Glossary of Rug Terms #14
Every month or so, we will post a few interesting rug-related terms and their definitions in this glossary for your knowledge and enjoyment.
Always educate yourself on a topic before you make a purchase, especially with something like Persian Rugs!
These terms can help your rug-related knowledge base and help in your next purchase of an oriental rug.
Baluchistan- An area of southeastern Iran and western Pakistan.
The inhabitants of this area produce flatwoven pieces, but very few pile rugs.
Pile rugs generally attributed to the Baluch are woven in Khurasan and Afghanistan, Baluchistan is a harsh and arid area. The native Baluch are primarily nomadic. They weave a wide variety of flatwoven articles on horizontal looms. Shells, bones, beads and buttons are often used as accessory ornaments.
Metallic Threads- Gold, silver and other metals have been used in rugs in the form of wires and as flat ribbons wrapped around a fiber core.
“Lamella”, a metallic flat strip or a strip of gilt paper. When lamella is wrapped smoothly around core yarn, the result is termed ‘file’. Aside from those described in literary references, the earliest rugs using metallic threads are the Polonaise carpets woven in sixteenth and seventeenth century Persia and containing silver and gold threats.
Simonetti Rug- A sixteenth-century Mamluk rug in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
It is a long format with the field occupied by a column of five medallions. The center medallion consists of an eight-pointed star. A lobed roundel and an octagon medallion are above and below the center medallion. The border consists of ornamental cartouches The dominant color is red. The rug is all wool with about 100 asymmetric knots per square inch. The size is 29 feet 7 inches by 7 feet 10 inches.
Tunisian Flatweaves- Tunisian flatweaves are woven on horizontal and vertical looms by tribal women.
The hamel is a blanket about five feet by seven feet composed of bands sewn together. These bands may be ornamented with diamonds, triangles, and chevrons. Originally, it was stripped only.