Glossary


A

Abrush – Unintended horizontal color variations resulting from batch-to-batch variation in the dyeing process.
Aniline dye – Strongly acidic dyes introduced in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Persians legislated against their use in the 1890’s because they corroded the wool and faded very easily.
Ara-khachi – The main stripe of a border.
Arabesque – A decorative, curving, continuous design repeating over the entire field.
Aubusson – A hand-woven pastel colored rug originating in France.

B

Bala-khachi – A small stripe bordering both sides of the main border (ara-khachi) stripe.
Behbehlik – A saddle bag or cover.
Berdelik – A wall hanging, usually a silk rug.
Bid majnum – Pictorial tree design of weeping willow, cyprus and/or poplar trees.
Border – The main stripe (ara-khachi) surrounding the central field.
Brocading – The use of additional wefts which totally or partially cover the foundation (warp and weft) to form the design of a rug.

C

Cartoon – A hand drawn pattern on paper showing each knot in the pattern of the rug.
Cartouche – An enclosure or frame of an inscription in the pattern of the rug.
Caucasian – Brightly colored, highly geometric rugs, produced in the mountainous region of Caucasus.
Centralized – A pattern that is formed symmetrically on either side of a central axis.
Chrome dyes – Modern colorfast dyes that do not attack the natural oils of wool. Colors are highly reproducible from batch to batch.
Chuval – Or juval, or tschouval, a storage bag of large proportions.
Cornerpiece – Also lechai or a spandrel, a pattern decorating the corners of the field.
Curvilinear – Patterns, generally floral motifs, that are predominated with continuous curved lines and tendrils.

D

Directional – A pattern with a single axis of symmetry suggesting a single or particular viewing direction.
Dozar – Rugs that are 4 feet by 6 feet in size.

E

Enessi – Decorative drapery for a tent doorway. engsi – Also hatchli, a rug used as a door in a tent.

F

False knot – Also the jufti knot, a knot tied about four warp threads rather than two. Reduces the time required to weave a rug by half and results in shorter life due to faster wear.
Field – Also metnih, the large central area of the rug presenting the major design theme.
Foundation – The strands of warp and weft.
Fringe – The loose warp threads that extend beyond the ends of the woven portion of the rug.

G

Ghali – Also called kellei, large rugs that are from 6 feet by 16 feet to 8 feet by 20 feet in size.
Ghiordes knot – Also called a Turkish knot , a knot that encircles adjacent warp threads.
Gileem – A rug where a slit appears in the weave where two colors meet along a vertical(warp) line.
Gul – A medal or medallion tribal design presented in repeating rows.
Guli – A flower design.
Guli henna – A diamond pattern of flower shapes repeated in rows.

H

Hammamlik – A bath rug.
Harshang – A crab design.
Hatch – A flower.
Hatchli – Also engsi , a rug used as a door in a tent.
Herati – A rosette usually enclosed in a diamond which is in the center of four leaves or ‘fish’ (mahi).
Heybe – Also khorjin, a single woven piece sewn into a double saddle bag.

I

Inner guard – A small stripe (bala-khachi) between the main border (ara-khachi) stripe and the field.

J

Jufti knot – Also the false knot, a knot tied about four warp threads rather than two. Reduces the time required to weave a rug by half and results in shorter life due to faster wear.
Juval – Or chuval, or tschouval, a storage bag of large proportions.

K

Keleyghi – Rugs that are from 5 feet by 10 feet to 6 feet by 12 feet. Used as a top piece in an arrangement (kellei kenareh) of rugs in Iran.
Kellei – Also called ghali, large rugs that are from 6 feet by 16 feet to 8 feet by 20 feet in size. The center piece of an arrangement of rugs in Persia.
Kenareh -Long narrow rugs that are 3 feet by 16 feet to 4 feet by 20 feet in size. Placed along the selveged edge of a kellei center piece of an arrangement of rugs in Persia.
Kherdeh – Outlines surrounding patterns and designs.
Kelim – Warp threads woven through the weft threads to create a pileless rug or a pileless termination to a knoted rug.
Khorjin – Also heybe , a single woven piece sewn into a double saddle bag.
Kelim – Warp threads woven through the weft threads to create a pileless rug or a pileless termination to a knotted rug.
Kiaba -Rugs that are 5 1/2 feet by 9 feet in size.

L

Lechai – Also spandral or a corner piece, a pattern decorating the corner of the field.
Lechek torunj – A design with corner decorations and a central medallion(s) in the field.

M

Mafrash – A large saddle bag.
Makatlik -A runner; long, narrow rug.
Medallion – A rosette, variously polygonal, star like, oval or circular in design, resembling a medal.
Metnih – Also field, the large central area of the rug presenting the major design theme.
Mihrab – The niche (arch) pattern of a prayer rug.
Mina khani – A diamond arrangement of a flower motif surrounded by four small flowers joined with a vine.
Mir-i-boteh – Repeated pine cones or pears (buteh) in multiple rows.
Morgi – a stylized chicken, hen pattern.

N

Nagzh – Persian pattern.
Namazlik – Or namazi, a prayer rug.
Nondirectional – A design or pattern that is intended to be viewed from any direction.

O

Odjaklikab – A fire or hearth rug.
Outer guard – Also tevehr , a narrow stripe (bala-khachi) between the main border (ara-khachi) and the outside edge of a rug.

P

Painting – Hand applied dye to modify or enhance the color of a particular area of a design or pattern.
Palas – A kelim of the Caucasian region.
Panel – A rectangular shape enclosing a design.
Panel design – Division of the field into rectangular portions each containing its own design.
Patina – The sheen that is developed with use and age.
Pendant – A design showing a shape ‘suspended’ from a medallion.
Perde – Carpets that are 5 feet by 9 feet in size.
Persian knot – Or Senna knot, a knot tied about two adjacent warp threads, completely around one warp thread and partially around the other.
Pile – The nap formed by the ends of the clipped wool yarn.
Pushti – A pillow cover or small rug that is 2 feet by 3 feet in size.

R

Painting – rectilinear – Designs that are geometric or angular.

S

Saff – A prayer rug that has a series of arches or niches (mihrab).
Savonnerie – A French design in pastel colors and a thick heavy pile.
Sedjadeh -Carpets that are 7 feet by 10 feet in size.
Sejjadeh – A prayer rug.
Selvedge – The overcast edges of a rug.
Senna knot – Or Persian knot, a knot tied about two adjacent warp threads, completely around one warp thread and partially around the other.
Shah Abbas – Persian ruler and patron of rug-making. Also a design using cloudbands, vases and palmettes connected by tendrils.
Skirt – An area at the end(s) of a rug showing a separate or distinct design.
Spandrel – Also lechai or a corner piece, a pattern decorating the corner of the field.
Stripe – Also the main border, the portion of the design (ara-khachi) surrounding the central field.
Su – The lines separating border stripes.
Subguard – A narrow stripe separating the field and the inner guard.
Sumak – A method of flat weaving where the weft threads are wrapped or brocaded.

T

Talim – Also cartoon, the knot-by-knot depiction on paper of a rug design.
Tereh – A Persian design.
Tevehr – Also the outer guard, the solid colored band or stripe on the outside edge of a rug.
Torba – A bag used for storage.
Tschouval -Or chuval, or juval , a storage bag of large proportions.
Turbehlik -A rug used to cover a grave.
Turkish knot -Also called a ghiordes knot, a knot that encircles adjacent warp threads.
Turkoman – A design of repeating geometric patterns or guls that are unique to each tribe of the Turkoman region.
Torunj -A design showing a curved or floral medallion.

V

Vestiklik – A small rug or pillow cover of the Anantolian region.

W

Warp – The longitudinal (top to bottom) threads of the foundation.
Washes – A chemical wash used to dull the bright colors of a rug.
Weft – The lateral (right to left) threads of the foundation.

Y

Yastik – Turkish origin, a small rug used for the face of a pillow.
Yestik – A small rug or pillow cover of the Anantolian region.

Z

Zaronim – Carpets that are 3 feet by 5 feet in size.
Zarquart – Carpets that are 2 feet by 4 feet in size.
Zil-i-soltan – A design of repeating vases of roses in multiple rows.
Zinjir – A narrow stripe of chain design adjacent to the solid color band on the outside edge of a rug.