Glossary of Rug Terms #23
Every so often, we write a rug term dictionary post for those wanting to improve their handmade rug vernacular.
Whether you are an expert on decorative rugs or reading about the field for the first time, you will find these terms to be very interesting!
Attribution: assigning a geographic, ethnic, and/or commercial origin to weaving (with or without dating) by reference to detailed criteria and persuasive evidence. Persuasive evidence should show that the criteria are valid and that the rug satisfies the criteria. Criteria should be explicit, detailed, observable, and relate the properties of a weaving to the weavers.
Border: a design around the edge of a rug and enclosing the field, usually involving a wide band of repeating design called the main border and subsidiary borders called guard stripes.
Gabba: appliquéd and embroidered rugs of Kashmir.
Kashmir: the northernmost state of India, primarily Muslim in population. It was noted for the intricately pattered hand-woven shawls produced in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Persian rug: a rug from Persia (Iran), often incorrectly used as a synonym for “oriental rug.”
Tristvav (Swedish): double cross stitch needlework.
Umbrella: one of the eight emblems of Buddha, the umbrella is represented in Chinese rugs and symbolizes the authority of the state and the protection of the state.
Wedding blanket: simple striped blankets of the nineteenth-century American southwest that were gifts of the groom’s family at the wedding.
Yin yang: an oriental symbol of universal polarities—light and dark, male and female, good and evil. The presence of a dot of dark color within the light area and a dot of light color within the dark area symbolizes the mixture of opposites in the real world.
Zinpush (Persian, “saddle cover”): in Azerbaijan, embroidered silk or velvet ceremonial horse covers.
Source: The Oriental Rug Lexicon (Paperback) by Peter F. Stone