Glossary of Rug Terms #25
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!
Fustic wood: called old fustic or dyer’s mulberry, a yellow dye used on wool is extracted from this wood.
Gallup: a town of western New Mexico and a source of brightly colored contemporary Navajo long, narrow weavings or throw rugs woven on cotton wraps.
Hex-column: a vertical arrangement of stepped hexagons. This design is very common on nineteenth century rugs of Shirvan in the Caucasus. These rugs are more likely to be cotton-wefted than wool-wefted.
Ikat (Malay): a process in which fabric designs are created by tie-dyeing warps and/or wefts before they are used on the loom.
Jabuye (Tibetan): mats and pillows
Kont: a Pakistani flatwoven rug with weft float brocade. Designs are horizontal rows of small geometric motifs.
Lotus: a Buddhist and Taoist symbol of perfection and purity. It is a design motif in Chinese rugs and may suggest summer. A stylized lotus flower has been suggested as the prototype for certain Turkoman guls.
Millefleurs: a design composed of many flower blossoms. Often the millefleurs design occupies the field of a prayer rug with the field flanked by cypresses.
Muska (Turkish): a triangular design figure, supposed to have magical properties, derived from the shape of a pouch used to carry Koranic inscriptions, religious or shamanistic relics. Often drawn as a pyramid built out of triangles.
Olefin: a plastic and petroleum derivative, this synthetic fiber is colorfast and abrasion resistant. Olefin fibers have poor crush resistance and are used primarily in loop pile rugs.
Peach: this fruit and its blossoms are sometimes used as a motif in Chinese rugs. The peach symbolizes longevity and the blossoms symbolize spring.
Source: The Oriental Rug Lexicon (Paperback) by Peter F. Stone