Glossary of Rug Terms #15
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.
Quality: As a term of the rug trade, quality refers to knot density, without regard to other rug properties such as design, color, type of wool and so on.
Thus higher quality, for the rug trade, means higher knot density for the particular type of rug. Used in this sense, quality is descriptive rather than judgemental.
Paisley: A design of botehs derived from Kashmir shawls. These shawls were copied in early nineteenth century factory production in Paisley, Scotland.
palesk: A flat-woven rug of Pakistan made from rope-like yarn of goat hair. These rugs are woven in Chitral in northwest Pakistan. Geometric designs are used.
panja: In India, a heavy metal couch used to beat down welts and knots.
Pattern: Used synonymously with “design” but “pattern” suggests repeating elements.
Pendant: A small stylized flower or floral cluster at the top and bottom of a central medallion. the medallion is usually ovoid or diamond shaped. Medallions with pendants are thought to derive from Safavid court designs used on book covers.
Room-size rug- Large rugs intended to cover most of the floor of a room in a Western dwelling.
Typical sizes are from 8 feet by 10 feet, 9 feet by 12 feet, 10 feet by 14 feet, 12 feet by 15 feet, 12 feet by 18 feet, and 14 feet by 20 feet.
These sizes are not traditional Islamic carpet sizes, but sizes and proportions developed for the Western market in Iran and the late nineteenth century.
Lackchi- In India, sinuous weft in rugs.
semi-antique- A rug between fifty and one-hundred years old.
Scorching- In the commercial production of hand-knotted rugs, random wool fibers project from the back of the rug when it is taken from the loom. This fuzzy wool may be burned with torches to give the back a smooth, clean, finished appearance.
Source: The Oriental Rug Lexicon (Paperback) by Peter F. Stone