March 20, 2018 10 min read



Hand-Knotted: The rug begins with a background of vertical warp threads. Weavers then tie individual knots of horizontal weft threads to create the design. Requiring great expertise, one rug can take months or years to make, depending on the complexity of the design and number of knots. The most common hand-knotting traditions are Persian, Turkish and Tibetan.

Hand-Loomed: A vertical warp is created and then a shuttle is used to apply the weft. Loomed patterns may have a loop or cut pile surface texture with an appearance similar to hand-tufted rugs. However, unlike hand-tufted rugs,these rugs do not require a backing.

Hand-Tufted: A canvas is stretched tightly over a frame and the design is drawn by hand onto the canvas. A tufting gun is then used to push yarn through the canvas to cover the entire surface area. Tufted rugs can have a cut or loop pile. After tufting, a latex backing with canvas is applied.

Hand-Hooked: A technique used in hand-tufted rugs to create a loop texture.

Hand-Woven: Textures and patterns are created by weaving different yarns through a vertical warp.

Hand-Crafted: A rug that is handmade using techniques such as piecing, stitching, die cutting, etc. Hand-crafted can describe hair-on-hide and leather rugs, cut felt rugs, embroidered rugs, etc.

Flatweave: A hand-woven construction that typically has no pile and is reversible. Flatweave is often used to describe kilims and dhurries.

Machine-Made: These rugs are constructed on large automated looms. The designs are created by lifting the weft yarns to the surface to create pattern.


No Pile: The face of the rug has no vertical pile and the fibers lay horizontally. Can refer to flatweave (kilims and dhurries), soumak (knotted), braided, felt rugs and more.

Low Pile: The pile of the rug has been trimmed down to the warp or rug backing to a pile height of about ¼ inch.

Medium Pile: The pile height ranges from ¼ inch to ¾ inch.

High Pile: The pile height ranges from ¾ inch to 1½ inch.

Plush Pile: The pile height is more than 1½ inch. Typically used to describe shag rugs.

High Pile/Low Pile: The surface of the rug combines high pile areas and low pile areas for an all-over dimensional effect.

Medium Pile/No Pile: The surface of the rug combines medium pile areas and no pile areas for an all-over dimensional effect.


Easy Care: A rug that is stain-resistant and easy to clean, and that will show minimal wear-and-tear with high foot traffic.

Minimal Shedding: A rug that will shed very little with normal foot traffic/wear-and-tear. Can apply to hand-knotted rugs, hand-tufted polyester rugs, hair-on-hide rugs, loomed rugs and hand-hooked rugs.

No Shedding: A rug that will not shed with normal foot traffic/wear-and-tear since fibers remain intact. Can apply to synthetic fiber machine-made rugs, rugs with no pile and some felt rugs.

Outdoor Safe: A rug that is mildew/mold-resistant, fade resistant and easy to clean. Can be used on porches and patios, in kitchens, kids’ rooms and high traffic areas. Polypropylene, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and Olefin are some common examples
of outdoor-safe fibers.

NOTE: “Outdoor safe” can also apply to pillows and poufs, as well as lamps, mirrors and art that have been specially treated to make them weather-resistant.


Antique Wash: Heavy washing creates a faded/worn look reminiscent of vintage rugs.

Braided Texture: The surface of the rug has a plaited look and texture.

Carved: A technique where the surface of the rug is very carefully cut into to add depth and dimension. This is typically done with scissors or electric sheers.

Chenille Accents: A corded yarn with a pile that can be made from a number of fibers. When chenille yarn is used as an |accent in a rug, the resulting texture is slightly fuzzy and soft to the touch.

Fabric Border: The rug’s border is made from fabric that is wrapped around the edges of the rug and tucked under for a finished look.

Fringe/Tassel Detail: Fringe refers to the loose warp threads that extend beyond the end of the rug. Tassels are loose thread details that typically are added to the corners of the rug.

Hand Stitching: Thread or yarn is stitched by hand to the surface of a rug for added detail.

Hard Twist Accents: Areas of the design use hard twist yarn, which is twisted more tightly than usual to create a more textural effect on the final rug surface.

Hard Twist Texture: Refers to use throughout the rug of a yarn that has been twisted more tightly than usual to create a more textural/rough effect on the final rug surface.

Loop Accents: A hand-hooked technique is used in some areas of the design to add texture to the rug.

Loop Texture: The pile of the rug is comprised of small loops of yarn to add an interesting surface texture.

Lustrous Sheen: A rug is said to have a lustrous sheen when the content/construction reflects light to create a visible shine on the surface of the rug.

Overdyed: In overdyeing, a rug is taken off of the loom (after tufting, weaving or knotting has been completed) and the entire rug is then dyed with a solid color, allowing some of the original pattern to show through.

Overtufted: A design is tufted onto a hand-loomed or machine made rug base to create interesting surface texture.

Printed: A design is printed (usually by screen) onto the surface of a rug.

Recycled Materials: Some or all fibers in the rug are made from recycled materials, such as chocho, sari silk, denim, leather scraps, PET (polyethylene terephthalate) or PVC (polyvinyl chloride).

Reversible: Reversible rugs can be used with either side of the rug facing up since both sides of the rug are finished and functional. These rugs typically have no pile.

Ribbon Shag: Loose pile composed primarily of flat, ribbon shaped yarns.

Shaped Edges: The edges of the rug are not standard, straight edges, but instead are irregularly shaped, often to accentuate the design of the rug.

Shoe Lace Shag: Loose pile composed primarily of cylindrical yarns that resemble shoelaces.

Silk Accents: Motifs in the rug design are highlighted with the use of luxurious, luminous silk yarn.

Super Soft: Indicates a product with significant softness to the touch—ideal for rooms where people sit on the floor or kids play on the floor. Super soft typically applies to microfiber rugs.

Tufted Accents: Some areas of the rug feature cut pile (in contrast to a loop texture, for example) to add tactile interest to the rug surface.

Undyed: A fiber that has not been bleached or dyed and retains the neutral tones and natural variations of the raw material. Any natural fiber can be used in an undyed state. Undyed fibers come in many shades, from neutrals to black.

Viscose Accents: Motifs in the rug design are highlighted with the use of a shimmery viscose yarn.



Appliquéd: A needlework technique where a pattern or design is created via the attachment of smaller pieces of fabric to a base fabric.

Beaded: Beadwork is the art of stringing beads with a sewing needle and thread and then attaching them to a cloth or fabric base.

Cording: A form of piping or trim consisting of a strip of fabric folded over a cord-like shape and inserted into the seam to define edges. Cording may be made from either self-fabric (same fabric as the pillow, pouf, etc.) or contrasting material.

Crocheted: A process of creating fabric from yarn, thread or other material strands by using a crochet hook to draw yarn through knotted loops.

Embellished: Embellishments are any additions to a piece of fabric that add design interest to the piece. Examples include embroidery, appliqué, lace, trim, fringe, beads, buttons, zippers, grommets, sequins, etc.

Embroidered: Embroidery is the craft of decorating fabric with a needle and thread. Embroidery can be done either by machine or by hand.

Felted: Felt is a textile or fabric that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibers together. Felt can be made of natural or synthetic fibers.

Flanged Edges: A form of trim consisting of a strip of folded fabric inserted into the seam to define the edges.

Flocking: Small fiber particles (flock) are applied to a base fabric that has been coated with an adhesive to create a velvety or brush-like surface.

Fringe: A form of ornamental trim that originates in the ends of the warp, projecting beyond the woven fabric. May be constructed separately and then sewn onto the finished product.

Hand-Knotted: Applying the same technique used to create hand-knotted rugs, weavers tie individual knots of horizontal weft threads on a vertical warp to create the design, which is then used to cover a pillow or pouf.

Jacquard: A fabric in which the design is incorporated into the weave instead of being printed or dyed.

Knitted: Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn is used to create a cloth. Knitted fabrics consist of a number of consecutive rows of loops called stitches.

Knife-Edged: A clean, sewn finish on the seams of a pillow or pouf to create crisp lines.

Overstitching: A stitch made with a sewing machine, for binding or finishing a raw edge or hem.

Patch work: Also known as pieced work, patchwork is a form of needlework that involves sewing together pieces of fabric to create a larger design.

Pleated: A type of fold formed by doubling fabric upon itself and then securing it in place.

Piping: A form of trim consisting of a strip of fabric folded over a cord-like shape and inserted into the seam to define edges. It may be made from either self-fabric (same fabric as the pillow, pouf, etc.) or contrasting material.

Pom Poms: A decorative embellishment most commonly used to finish the edges of a pillow.

Digitally Printed: Digital textile printing is an inkjet-based method of printing colorants onto fabric.

Screen Printed: A printing technique that uses a woven mesh material to support an ink-blocking stencil that is then used to create a pattern or design.

Raw Edges: A form of trim consisting of a strip of fabric with unfinished edges inserted into the seam.

Ruffles: A ruffle (or frill) is a strip of fabric, ribbon or lace tightly gathered or pleated on one edge as a form of trim.

Scalloped Edges: Scalloped edges are a form of trim with a series of curved projections.

Sequined: Sequins are disk-shaped beads used to embellish a surface by attaching them to a cloth with a needle and thread.

Shag: A product with a deep or high pile, giving it a shaggy, hair-like appearance.

Smocked: Smocking is an embroidery technique used to gather fabric so that it can stretch.

Suede: A fabric with a napped or brushed finish.

Tassels: A group of loose threads or cords bound at one end and hanging free at the other end. Often added to the corners or edges of a textile as an ornamental detail.

Velvet: A type of fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed to create a short dense pile and “soft to the touch” feel.

Woven: Woven fabric is a textile formed by weaving. It is produced on a loom, and made of many threads woven on a warp (the tightly stretched lengthwise core of a fabric) and weft (thread woven between the warp threads to create various patterns).


Art Silk: A synthetic fiber manufactured to resemble silk in look and feel.
Bamboo Silk: A natural fiber processed to resemble silk in look and feel (similar to art silk).

Chenille: A corded yarn with a pile that is spun in a specific way to create a “caterpillar” texture.

Cotton: A cellulose fiber that grows on cotton plants in protective capsules called "bolls." Cotton fibers are soft and relatively easy to care for.

Hair-On-Hide: An animal pelt with the natural hair intact. Hair-on-hide products typically are made with cowhides.

Jute: A strong and durable natural plant fiber. Dyed jute yarn retains the color variation of its natural state.

Leather: A material resulting from an animal hide that has undergone a tanning process.

Linen: A material made from the bast fibers of a flax plant. Linen is durable and strong, and the fibers will not stretch and are lint-free. Slubs, or small knots, are characteristic of linen yarn.

Metallic Thread: A metal (often aluminum) fiber in thread-like form that is spun with yarn to yield a reflective, metallic look.

Microfiber: A synthetic fiber spun to an ultra-fine thread that is then spun into yarn of varying weights. Polyester, nylon and polypropylene are typically used to make microfiber. Microfiber products are very soft to the touch.

Nylon: A polymide-based synthetic fiber that is abrasion resistant, stain-resistant and easy to clean.

Olefin: A synthetic fiber made from a polyolefin. Olefin is strong, resistant to stains and mildew, and exhibits excellent colorfastness.

Paper: Paper or newspaper is sometimes recycled for use in rugs and other accessories.

PET Yarn: PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate, a common fiber in the polyester family. PET Yarn is often made from recycled plastics, making most PET products outdoor safe.

Poly Acrylic: A lightweight synthetic fiber made from an acrylic polymer.

Polyester: A polymer fiber that is resilient, quick-drying and stain-resistant/easy to care for.

Polypropylene: A lightweight fiber that is extruded. Often used in outdoor safe rugs and accessories.

PVC: PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, a plastic fiber that is sometimes made from recycled plastics. Most PVC products are outdoor safe.

Recycled Silk: Silk textiles are recycled and used to create eco-friendly rugs and other accessories.

Rubber: A polymer fiber noted for its elasticity.

Seagrass: A durable natural plant fiber that is typically harvested from coastal areas.

Silk: A protein fiber produced by silk worms. The silkworms make cocoons that are carefully unwound to gather fine fibers that can be spun into thread/yarn. Silk fiber is strong, soft and lustrous.

Sisal: The stiff fiber from a sisal plant and the strongest and hardest-wearing natural plant fiber used in making rugs and other accessories.

Sunbrella® acrylic: A solution-dyed acrylic fabric used in the construction of outdoor pillows and poufs that has been treated to be very resistant to ultraviolet rays and color degradation. Can withstand up to 1,500 hours in the sun without fading.

Viscose: A semi-synthetic fiber with a shiny appearance made from regenerated wood cellulose. Products containing viscose should only be used in dry areas.

Wool: Made from a sheep’s fleece that has been sheared from the sheep and then scoured to clean the fiber. Wool is a very durable and resilient natural fiber.

Wool (Felted): Wool fibers are agitated and/or boiled so that the fibers bond together and become compacted.

Wool (New Zealand): A longer staple wool that lends a softer, more lustrous texture than other wool types.

Wool (Semi-Worsted New Zealand): Shorter fibers combed out of the wool so that the longer, more durable and lustrous fibers can be used for finer quality rugs and accessories. Semi-worsted wool is typically more heavily twisted than other wool types.

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