and typically depict floral motifs on a deep red

Marasali : A village in the Shirvan region in the Caucasus in which
high quality 19th century prayer rugs were woven. Main design is a
mihrab decorated with bright and colorful botehs.

Mashad : A city and a major rug weaving center in northeast Iran.
Carpet production began in the late 19th century and most rugs from
this region are large with a deep red background. Rugs are double
wefted and woven on a cotton foundation. Frequently, Mashads have very
traditional Persian designs and include a rounded center medallion
with a vase in each one of the rug's corners.

Medallion: The large enclosed portion of a design, usually in the
center. Typical shapes are diamonds, octagons and hexagons.

Memling Gul: A commonly used diamond shaped medallion surrounded with
small hooks. It is named after the Flemish artist Hans Memlinc who
painted rugs with this motif.

Mihrab: This design has the prayer arch of an Islamic mosque in the
rug's field.

Milas: A southwest Turkish town with a tradition of carpet weaving as
early as the 17th century. Antique Milas rugs are usually small and
include prayer rugs with diamond shaped mihrabs, rugs with columns
occupying their fields and rugs with vertical panels. Currently,
except for the surrounding villages, there is no contemporary rug
weaving in Milas.

Mina Khani: An allover design consisting of a flower surrounded by a
diamond having flowers in each one of its corners and repeated
throughout the field. Curvilinear designed Mina Khani is commonly
found on Veramin piled rugs.

Moghan: A region located in the southeastern part of the Caucasus and
is known for large 19th century rugs depicting memling guls. Rugs were
usually woven on a wool foundation and had a length which was twice as
their width.

Mir boteh : A design of small rows of botehs throughout a field.

Millefleurs: Small flowers make up the pattern throughout the rug's

Mordant: From the Latin 'to bite', the term describes a substance used
to prepare wool or silk for dyeing. The mordant attaches to receptor
sites on the surface of protein fibers and makes a chemical bridge
between the dyestuff and fiber. The most common mordants are alum and
iron sulfite. Madder and the yellow plant dyes require a mordant,
whereas indigo does not.

Mughal Carpet : A term referring to carpets woven in India during the
15th-18th centuries while the Mughal dynasty was in power. This was
the golden age of carpet production in India. Themes were based on the
Safavid weavings in neighboring Persia and many Persian weavers were
employed by the courts in Lahore, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri.

Nap: Face of the rug where the knot ends are cut, normally made of
wool or silk.

Needlepoint rugs: A rugs making technique made with wool yarns worked
on canvas using the same method as a needlepoint rugs pillow.

Natural Dyes: Dyes derived from insects or from the earth, which
includes madder root, indigo, milkweed, pomegranate, osage, cutch and

Namazlyk (janamaz, joi-namaz): Prayer rugs.

Nahavand: A town in northwestern Iran in the Hamadan region which is a
weaving center for single wefted rugs on cotton foundation. Length of
rug is usually twice its width. Symmetrical knot is used.

Ningxia: A Chinese city in Gansu province known for antique rugs.
Background color is usually pale yellow or brown with blue designs of
rounded medallions, dragons or other Confucian symbols.

Nylon: Durable synthetic fiber which also has good dyeing
characteristics. Nylon yarns can be solution dyed, skein dyed and/or
space dyed.

Overcast Sides: Technique of over-rounding wool on the non-fringe
sides of a rug.
Okbash: Small pouch-like bags, usually with triangular bases and often
retaining long plaited cords decorated with tassels. Apparently used
to cover the ends of tent strut-poles. Most old examples are
attributed to the Yomut. Although at least three by the Tekke are
known. There seems to he some confusion between an okbash and an
igsulyk (see below) in the literature, with the leading contemporary
Soviet specialist, Elena Tzareva (Rugs and Carpets from Centra/Asia,
Leningrad and Harmondsworth, 1984), describing two weavings (Nos.
82-3). which in the West would be called okbash, as "igsalik".

Overtuft: Tufting process done by hand or machine in which an already
tufted and dyed carpet has another yarn system tufted through the back
of the fabric to develop a pattern on the surface of the carpet.

Oxidizes: With excess sunlight exposure rug colors can change to a
brown or black color.

Painted Rugs: A process of actually painting the rug to improve its
look. Also if you touch-up worn areas with markers.

Patina: The surface appearance of a rug usually mellows with age or

Pazyryk: Earliest complete carpet.

Persian Knot: Looped around one thread with only a half-turn around
the other thread.

Pendant: A small flower or cluster of flowers at the top and bottom of
a medallion.

Perpedil: A Caucasus town in the Kuba region which is known for finely
knotted 19th century rugs. The rugs' most common design element
resembles a pair of ram's horns often together with a kufesque border.

Pictorial Rug: A rug which depicts representations of people, places
or any other images other than the conventional design motifs.

Pillar Rug: A type of Chinese long and narrow rug which wraps around
pillars in a temple. The dragon is a typical design motif.

Pile: The nap of the rug or the tufts remaining after the knotted
yarns are clipped.

Plain Weave: Used to describe a weave in which the warp and weft are
of equal tension and spacing. On the surface the warp and weft are
equally visible.

Point: One tuft of pile.

Polyester: Synthetic fiber most often used in staple spun yarns.

Polypropylene/Olefin: Synthetic fiber used extensively in machine made
rugs. This low-cost fiber is colored in the pellet phase of
production. Performs best when heatset and/or used in a dense

Prayer Rug: A rug with a representation of mosque or arched prayer
area. Columns may be shown supporting the arch with a lamp hanging
from the arch's apex.

Programmed Rugs: Weave the same design in different sizes.

Pushti: Persian term for a scatter rug, normally 2 x 3.
Qashqai: A confederacy of tribes living in southwestern Iran and known
for high quality antique tribal rugs. These sought after rugs have
wool foundation dyed in red, piled with asymmetrical knots and having
knot counts of around 70-170 knots per square inch. Most popular
design includes a hexagon medallion with four hooks surrounded by
hundreds of small geometric and animals motifs throughout the field.
Frequently, rugs will have a colorful barber pole used as a selvage.

Qazvin: A city in northern Iran which was the capital city during the
reign of the Safavid empire in the 16th century. Qazvin, is actually a
term used in America for fine double wefted Hamadan rugs with a
designs similar to Sarouks. Foundation is cotton and knot count is
between 130-200 knots per square inch.

Quchan: A city of northern Khorassan (northeastern Iran) which is
inhabited by Kurds. Rugs produced here are made entirely from wool and
use the symmetrical knots.

Qultog: A town in northwest Iran known for small Kurdish rugs having a
medallion surrounded with small geometric and animal figures
throughout the field. Foundation is cotton and rugs are double wefted.

Qum: Religious capital of Iran and produces modern carpets. A city of
northwest central Iran which in famous for very finely knotted rugs.
Production began in the 1930's and most popular designs include floral
medallions, all over designs, trees of life, botehs and compartment
designs. Many silk rugs were woven and average knot count is over 300
asymmetrical knots per square inch.

Rollakans: Flat woven rugs of Swedish designs made in Portugal.
Meaning "back cover", these rugs were originally used as wallhangings
in the old days in Scandinavian cabins to keep the wind from blowing
between the logs.

Re-fringe: Repair fringe of rug using the selvedge or part of the rug.

Safavid: Persian dynasty which ruled 1502-1736 and established unified
state. Renowned as patrons of Oriental rug design

Sabzevar: A town in northeastern Iran which produces rugs similar to
Mashads. Designs are usually of a center medallion on a red ground
with vases in the corners. Asymmetrical knots on cotton foundation are

Saddle Bags (Khorjin): Two pouches or bags connected, which can be
laid on the back of a carrying animal such a horse, donkey or camel.

Samarkand: Great Central Asian city.

Saph: Several Mihrabs, which indicate the direction of Mecca, are
arranged side by side on a rug used for prayer.

Savonnerie: Made in France, this is a hand-knotted pastel rug with a
floral medallion set on an open field with broken borders. This rug is
the model for many of today's Indian and Persian rugs.

Salatshak: An hexagonal weaving, the exact function of which is
controversial . Again, the mihrab-like designs of many examples have
led some writers to suggest that they are prayer rugs hut several
specialists in Turkmen weavings, including Siawosch Azadi, have stated
that they were made as cot covers. Some examples have a slit at one
end, suggesting use as a saddlecloth. Again, the majority of published
examples do not appear particularly old (see also Tainakisha).

Salt Bag (Namakdan): A little bag (usually a flatweave measures about
20" x 16") with a neck or spout which is used to store grains or salt.
It is most commonly woven by the Afshars, Bakhtiaris, Baluch and

Saraband: A district in western central Iran which is known for the
production of rugs having a light red field decorated with small
botehs all over. Rugs usually have symmetrical knots and are woven on
a cotton foundation.

Sarouk: A village north of Arak in central western Iran which is
famous for the production of floral rugs for the US market in the
1920's-1930's. Until the first world war, the central medallion design
was the most popular until this was replaced with the pattern of
detached floral sprays on burgundy or dark pink backgrounds. Some navy
blue field Sarouks are sometimes seen as well. Asymmetrical knots are
used on cotton foundation with blue wefts.

Savonnerie: Originally, the Savonnerie workshops were founded in Paris
in 1628 and their output of weavings was for royal palaces, state
gifts and important commissions. Designs created by court artists
included floral arrangements, military and heraldic references and
architectural motifs. Warps were made out of linen and the woolen pile
was woven using the symmetrical knots. The greatest period of
production was between 1650 - 1789.

Selvedge: The area between the edge of a rug and the fringe. The
selvedge is the same material used to form the warp and weft. A design
can be added to the selvedge to enhance the look of a rug.

Senneh Knot: Persian knot.

Senneh: A Kurdish city in northwest Iran which is known for very fine
antique rugs and kilims. Most rugs have a cotton foundation, use the
symmetrical knots and are single wefted. Warps are sometimes dyed in
very colorful bands. Designs include the all over boteh, all over
herati (mahi), and others with a central medallion.

Sewan (Sevan) Kazak: A group of antique Caucasian Kazak rugs from the
Lake Sevan area having large cruciform shaped medallions. These rugs
are knotted on a wool foundation and most have wefts which are dyed in

Serapi: A trade term used to refer to a fine antique Heriz which is at
least 100 years old.

Serab: A town in northwest Iran between Arbdebil and Tabriz which is
mostly known for the production of runners. Frequent design depicts
repeating diamonds or hexagon on a camel or ivory colored field.
Symmetric knot is used on a wool or wool and cotton foundation.

Shah Abbas: A symmetrical palmette having two floral sprays on top.

Shah Abbasi Palmette: This motif is used both in the field and in the

Shahsavan: A group of Turkish speaking tribes inhabiting northwest
Iran. In Farsi Shahsavan means: "For those who love the Shah" - a 17th
century title bestowed on warriors from these tribes who were
defending Persia's northern border. Most of their weavings consist of
functional pieces such as saddle bags, mafrashes and animal trappings.
Their textiles frequently use the soumak and kilim weaves.

Shiraz: SW Iran major rug collecting centre.

Shirvan: An important central eastern Caucasian region known for
weavings of fine antique rugs. Size of rugs is usually small with an
average size of about 28 square feet. Foundation is either all wool or
wool warps and cotton wefts. Designs include prayer formats, geometric
medallions layouts, and rugs depicting animal motifs.

Shou: A group of Chinese characters or motifs symbolizing longevity.
Most common is the rounded medallion character.

Siding: Edging on non-fringed sides of a rug.

Silk Road: Mythical name for the Mediteranean - China trade routes.

Simurgh: Mythical Persian bird.

Sileh: A Caucasian flatweave usually depicting the "S" shaped dragon
motif with a soumak structure. In the Near East, the term "Verneh" is

Sivas: A city of north central Turkey which is a production site of
Turkish rugs based on Persian designs. Many rugs were woven by
prisoners. Older rugs have wool foundation while recent ones use
cotton. Rugs can have either the asymmetrical or the symmetrical knot.
Designs include prayer rugs with stepped mihrabs, rugs with three
different colored panels, or pieces with vertical stripes.

Solution Dyed: A method of dyeing synthetic fiber in which pigment is
added to the nylon or polypropylene chip before it is extruded as
filament yarn.

Sofreh:Term means "tablecloth". A small flatwoven rectangular cloth
which is laid on the ground and on which food can be served or

Soumak (Soumac): This refers both to the carpets made in the soumac
technique and the technique itself. Primarily practiced in the eastern
Caucuses, this technique produces a flat-woven carpet using weft
wrapping in which wefts are pulled over then wrapped under a series of

Space Dyed: Yarn colored in sections of different colors before being
tufted or woven into a rug. Abrash effects can be created with space
dyed yarns. Space dyeing is frequently applied to nylon fibers.

Spanish Knot: An unusual variation of the Turkish knot. A knot is tied
on every other single warp thread with knotted warps alternating on
each row.

Spinning: The process whereby a continuous thread is formed by
twisting fibers together. The twist may be imparted by the rotation of
a weighted rod (drop spindle) suspended from the thread.
Alternatively, the rod may be attached to a rotating wheel driven by
hand (spinning wheel) or a machine.

Star Kazak:A type of Caucasian Kazak rugs which depict large eight
pointed stars. These rugs are some of the most rare and sought after
of all Caucasian weavings.

Salor: A tribe of Turkmen weavers renowned for their fine rugs and
highly evolved designs. The knots are asymmetric open left

Saryk: Another tribe of the Turkmen, weavings are distinguished by the
use of the symmetric knot and often use cotton in the pile.

Sultanabad (Arak): Many high quality rugs were woven in this city and
province in northwest Iran. Most rug production took place in the late
19th century when European companies commissioned large decorative
rugs for the European market. Rug weaving centers include those of
Mahal, Sultanabad, Sarouk, Lilihan, Ferahan and Saraband.

Suzani: Embroidered cotton panels which are sewn together to form wall
hangings, curtains and bed covers. Most embroideries were done in
cotton and silk threads. Finest pieces were woven during the 19th
century in Uzbekistan, Bokhara, Samarkand, Tashkent and Shakhrisyabz.

Tibetan Rugs: There's a long tradition of rug production in Tibet with
some pieces woven as early as the 1700's. Rugs from this area have
been mostly influenced by those of China and Eastern Turkestan.
Traditional designs include folk motifs, checkerboard designs, and
tiger motifs. Colors on Tibetan rugs have been associated with their
functions. Orange and Gold for religious ceremonies. Maroon rugs are
used mainly for floor coverings in monasteries. Tiger skins were
prized by people in power and represent badges of authority. Old
Tibetan rugs are all wool and are woven with the Tibetan knotting
technique which resembles a continuous knotting system - looping
around warps forward and backward. After the Chinese control in 1959,
many Tibetans fled to neighboring India, Nepal and Bhutan and
presently continue the art of weaving in exile.

Tabriz: A city in northwestern Iran which has a major weaving
tradition dating to the 15th century. It was at this time that weavers
from Tabriz introduced the curvilinear designs to the courts at
Istanbul. After a decline of a few hundred years, Tabriz began
re-establishing its position in the mid 19th century as the market
center for the export of Persian rugs to the west.Tabriz weavers have
a reputation of copying designs from other areas of Iran and therefore
the best way to establish the true origin of a Tabriz is by examining
the rug's structure. Tabrizes are double wefted, Turkish knot is
dominant, warps and wefts are of cotton and are mostly undyed (at
times however, wefts may be either pale blue or light gray). Many
designs are used and include medallions, hunting patterns, prayer and
pictorial rugs. Some superb silk Tabrizes were woven during the late
19th century.

Talish: A southeast Caucasian region known for 19th rugs with long
formats and empty fields. Color of fields is usually red, blue or
green. Symmetrical knots were used with a foundation of wool, or wool
warps with cotton wefts.

Teheran: Modern day capital of Iran and a major market for Persian
rugs. Floral and pictorial rugs are woven using asymmetrical knots on
cotton foundation.

Tapestry Weave: Any variety of weaves where the pattern is created by
ground wefts that do not run from end to end.

Tainaktsha: Large shaped horse blanket, examples of which can be
either piled or flat-woven. Many Soviet writers also describe a
salatshak as a horse or saddle cover.

Tekke: The dominant Turkmen tribe in the second half of the nineteenth
century, makers of a great variety of refined weavings. Their carpets,
eagerly collected by Europeans, were baptized 'Royal Bukhara' by
merchants wishing to enhance their appeal.

Tibetian Knot: A distinctive rug-weaving technique now used in other
regions as well as in Tibet. A temporary rod, which establishes the
length of pile, is put in front of the warp. A continuous yarn is
looped around two warps and then once around the rod. When a row of
loops is finished, then the loops are cut to create the pile. This
method produces a slightly ridged surface.

Tibetan Rugs: There's a long tradition of rug production in Tibet with
some pieces woven as early as the 1700's. Rugs from this area have
been mostly influenced by those of China and Eastern Turkestan.
Traditional designs include folk motifs, checkerboard designs, and
tiger motifs. Colors on Tibetan rugs have been associated with their
functions. Orange and Gold for religious ceremonies. Maroon rugs are
used mainly for floor coverings in monasteries. Tiger skins were
prized by people in power and represent badges of authority. Old
Tibetan rugs are all wool and are woven with the Tibetan knotting
technique which resembles a continuous knotting system - looping
around warps forward and backward. After the Chinese control in 1959,
many Tibetans fled to neighboring India, Nepal and Bhutan and
presently continue the art of weaving in exile.

Tianjin:A port and industrial city in northwest China. Rug production
began around 1910 with factories built for exporting rugs to the
United States and Europe. Traditional Chinese rugs with open fields as
well as copies of Aubussons Savonneries were woven in Tianjin.

Tiger Rugs:A large group of Tibetan rugs which depict tigers. They
were mostly sought after by Tibetan nobles and officials.

Tone-on-Tone: Two or more shades of the same hue achieved by combining
two ends of different shades, two different yarns of the same color or
cut pile and looped pile of the same color.

Torba: A long rectangular Turkmen bag having a pile weave only on one
side of the face. Torbas are hang from a tent and serve as temporary
storage spaces.

Transitional: A broad style category that falls between traditional
and contemporary. Many floral patterns are included in this category.

Turkish Knot: Tied around two adjacent warp threads.

Usak (Ushak): A town of west central Turkey with a tradition of rug
production which began as early as the 15th century. It is most famous
for its 16th century star, medallion and prayer rug designs. At the
end of the 19th century, due to the demand for large room size rugs in
Europe and the United States, a production on a large scale commercial
basis began taking place there. Rugs from the Ushak region have wool
pile on wool foundation and most are crudely made with low knot
counts. Most Ushaks have the medallion design or the all over pattern
design. Fine Ushaks with attractive designs and good color
combinations are very sought after for their decorative purposes.

Vase Carpet: A group of 16th and 17th century Persian carpets
decorated with flowers springing from vases. Most are directional rugs
and can be viewed from one angle only.

Vegetable Dyes: Dyes derived from insects or from the earth, which
includes madder root, indigo, milkweed, pomegranate, osage, cutch and

Veramin: A town 30 miles southeast of Teheran known for rugs depicting
the Mina Khani and Memling guls designs. Rugs are woven on a cotton
foundation and the asymmetric knot is used.

Verneh: A Caucasian flatweave usually depicting the "S" shaped dragon
motif with a soumak structure. In the west, the term "Sileh" is used.

Viss: A town in western Iran around the Bakhtiari region known for
rugs of a geometric designs. Common pattern includes the large hexagon
medallion with hooked spandrels in the corners. Foundation is cotton
and the asymmetrical knot is used.

Wagireh: A small sampler rug, woven with the various designs and
colors of the finished product. The wagireh will then be available to
prospective buyers. They are frequently woven in the Bijar region.

Warp: Beginning part of a rug where wool, cotton or silk strands are
attached to a Loom vertically, following the length of a rug.
Comprising the structure, parallel wrap yarns run the length of the
rug and are interlaced with wefts.

War Rugs: Rugs woven in Afghanistan during the Russian occupation in
the mid 1980's. Subjects of these are of weapons include tanks,
fighter planes, helicopters, grenades and guns.

Weft (Woof): The threads which are added in succession to the warp,
crossing at right angles in the direction of the width of the fabric.
In piled carpets they are invisible on the surface in kilims the wefts
are the only threads visible.

Weft: Wool, cotton or silk strands inserted horizontally over and
under the warp forming the foundation of the rug.

Weft-Faced: A rug where the weft yarns are more closely spaced than
the warps.

Wilton: A British production center of machine made rugs. In 1825, the
Wilton company took over the Axminster looms, and for the next one
hundred years (until 1924) produced handmade rugs as well.

Wool Foundation: A rug is started with a wool warp and weft.

Yagcibedir: the turkish rugs type.

Yalameh: A term used to describe village rugs in western Iran which
have motifs of the Khamseh, Qashqai and Lori tribes. Designs of three
latchhook diamond medallions are typical and these are surrounded by
numerous small geometric and animal motifs. Rugs are woven on wool
foundation and the asymmetrical knot is used.

Yastik: A 3ft x 1ft Turkish rug usually used as a pillow cover or
cushion cover.

Yazd: A central Iranian city weaving rugs of medallion designs similar
to Kermans or Sarouks. Main colors are blue, red and ivory. Wefts can
be either wool or cotton and warps are of cotton only. The
asymmetrical knot is used.

Yahyali: Central Anatolian rug type.

Yurt: felt tent

Yomut: A Turkmen tribe found in Turkmenistan and northeast Persia.
They are farmers, semi-nomads and nomads and in remote regions still
retain much of their ancient life-style.

Yoruk: A term used in Turkey for nomad. Apart from the
Kurdish-speaking tribes, most of the nomads in Turkey are of central
Asian Turkmen origin and some still call themselves Turkmen. Most
carpets called 'Yoruk' in the market place are made by
Kurdish-speaking people in eastern Turkey.

Yuntdag: West Anatolian rug type usually central medallion pendant
with triangular.

Zakatala: A region in northern Azerbaijan in the Caucasus known for
production of antique rugs. All wool rugs are woven with the
symmetrical knots. Designs are of bold and geometric motifs and of
colorful stripes.

Ziegler and Co.: A company from Manchester England which exported a
large number of rugs from Iran to Europe from the mid 19th century
until the early 20th century. Persian rugs were designed according to
western tastes. Tabrizes, Mahals and Sultanabads produced under the
guidance of the Ziegler Co. are known today as the Ziegler Carpets.

Zili-sultan: south persian rug design.

Zilli: traditional name for large simple flatweaves





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