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Rug Terms Dictionary


All-Over Design

This type of design has the same pattern that repeats itself continually until it covers the entire area of the rug. Most of these rugs do not have a border around them to frame the pattern. Very popular for use in dinning rooms.


This style uses flowers, vines and other plant life in most of the design. Useful in sitting rooms and other garden/outdoor decor.


This type of rug has its roots in France during the 17th century. These rugs highlight flowers and architectural designs in the pattern of the rug.

Axminster Loom

This is a common way of reproducing antique rugs. It is much more affordable and offers versatile designs, colors and tones.


The material in which the rug fibers are attached to supplying support and consistency for the rug.


A different color or design that creates a frame around the rug of choice.

Braided Rug

Commonly used in country styles, this type of rug uses large brades in a circular motion creating oval-shaped rugs. These are typically durable and used in kitchens, dining rooms and living spaces.


Carving is done by hand and is done to highlight various patterns in a particular rug.

Cotton Backing

The canvas backing of a rug is the layer of fabric the yarn is attached to. Most backing is made from cotton.


A higher density in a rug is what makes a carpet more valuable. The density is the amount of yarn used, the thickness of the pile and how closely each carpet fiber is next to another.


The main part of the rug that is framed by the border.


A coating placed on the surface of a rug for greater durability and sheen.

Flat Weave

A type of weave that doesn�t use knots and don�t have pile.


Undone pieces of yarn surrounding the field of a carpet.


The background of any rug pattern. The ground is an important aspect of Persian and Oriental rugs.


Handmade rugs using a looping technique that provides consistency and holds the rug together. The pile is connected to the warp fibers and each one is hand-tied and cut one at a time.

Hand-Spun Wool

This is wool that is spun by hand, compared to machine spun wool.


This technique uses a needle to push the yarn through the backing. Many hand-tufted rugs have consistent patterns or intentionally create a design. Some of these rugs utilize a second backing for greater quality.

Heirloom Wash

A heirloom wash is a modern processed used to make a rug look like an antique.


This fiber is the product of the Cannabis genus plant and is very soft yet durable. It is very popular for use in natural area rugs.


This strong and durable fiber is made from two plants (Corchorus capsularis and C. olitorius) in Eastern India.

Jute Backing

The backing of a rug is the layer of fabric the yarn is attached to. Jute backing is made with 100 percent Jute.


This style uses a flat-weave rug with attached tapestry to create a unique and elite design.

Mountain Grass

This material is made from grass that is grown at very high altitudes in China. It has a very deep and rich brown tone and is very durable. Mountain grass is also known as hemp.

New Zealand Wool

Very high quality wool because of its extremely pure white color. The true white essence provides the perfect blank canvas for dyes. The dyes are more true to the color. New Zealand wool has one of the greatest durability�s among other wool. New Zealand wool is flame-resistant naturally.


The pile is what gives each rug is quality and durability. It is the main essence of the rug (each carpet fiber). It is also known as the face or nap of a rug. The more dense the pile, the higher quality the rug. The pile is measured from the top of the yarn to the bottom of the backing.


This material is made from plants that live in a fully marine, saltwater environment. It is very durable and tough.


This style rug was designed in the late 1960's. It's distinct style is to leave a high pile on top of the rug, creating a shaggy finish.


This is a material made from an agave plant. It is very stiff and durable and is used to make rugs, rope and twine.

Rug Pads

Material placed under a rug to provide a soft, more comfortable feel.

Vegetable Dyes

Used in most natural rugs, vegetable dyes are derived from various tree bark, berries and roots to create rich and colorful dyes. Many vegetable dyes create an old look.

Wool Pile

A pile is the strips of fabric that make a rug. The wool is sewed together in strips and then woven together.


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J. Gonzalez Flat Rock, NC, Sep. 2015

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