When you look inside your closet, you’ll find a series of clothing all hand-picked by you to serve a certain purpose. What you wear for the day can speak to your plans for the day, your mood, or feelings, and even your personality. You select these items to speak for you before you utter a word to the world. Why should the items in your home be any different?
When guests walk into your home, your décor speaks for you. Does it say that you are artistic and unique? Traditional and polished? Unorganized and disheveled? Make sure your space is a reflection of the best version of you! Having the right rug in your space can elevate even the most basic room into something extraordinary. Oriental rugs are widely prized and coveted pieces to have in your home that bring beauty and uniqueness to your space that you’ll want to showcase for years to come.
However, oriental rugs are not all the same. From color palette to design to size and pattern, choosing the right rug for your space can be a daunting task. No one knows rugs more than the professionals at Aladdin Cleaning & Restoration, and we are here to help with this quick guide to select the best style and quality rug for your space.
The Soul of Your Rug
When looking into choosing the right rug for your home, you will find you come across the same set of buzzwords. You’ll see mentions of knots and pile, wraps and fringe. If you don’t understand what each of these words mean in regard to the style of your rug, it can be easy to get lost in your search. Understanding the basic materials of your rug is key in starting your journey.
Warp and Weft
At the base will be the warp and weft. The warp is the parallel thread that runs through the entire length of the rug. The weft is the thread that runs across the width of the rug, through the warp threads.
If the rug has knots, these will be looped around two warp threads, then cut to the desired pile height. Knots are the pieces of threads that make up the “pile,” or carpet height.
As previously stated, the pile is the carpet height. It is the surface of the rug raised above the backing. Carpet or rug pile can come in various lengths. There is low pile carpet which is shorter fibers, or high/deep pile carpet which is longer fibers. Rug and carpet pile can also be cut or looped. Looped pile is more durable, making it great for commercial and high traffic residential spaces. Cut pile is much softer and almost only used in residential spaces.
If the rug does not have knots, it is considered a kilim. Knotless rugs, or kilims, are comprised of a web of only warp and weft threads.
Overcast & Fringe
The wrapped dye yarn that borders the length of the rug is called the overcast. We are probably all familiar with fringe, the loose warp threads on both ends of a rug. These items are the finishing touches on your oriental rug that hold all the threads together.
Different variations of these basic threads are used to create those beautiful oriental rugs in your favorite spaces.
Which Rug Construction Type is Best for You?
Rug construction is an art form widely studied and practiced by artisans and skilled craftsmen around the world. Using an age-old method that is still practiced today, even with machine-made rugs, each construction type provides a unique story behind your rug. Beyond the history that your rug construction holds, it also determines the look, texture, quality, and longevity of your rug. While handmade rugs come in a range of different types and styles, flatweave and hand-knotted are two of the techniques that we would like to highlight.
Flatweave rugs are constructed without knots, are woven on a loom and do not use a backing making them reversible! Cool, right? Because of their construction, flatweaves are one of the most durable rug construction types and great for high traffic and spill-prone areas such as kitchens, playrooms, and entryways.
Hand-knotted rugs are the most labor-intense (and arguably the most beautiful) construction. Using a technique that is more than 2,400 years old, these rugs are constructed by hand, tying individual knots to the warp threads to make up the length of the rug. These knots create the surface, or pile, of the rug. The two most popular knot types are the Turkish and Persian knots.
Turkish (or Ghiordes knot)
Turkish knots are commonly used in rugs made in northwestern Iran, Kurdistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey. This knotting technique is called the Turkish or Ghiordes knot due to its origin in Turkey. This method uses a series of strong, symmetrical knot loops to create a consistent pile. A yarn is placed in a loop around each two warp cords, forming a knot that opens in the middle. This technique is best when creating geometric designs.
Turkish knots are often used for thicker rugs, like Turkish rugs, because it provides a strong consistency. This technique is found in Turkey, western parts of Iran, and even in some European rugs.
Persian (or Senneh) Knot
Persian, or Senneh knots, use an asymmetric knot in their technique. The yarn is looped around one of the warp threads and remains loose underneath another. The threads hang on either side of the warp. The weft thread is then placed between every row of the Persian knots and beaten down to secure the knots in place.
The placement of the knots in this technique allows for the knots to be packed together tightly, resulting in a very detailed pattern that you would not be able to achieve with the Turkish knot technique. Persian rugs are typically from eastern Iran, Pakistan, India, Egypt and China.
Due to their hand-crafted nature, no two hand-knotted rugs are the same, making them one-of-a-kind, precious items. These rugs are best for formal gathering spaces not regularly used, such as great rooms or formal dining rooms.
No matter your style, oriental rugs are a great and unique addition to any space. We hope this guide equipped you with some new information as you choose the type of rug to communicate your personality best. If you want more help or are in the mood to shop our new oriental rugs stop by the Aladdin Rug Gallery.