Glossary of Rug Terms #16
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 very informative!
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.
Vase Carpets- Carpets with a field filled by flowers and tendrils or a lattice with a vase included as part of the design.
More specifically, sixteenth and seventeenth century Persian carpets with floral designs springing from vases. These rugs may have superimposed systems of arabesques. Orientation of the rug can be view properly from only one direction. The origin of these rugs within Persia is problematic. They have also been attributed to Kerman.
Village Rugs- Distinct from nomadic rugs, they are usually woven on vertical looms.
As distinct from workshop rugs, no cartoon or talim is used as a design guide. Border designs at corners may not be reconciled; there may be design mismatched at the corners. Village rugs may be woven by semi-nomadic peoples. Their rugs are likely to include traditional tribal motifs. However, these motifs may be changed, repeated or enlarged to accommodate the larger rugs woven on village looms. Design idiosyncrasies in these rugs may include small motifs randomly placed within more formal medallion or all-over repeat patterns.