Glossary of Rug Terms #26
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!
Cloud: a common motif in Chinese rugs. One symmetrical stylized cloud form is known as “ruyi.” It is found in earlier Chinese rugs. Asymmetrical cloud shapes or “drifting clouds” are represented in later rugs.
Daisy: the central yellow portion of the wild daisy may be used as a yellow vegetable dye in Near Eastern countries.
Escutcheon: a shield or similarly defined area displaying an armorial bearing. Escutcheons are sometimes included in the design of specially commissioned rugs.
Face: the side of a fabric which is exposed for viewing; the most decorated side of fabric.
Fugitive dye: the failure of dye to retain its hue and shade. This failure may involve a change of hue as well as fading.
Gallic acid: an acid found in a wide variety of plants such as tea, tree bark and oak galls that are used as dyes.
Horse: a common animal motif in oriental rugs. The horse is prominent in hunting carpets. In Chinese rugs, the horse may be a symbol of wealth and status.
Luster, lusterizing: luster is the extent of light reflectance or glossiness of rug pile. Lusterizing is a chemical treatment intended to enhance luster.
Motif: a dominant or distinctive design element or figure in a rug or weaving.
Rack, rug: a metal structure used for hanging and displaying rugs in retail stores. The most common structures are swinging arm racks and sliding panel racks.
Sacred mountain motif, shoushan fuhai: a motif common in Chinese rugs consisting of several tiers of mountains above clouds, and these in turn, above a rainbow border. Waves may be shown cresting the bottom of the rug or across both top and bottom. More rarely, the motif is used on all four sides.
Source: The Oriental Rug Lexicon (Paperback) by Peter F. Stone