Glossary of Rug Terms #24
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!
Aba (Arabic): a striped fabric or a sleeveless, loose outer garment. Also, a heavy wool cloth.
Centaury: a plant whose roots are used for a yellow dye.
Ji: An antiqued, long-handled trident sometimes represented in Chinese rugs.
K’ang cover: Chinese carpets of about five feet by eight feet or six feet by ten feet that are placed on top of the k’ang (a long brick stove used for household heating and on which people sit or sleep).
Meander border: any of a wide variety of continuous border designs that do not fill that band they occupy but alternate from side to side. Often, meander borders suggest a floral vine.
Mixed technique: any fabric employing a variety of weaving techniques.
Rya rugs, flossa weave: a coarsely knotted rug of Scandinavia. There may be from 5 to 20 wefts between each row of knots. They were originally used as bed covers and sometimes had pile on both sides.
Sawtooth: a series of triangles forming a simple reciprocating border in oriental rugs, suggesting the serrated edge of a saw.
Squinch: one of four arches thrown across corners of a square or octagonal room to create a zone of transition on which a dome can then be constructed.
Tiger rugs: a large group of Tibetan rugs woven in imitation of tiger skins.
Weighting: yarns and fabrics may be impregnated with mineral salts, gum, starch or other substances to increase their bulk and weight.
Zaiane: a tribe of the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco whose rugs are very shaggy and are used for bedding.
Source: The Oriental Rug Lexicon (Paperback) by Peter F. Stone