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Machine-Made Rugs

Abraded Yarns -- Continuous filament yarns in which filaments have been cut or abraded at intervals and given additional twist to produce a certain degree of hairiness, so as to simulate the character of yarns spun from staple. Abraded yarns are usually plied or twisted with other yarns before using.

Air Entangling -- A system in which multiple ends of continuous filament yarns are combined to create unique styling effects.

Antibacterial Finish -- A treatment of a textile material to make it resistant to bacteria or to retard the growth of bacteria.

Antimicrobial -- A carpet or rug fiber additive that inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and other fungi microorganisms.

Appearance Retention -- The ability of carpet or rugs to remain visually attractive throughout its expected wear life.

Backing -- The material that forms the back of a carpet or rug regardless of the type of construction

Primary Backing -- In a tufted carpet, the material to which surface yarns are attached. Made of jute, cotton, woven or nonwoven synthetic materials.

Secondary Backing -- Also called double backing. Any material -- jute, woven or nonwoven synthetics, scrim, or cushion -- that is laminated/glued to the primary backing.

BCF Yarns -- Bulked continuous filament yarns for carpet and rugs -- nylon and polypropylene.

Bulking -- Processing synthetic yarn by mechanical means to fluff it up and give more coverage with the same weight.

Carpet Cushion -- Also called underlay, under padding, padding and lining -- any type of material placed under a carpet or rug to provide additional softness. Rug pad has the added benefit of being anti-slip and anti-wrinkle.

Continuous Filament -- Synthetic fiber -- nylon or polypropylene -- that is extruded in one long yarn end that can be tufted or woven without the need for spinning, which natural fibers and synthetic staple fiber requires.

Creel -- A frame device that holds cones of yarn that are fed to a tufting or weaving machine.

Cut Pile -- When the face of a carpet or rug tuft is cut rather than looped back into the backing.

Delustered Yarns -- Subduing the shine of synthetic fiber by chemical or physical means usually to mimic a cotton or wool look.

Frames -- Racks at the back of a Wilton loom holding spools from which yarns are fed into the loom. Each frame holds separate color; thus an eight-frame Wilton has eight colors in the designs it weaves.

Greige Goods -- Carpet fabric that is tufted in a natural or undyed state.

Ground Color -- The background color against which the colors of a pattern are set off.

Hand -- The tactile qualities of a fabric-features perceived by touch including softness, stiffness, rough, scratchy, etc.

Heatset -- The stabilization or setting of yarns in a particular twist with heat.

High-Low -- A multilevel pile, sometimes combining cut and looped surface yarns

Jet Dye Printer, Ink Jet Printer -- A computer-controlled system that prints patterns in carpet by spraying colors directly onto the surface with individual jets. Also for rapid pattern change and can produce large scale patterns.

Looped Pile -- When the yarn stitch is not cut forming a loop with every tuft.

Needlepunching -- Layers of loose fiber are needled into a core or scrim fabric to form a felted or flat textured material. A needlepunched fabric can be embossed, printed, laminated to a cushion or otherwise finished.

Nonwoven -- A fabric made from a web of fibers held together by a chemical or fibrous bonding agent, or heat and pressure.

Overtuft -- A 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.

Pile -- The upright ends of yarn, whether cut or looped, that form the top surface of carpet or rugs.

Point -- One tuft of pile. Serging -- A method of finishing the cut edge of a carpet or rug.

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.

Space Dyed -- Yarn that is colored in segments of different colors before the yarn is tufted or woven into a rug, which produces various multicolored effects in the finished product.

Staple -- Fiber in the natural state -- in cotton and wool, the length of the fiber as it grows on the plant or animal -- which must be twisted or spun together to form yarns. Most staple is six to eight inches long.

Tone-on-Tone -- A pattern made by using two or more shades of the same hue or by combining cut pile and looped pile of the same color. The loop pile will reflect light differently than the cut, therefore creating a two-tone pattern.

Tufted Carpet -- A type of textile floor covering made by inserting yarn into a backing with a row of closely spaced needles. Depending on the type of tufting machine, the height of the pile and type of pile (cut or loop) can be controlled and varied by computer to create various effects.

Tuft Bind -- Force required to pull a tuft from a carpet or rug.

Warp -- In woven floor coverings, yarns running lengthwise.

Weaving -- A type of mechanical process to make textile floor covering in which surface and backing yarns are interlaced or woven together in one operation. Major types of looms used: Axminster, named for a town in England where it was first used, a complicated weave used chiefly for multicolored patterns in cut-pile (Axminster weaving produces a heavily ribbed back that can be rolled lengthwise but not widthwise); and Wilton, named for another town in England, employing a jacquard-pattern-making mechanism that can be used for cut or loop pile product in multicolor or solid-color styles.

Weft -- In woven floor coverings, yarns running crosswise between warp yarns.

Worsted Yarn -- Usually in reference to woolen yarn that is made of long staple that has been finely combed and spun for a finer, smoother appearance. Worsted yarns are used to create pattern definition.

Yarn Count -- A number used to describe the size of yarn.

Source: RBI International Carpet Consultants Carpet Education Manual

Handmade Rugs

Abrash -- A varied or streaked effect in the field areas of rugs. In antique and new, hand-dyed rugs, this is created by the natural variations in the yarn and how it takes dye. In new rugs, both machine-made and handmade, the effect is created deliberately by using different tones of yarn or space dyed yarns.

All-over -- A rug pattern with no dominant or central design. The motifs on the rug are spread throughout the rug.

Antique -- Rugs more than 60 years old. Arabesque -- A motif consisting of intertwining vines, branches, leaves or blossoms. These could be woven in a geometric or curvilinear pattern.

Art Deco, Art Decoratif, Art Moderne, Modern Movement -- A style of architecture and interior design popular from 1925 to 1940, characterized by geometric 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.

Asymmetrical, Persian, or Senneh Knot -- The asymmetrical 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.

Curvilinear -- Patterns created with smooth curving lines.

Flat Weave -- A technique of weaving where no knots are used. The weft strands are simply passed through the warp strands. Hand- or

Gun-Tufted -- A handcrafted rug in which the yarns are placed. Herati Pattern -- A motif consisting of a flower inside a diamond and curving leaves outside the diamond that 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 the Herati pattern exist from geometric to curvilinear and simple to complex.

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

Knot -- Pile-woven or knotted rugs are created by knots. The two predominant types of knots are asymmetrical and symmetrical.

Knot Density -- Knot density refers to the overall number of knots used in creation of a handmade rug. Knot density is measured in the Imperial system in square inch and in the metric system in square decimeter.

Medallion -- A common rug layout where a large centerpiece called medallion is the focal point of the design.

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

Minor border -- Many rug borders consist of one wide band known as the main border or simply the border, and one or many narrower bands on each side of the main border known as the minor border or guard stripes.

Motif -- Any single form or interrelated group of forms that make up part of the overall design.

Nap -- The direction that the pile of the rug faces.

Natural Dyes -- Until the late 19th century, only natural dyes were used for coloring weaving yarns. Natural dyes are made from plants, animals, and minerals.

Nomadic Rugs -- Rugs woven by sheep herders 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.

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

Pendants -- Small floral extensions at the top and bottom of the medallion (centerpiece) in a medallion layout. Persian, Asymmetrical or

Senneh Knot -- The asymmetrical knot is used in Iran, India, Turkey, Egypt and China. To form this knot, a small piece of yarn is passed under and over 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.

Pictorial -- A pattern portraying people and animals. Pile -- The material (fiber) used for weaving rugs. The main pile materials are wool, silk and cotton.

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.

Prayer Rug -- One directional rectangular rugs of approximately 3.5 by 5.5 feet. Prayer rugs historically have been woven for Muslims to pray on. They still serve this purpose, and are also used as regular rugs. The usual design of a prayer rug is a mihrab (the prayer niche constructed in a mosque wall that indicates the direction of Mecca).

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 the construction point of 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. If one is looking for a collectible antique or semi-antique rug, then programmed rugs are not for them. However, if searching for a quality decorative rug at a relatively lower price that would perfectly match one's furniture and fit in particular room, then programmed rugs are a great option. Also, with programmed rugs, one can find matching sets in different sizes and shapes.

Semi-antique -- Rugs between 25 and 60 years old.

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

Symmetrical, Turkish or Ghiordes 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 in the mid-19th century for dyeing weaving yarns used in rugs.

Tibetan Knot -- Originating in Tibet, a distinctive rug-weaving technique is used. 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 construct the knots.

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

Tree-of-Life -- A motif consisting of a tree with a trunk, branches and leaves that covers the whole rug. The tree could be very realistic or so abstract that it may not resemble a tree. Also, this motif is generally one-sided.

Village Rugs -- Rugs made by villagers. In village settings, usually all family members or the women of the family are weavers and their home is their place of work. More variety of styles are woven by villagers than by any other weaving category.

Warp -- Vertical strands of fiber which stretch from the top to the bottom of the rug and knots are tied to them.

Weave -- The technique used in weaving. There are two major weaving techniques:

Pile Weave and Flat Weave.

Weft -- Horizontal strands of fiber that are woven through the warps. They are added before and in between the rows of knots to secure the knots in place.

Source: Terms and definitions for handmade rugs from's Glossary in Learn About Rugs.
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Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Sep 18, 2000

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