Rug Terminology

May 25, 2020

When vacationing in a new country it can be stressful trying to communicate with locals and find your way around if you don’t speak the native tongue. Most people will try to learn a few key phrases, or maybe buy a pocket dictionary before their travels. When it comes to businesses though, most industries tend to have jargon they speak, and as a consumer, it can be just as frustrating.

Certainly, understanding carpet and rug terminology is something you need for enjoyable, successful shopping. We believe that educating our clients is one of the best ways to ensure customers are happy with their decisions, and to help out, or as a little refresher, we pulled together a list of words in rug terminology that You might hear in a rug store. You can feel a little more confident the next time you come by. Here is the rug terminology we have prepared for you.


Abrash -A terminology used to describe the variation of colour in oriental hand-knotted rugs often found in nomadic or tribal designs.

Acrylic -A synthetic man-made fibre used to produce rugs, clothing and yarn etc, it’s a soft material which can mimic wool or cotton.

Afshar -A stiff cotton hardwearing rug made in southern Iran.

All Over -A repeat pattern in the design of a rug.

Aniline Dyes -The first artificial dyes used to colour rugs in the 1850s, however, these dyes tend to fade when exposed to sunlight.

Antique -A rug which is over 50 years old.

Arabesque -An elaborate rug design based around flowers, fruits and other natural elements.

Arte Silke -A soft synthetic material which is a cheaper substitute for real silk.

Asymmetrical Knot -Asymmetrical also know as Persian is a style of rug and a knot is a weaving technique where the knot encircles the warp.


Bamboo -A steamed hollow plant which is very durable and often used manufacturing paper, rugs, textiles and flooring.

Blend -Two or more types of fibre blended together.

Boteh -A teardrop design which originates from Iran.

Bounce -A yarn which displays a textured loop pile.


Carding -A process where the fibres get untangled before they are spun.

Cartoon -A drawing or a sketch design used as a template.

Combing -A process where short fibres are untangled prior to being spun.

Contemporary -A modern rug under 25 years old.

Cotton -A spun fibre which is sourced and produced from the cotton plant.


Dhurrie -A casual cotton or woollen flat rug made in India.

Dyes -Dyes are used in colouring rugs. Natural dyes are made from plants, minerals or animals.


Field -The area inside the rug borders which is the central design of the theme.

Flat Weave -A rug which has no pile or is knotted, meaning they are wooven on the loom.

Flotaki -A Hand made shaggy rugs, the name Flotaki originates from Greece.

Fringe -The hanging threads at the end of the rug. Knotted fringes prevent the threads from untangling


Guard Borders -A guard border separates the border from the field (the main design).

Gul Farangi -A repeat rose design throughout the rug.

Gul Hinnai -A repeat henna flower design throughout the rug.


Hand Hooked -Where the yarn is pulled through a woven fabric such as linen or hemp using a hook.

Hand Knotted -A hand Knotted pile is produced as the knots are wrapped around the warps.

Hand Made -Rugs which are made by hand not a machine.

Hand Tufted -Very similar to hand hooked, however, the loops are cut for a smooth level finish.


Jute -A plant fibre which is often used to manufacturer rope, carpets and rugs. A very durable and sturdy material .


Kilim -A flat woven rug which comes with no pile.

Knot -Knots are where the weave is tied over the wafts both symmetrical and asymmetrical.

Knot Density -A number of knots within a square inch.


Loom -A structure for knotting and weaving rugs or other textiles.


Machine Made Rugs -Rugs which are woven by a machine.

Medallion -The central decoration in an oriental rug.


Nap -The direction of a fully (shaggy) surface.

Natural Dyes -Natural dyes which are sourced from minerals, plants and animals.

Nylon -A durable synthetic soft fibre.


Olefin -A durable and stain-resistant man-made material synthetic fibre.


Persian Knot -A durable and stain-resistant man-made material synthetic fibre.

Pictorial -A pictorial design which is often a person, place or an animal.

Pile -The weaving area produced by tying rug fibres together.

Polyester -A synthetic material used to manufacturer rugs and carpets.

Primary Backing Hardwearing fibres are woven together to create a strong backing for the rug.


Seagrass -Seagrass is a plant fibre which is found in the sea. Seagrass is stain resistant and very durable.

Secondary Backing – This offers further protection and is bonded to the primary backing.

Shaggy Rug – A thick deep shag pile made from either synthetic or natural fibres. A flotaki is a type of shaggy rug.

Silk – A soft and shiny fibre made from silkworms.

Synthetic Dyes – Synthetic dyes are man-made dyes used to colour textiles and rugs


Warp -The length of the loom created when the knots are tied together.

Weave -This is created when intertwining the weft threads through the warp.

Weft -The weft is the width of the yarn intertwined over and under the warp threads.

Wool -Wool is sourced from shearing sheep and offers great durability and elasticity.


Yarn -Yarn is the thread that is used when weaving the rugs together.

You can shop wisely at The-Rugs with the rug terminology, so you can find the best match for you.

Related Blog Posts


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Rug Manufacturing

Rug History: From Nomadic Tribes to Modern Homes

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