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What makes a rug?

Rug Layering Image

The rug industry, as simple as it may seem at first, has its roots embedded in textiles, and with it all the lingo to do with weaving, yarns, dying techniques, finishing and qualities.  As industry professionals we often use terms such as, points per meter, Hand tufted, loomed, carved, heat set ect.

What do these terms mean anyway?

The best place to begin looking at properties of rugs is with the construction. Though varying in manufacturing technique, the construction of a rug is the main element in defining the jargon we use to describe its properties.

Here are some basic industry terms we use daily that are good to know:

Hand Knotted 
Tying or knotting pile yarns around woven backing fibers. The resulting face of the rugs is then sheered to a pre-determined height to give the pile uniformity. The more knots per square inch, the more valuable the rug. This manufacturing technique has beginnings with Persian and Turkish rugs. The technique is now being used in India, Nepal and Pakistan to weave Modern and traditional rugs.

Hand Tufted 
Using a tufting gun, pile yarns are forced through, often cotton, backing material known as a scrim. This process forms a looped pile, and if left uncut the rug is referred to as hand hooked. If the loops are sheared off to create a cut-pile look, it is referred to as hand-tufted. We carry a number of collections incorporating this technique. Our Kidding Around, Gold Collection and Brink and Campman Xian rugs are hand tufted in China using this method.

Hand Carved 
The cutting, or carving, of lines or design patterns in a rug during the finishing process to create texture and depth giving the rug a definition between colours. Although traditional cutting shears are still in use, modern Chinese and Indian factories have transitioned to using electric shears as they give cleaner lines and allow for more varied cutting angles.

Heat Set Yarn 
This refers to a stage in the yarn production process whereby two or more yarn fibers are twisted together and then heated to ensure the yarns remain joined, permitting greater design flexibility and appearance.
One or more yarns are twisted together to form a larger piece of yarn. Ply count indicates the number of single pieces that have been twisted together, e.g. two-ply or three ply.

A point, when referring to area rug construction, is the tip end of a pile yarn and refers to the number of yarns that make up an area rug. The more points per square meter the denser the construction, and the more detailed the rug. Our rugs range from our Istanbul Collection Traditional Rugs which have 290,000 points per square meter to our ultra-high quality Empire Collection which are made to 1,500,000 points per square meter.

Pile Height
Pile height is measured as the amount of yarn visible from the top of the pile to the face of the backing.