Restoring Your Oriental Area Rug Treasure

Rug Glossary of Terms: S

  • Safflower
    A plant with orange flowers which are a source of yellow dye. The flowers also produce seeds containing oil, which are used for cooking, medicine, and cosmetics.
  • Saffron
    A plant with purple or white flowers with orange stigmas. Saffron may have been used to dye some early rugs of China, India and the Balkans.
  • Samarkan
    A city in Uzbekistan, which was a major marketplace for rugs. Also, the oldest city in central Asia.
  • Savonnerie
    A French hand-knotted pastel rug with a floral medallion atop an open field with broken borders, this rug was produced until the late 1800’s and is currently the model for many of today’s Indian and Persian rugs.
  • Sarouk
    A village in central western Iran, notorious for it floral rugs, manufactured for export. Sarouk carpets were especially prevalent on the US market in the 1920’s-1930’s.
  • Saxony
    Rugs made with dense cut pile and heavy yarns.
  • Semi-Antique
    Rugs between 25 to 60 years old.
  • Semi-Worsted
    A process of combing of a rug whichgets rid of shorter fibers, resulting in a glossier-looking yarn.
  • Senneh Knot
    (aka Asymmetrical Knot, Persian Knot). There are two types of major knots used in oriental rug-weaving: the Persian knot, and the Turkish knot. In the Persian (or asymmetrical) knot—used in Iran, India, Turkey, Egypt, and China—is tied onto two warps; it can be either looped over a left warp and opened up to the right, or looped over a right warp and opened up to the left. A finer weave is created with this type of knot.
  • Shag Rug
    Modern rug style with long and usually synthetic pile.
  • Shah Abbasi Motif
    A group of fan-shaped ornaments used for all-over layouts, medallions, and in borders. Shah Abbasi motif can often be found on rugs which produce—and copy—Persian styles.
  • Shah Abbasi Medallion-and-Corner
    A circular or diamond-shape medallion design with Shah Abbasi motifs and pendants. If the design includes corners, these corners are also filled with Shah Abbasi motifs.
  • Shedding
    One of the popular modern Persian rug designs featuring feather and lotus motifs.
  • Sheen
    A rug with high luster produced by a special chemical wash.
  • Sheikh Safi Medallion-and-Corner
    Sheikh Safi medallion-and-corner consists of a medallion surrounded by 16 leaf-like pendants with two lamps connected at the top and the bottom. The corners resemble the medallion itself.
  • Silk
    Expensive fiber derived from the cocoon of silkworms; it is used less often as a pile material for handmade rugs because of its high cost.
  • Soumak (Soumac)
    Flat-woven carpets created in the soumak technique practiced in the eastern Caucasus.
  • Spain
    Country in Southern Europe, capital – Madrid; considered to be the oldest producer of handmade rugs in Europe. Spain still makescarpets; though due to a limited number of items, they reach the foreign markets rather poorly.
  • Spanish Knot
    A variation of the Turkish knot – a knot is tied on every other warp thread with knotted warps alternating on each row.
  • Spinning
    A method of creating an uninterrupted thread by way of twisting together different fibers. Spinning may be done by hand or a machine.
  • Static
    Build-up of electric charge created by walking upon a rug; and isaffected by humidity.
  • Style
    Character of a rug defined by different patterns and colors.
  • Symmetrical Knot
    (aka Turkish knot). There are two types of major knots used in oriental rug-weaving: the Persian knot, and the Turkish knot. The Symmetrical (Turkish) knot—used by Turkish and Kurdish tribes—is made by passing the yarn over two neighboring wrap strands, and then wrapping each end behind one warp and brining it back between the two warp strands.
  • Synthetic Dyes
    Dyes which are made chemically since the mid-19th century for dyeing yarns used in rugs.

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