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  Some Terms Used in Rug  Business

Abrash: A change in the color of a rug due to differences in the wool or dye batch. The color change runs across the rug and is most likely to occur at the top. However, the variation and striation of colors can occur throughout the rug. Looks like a stripe or band.

Allover Design: Continuous design throughout the field of the rug.

Aniline Dye: A synthetic dye made from coal tar. In the early 1900's it was banned in Persia because the dyes were not colorfast.

Antique Finish: A modern chemical washing procedure that produces softer tones or antiques the rug.

Art Silk: Artificial silk, normally made with mercerized cotton. It looses its sheen when used and doesn't wear well.

Aubusson: French design flat weave rug normally with a floral center medallion and pastel colors.

Border: A design that surrounds the field in a rug and forms a visual frame for main design.

Boteh: A teardrop shaped motif used in rug designs, characteristic of the paisley pattern. The boteh may represent a leaf, pear or pine cone.

Cartoon: Map of design and colors drawn on paper used as a guide to weave a rug.

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

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

Caucasian: Rugs were mainly woven in Azerbaijan, which is part of the Caucasus Mountain region.

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 rug.

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

Chrome Dyes: Very colorfast synthetic dyes developed in the early 1900's.

Cloth Backed Rug: Normally found on the back of an Indian or Chinese tufted rug. The material is called monk's cloth and hides the unsightly glued tufts.

Cochineal: Deep red dye obtained from the dried bodies of a type of insect (Dactylopius coccus cacti).

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

Color Run: The term used to describe the migration of one color into another. Red and blue are the usual culprits.

Combing: Process of preparing wool fibers for spinning by sorting them in the same direction.

Dhurrie: A flat-woven rug from India usually made of cotton or wool.

Dry rot: Deterioration of the rug pile and foundation over the years when it becomes dry and brittle. Also caused by liquids or moisture remaining on a rug for an extended time causing the rug to rot.

Embossing: 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.

Field: The part of a rug’s design surrounded by the border or borders. The field may be blank or contain medallions or an overall pattern.

Flat-Weave: Describes a rug that has a flat pile, which includes Dhurrie, Jajim, Kilim and Soumak.

Foundation: The backing of the rug composed of the warp and weft strings. It is made of cotton, wool or silk.

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

Fugitive Dye: A dye that migrates into another color or fades.

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

Ghiordes Knot: A symmetrical knot or Turkish knot.

Gul: A medallion either octagonal or angular in shape, used in Turkmen design rugs. It is often repeated to form an allover pattern in the field. An example of this is the small repeating elephant foot design found in Bohkara rugs.

Hali: The Turkish word for carpet.

Hatchli: A design found in Turkmen rugs in which the field is divided into sections by stripes or bars.

Herati: A rosette surrounded by a fish pattern repeating throughout the field of a rug.

Indigo: Blue dyes obtained from the leaves of the indigo plant.

Jajim: A warp faced fabric woven in long narrow strips. They are later cut into equal lengths and sewn together.

Jufti Knot: A knot tied over four wraps instead of usual two. It is called a false knot. The technique simplifies the knot for the weaver.

Kilim: A tapestry-like woven rug. It is a flat rug with no pile.

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, Persian/Sennah knot, and the Jufti.

Knots per square inch: Number of knots per square inch rates the knot quality. Usually noted by the K.P.S.I. designation (ex. K.P.S.I. 240).

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

Loom: A wooden structure that holds the warp and weft threads for weaving the rug. It can be vertical and horizontal. The height and width of the loom determines the rug size.

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

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

Mihrab: The arch of a mosque in a prayer rug indicating the direction of Mecca.

Mordant: An additive that makes dyes more stable and allows the dyes to penetrate the wool.

Mori: The weaving technique of certain Pakistani and Indian rugs.

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

Overcast sides: Technique of over-rounding wool on the non-fringe sides of a rug.

Oxidation: The chemical reaction that occurs when excess sunlight exposure and age can change rug colors. The colors usually affected are brown or black. Generally occurs in vegetable dyed rugs.

Palmette: Lotus flower found in curvilinear and geometric rugs thought to represent the opium poppy.

Painted Rugs: A process of actually painting the rug to improve its look. This does not add to the value of the rug.

Patina: The mellowing of the surface appearance of a rug usually with age or use.

Persian Knot: An asymmetrical knot that is looped around one thread with only a loose half-turn around the other thread.

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

Plain Weave: The simplest interlacing of warp and weft.

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: City woven rugs that have the same design in different sizes.

Saffron: Natural dye use to obtain a yellow color.

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

Savonnerie: French design rug hand woven with a thick pile and pastel colors.

Selvedge: The side finish of the rug. The selvedge is the same material used to form the warp and weft. Various colors can be added to the selvedge to enhance the look of a rug by over wrapping.

Senneh Knot: Also known as the Persian knot. It is asymmetrical.

Soumak: A flat-weave rug made from a technique that produces a herringbone effect. This special weaving technique is also known as weft wrapping. Looks similar to embroidery work.

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

Tea Wash: A process of washing a rug with tea to soften the colors and give an antique appearance.

Turkish Knot: Tied around two adjacent warp threads.

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

Warp: Starting part of a rug where wool, cotton or silk strands are attached to a loom vertically, running the length of a rug and are interlaced with wefts.

Weft: Wool, cotton or silk yarns 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.

Whipstich: A stitch used to over-case and to lock the final weft to rug ends.

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

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