To get a better understanding of why a genuine, hand-made rug is so valuable and should be treated with special care, it will help to learn some common Oriental rug terminology. Before you make an Oriental rug purchase in Manhattan or Brooklyn, study some of these terms to know what you are looking at and to help you determine if the rug you are being sold is actually made by hand.
The warps are the pieces of string that are stretched across the frame or loom. The warp is the foundation for the rest of the rug and the tension created by being stretched from loom beam to loom beam provide structure until the other components are woven into them. Cotton is generally used for the warp because of its consistent elasticity. Despite wool’s sensitivity to weather and humidity changes, it is still sometimes chosen for the warp.
The weft is the strings that run parallel to the loom beams. An individual string in the weft is called a pick. Each pick is inserted over and under the warp strings and in between the knots placed along the warp strings. It further serves to strengthen the rug and begin to solidify the structure that the warp strings have started, which gives it the alternate name of filling yarn. Wool, cotton, or silk are chosen as materials for the weft.
The knots can be found along the warp strings and are created by tying two warp strings together. These are held in place by the picks that make up the weft. The ends become the rug’s nap.
Since the warps will not always be held to the loom beams, they must be strengthened in some way along the edges of the rug. Yarn is wrapped around a group of warp strings to keep them together and this makes up the edge binding of the rug.
End finishes can be found along the ends of the rug. These keep knots and wefts in place and secure those ends with help from the warp strings and edge bindings.
The fringes of a rug are noticeable, but are not there for aesthetic purposes only. Fringes are the ends of warp string knots when the rug is finally released from the loom beams and nearly finished. These keep the ends of the rug tight and hold the pile knots in place.
If you have any more questions about rug terminology or would like to learn more about our Brooklyn and Manhattan rug services, give us a call today at 212-380-1591. We look forward to speaking with you.