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Oriental Rugs Glossary

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Kabul: Afghan and Mogul capital.

Karabakh: A region in the Caucasus known for large format rugs. Many designs are found and the most famous are the Eagle Kazak and the Cloudband Kazak. Foundation is usually wool and knots count is around 65 knots per square " Symmetrical knot is used.

Karachov: A town in the Caucasus famous for Kazak rugs. Design is of a large centered octagonal medallion with two small rectangles above and two below the medallion.

Karaja: A town located in the Iranian Azerbaijan province close to Heriz. Many runners are woven in this area. They are single wefted, woven on a cotton foundation and have a distinctive hooked hexagon medallion. Antique Karaja large rugs resemble those of Heriz except that they are single wefted.

Karagashli: A Caucasian village south of Derbend known for small rugs depicting geometric palmette. Karagashli rugs are frequently classified as Kuba rugs.

Kardak(Persian): Carpet trimming knife.

Kandahar: Pashto centre S Afghanistan.

Kashmir: Controversial home of some moghul carpets and silk rugs.

Kars: A city in northeastern Turkey known for small geometric rugs based on modified Caucasian motifs.

Kathmandu: market for some himalayan weaving and nepal rugs.

Kayseri: Centre of turkish commercial weaving especially silk.

Kazak: In origin, a tribal name, now a town, river and district in the extreme west of Azerbaijan, the Caucasus. Kazak rugs are noted for their coarse, long-pile carpets with shiny wool and vigorous designs. The weavers were Turkic nomads, now settled, who came to the region at the time of the great westward migration of Turks in the eleventh century.

Kapunyk: rug placed inside the entry to a yurt

Kashan: An important and famous center for oriental rugs production in Iran. The golden age of Kashan with its magnificent court rugs, took place during the Safavid rule in the 16th and 17th centuries. After about a 250 year decline, Kashan began emerging again as a leading weaving center in the late 19th early 20th centuries. During this time Australian wool which was actually spun in Manchester England was used. These "Manchester Kashan" had a glossy sheen to their finish and their floral designs were frequently on a red background. Contemporary Kashan rugs are woven on a cotton foundation, are double wefted and have about 200 knots per square " Their primary design includes a diamond shaped medallion with pendants at top and bottom. More about Kashan rugs.

Khali: main carpet

Kellegi: A Persian word for a wide runner, for example 6 x 13.

Kerman: elegant east persian traditional weaving centre.

Kilim (Kelim, Gelim, Gilim): A pileless smooth surfaced weaving in which pattern is formed by the wefts, which completely conceal the warps.

Kirshehir: Centre of anatolian prayer rugs.

Knot Count: The number of knots in a square " of a rug. Hand made Chinese rugs are often described in terms of "line." A 65 Line rug would have 65 knots per foot of width, 65 knots per foot of length, and 29 knots per square " Knot makes the pile or pile of a carpet and distinguishes it from the machine made and flatweaves.

Knot: A knot is formed when wool, cotton or silk yarn is looped around the warp threads. There are different procedures for knotting and each knot type has a name, for example there is a Turkish (Ghiordes) knot and a Persian (Sennah) knot.

Knotted Pile: The type of weaving most associated with oriental rugs in which tufts of wool forming pile are wrapped around one or more (usually two) warps to project at right angles to the plane of the weaving. They are tied individually, one row at a time, and held in place by ground wefts. The process is to be distinguished from the making of hooked rugs in which tufts of wool are poked into pre-existing loosely woven fabric.

Konya: important anatolian weaving and cultural centre.

Kork Wool: The very finest quality wool obtained from the shoulder and flanks of shearing lambs.

Kouchi: Gerenic afghan name for tribal pastoralists.

Kowdani: a type and quality of afghan rug.

Kolyai: A Kurdish village 50 miles west of Hamadan in northwest Iran. Rugs have bright colors, are single wefted and are woven on cotton foundation.

Konya: A famous Turkish city of rug production. Prayer rugs with red backgrounds are popular as well as yastiks and mats.

Koum Kapi Rug:Turkish Rug, size - 246x132. Offered at Christie's, London, April 27, 1995 as Lot 494, estimated at ?20,000-30,000, sold for ?38,000.

Kuba: A city and district south of Derbend in the Caucasus. Most Kuba rugs are of a small format, finely woven with a knot count of 100-120 and use the symmetrical knots. Major types of Kuba rugs are: Seichur, Karagashli, Chi-chi and Perepedil.

KPSI (Knots per square "): Number of knots per square " rates the knot quality.

Kufic: early islamic script stylized in carpets usually borders.

Kula: A town in western Turkey with a long history of rug production. Prayer rugs are most commonly seen and these are similar in design to the Ghiordes prayer format except for the flowers or vases which occupy the field in the Kula rugs.

Karakalpak: a tribal group often thought to be aligned with the Uzbeks. Jon Thompson called them either Uzbekishe Turkmen or Turkmenishe Uzbeks, living primarily in the Khiva region of Uzbekistan.

Karchin: also karshin - storage bag.

Kejebe: (Turkmen) wedding litter placed on top of the camel, baskets for transporting a load.

Kerman: A city and province in southeastern Iran which is responsible for rug production since the Safavid empire in the 16th century. Major production began in the 1890's when most of Kerman's rugs were exported to America. Designs include those of floral patterns, central medallions, pictorial designs, panels, and of prayer formats. Foundation is of cotton with triple weft between each row of knots. Knot count is usually high - between 150-400 per square "

Kermanshah: A Kurdish village in western Iran which is currently named Bakhtaran. Many villages are exported oriental rugs from this village.

Kepse Gol: (Turkmen) pattern name for a motif seen only in Yomud Turkmen rugs and weavings.

Kese: (Turkmen) tobacco pouch.

Ketken: plant used as a mordant in treating yarn before dyeing.

Khali: (Turkmen) pile rug, related to the Turkish word for rug (Hali).

Khamseh: A group of five tribes occupying southwestern Iran. The area is known for the production of tribal rugs with designs of geometric flowers and animals scattered randomly throughout the field. Material for pile and foundation is wool.

Khalyk: (Turkmen) long narrow small rug hung on the chest of the wedding camel.

Khorjin: (Turkmen) also korjin, a saddle bag.

Khorassan: A province in northeast Iran which includes the city of Mashad as its leading rug weaving center. Khorassan rugs are woven on cotton foundation, many use the jufti knot (see entry) and resemble the Mashad weavings in design. Many Kurdish rugs are woven here.

Khotan: A city in Eastern Turkestan (western China) which produced fine quality rugs in the 18th and 19th centuries. Designs are usually of three medallions embedded on a red or purple field. Sizes are commonly 4x8 or 4 x 9ft. Some of the older rugs have metallic threads in them. Khotan rugs very collectable.

Kirmizi: (Uzbek) cochineal dye.

Kizyl: (Turkmen) red.

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