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Oriental Antique Rugs Glossary

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Safavid: Persian dynasty which ruled 1502-1736 and established unified state. Renowned as patrons of Oriental rug design

Sajjada(Persian): Prayer rug

Sabzevar: A town in northeastern Iran which produces rugs similar to Mashad. Designs are usually of a center medallion on a red ground with vases in the corners. Asymmetrical knots on cotton foundation are used.

Saddle Bags (Khorjin): Two pouches or bags connected, which can be laid on the back of a carrying animal such a horse, donkey or camel.

Samarkand: Great Central Asian city.

Saph: Several Mihrabs, which indicate the direction of Mecca, are arranged side by side on a rug used for prayer.

Savonnerie rugs: Made in France, this is a hand-knotted pastel rug with a floral medallion set on an open field with broken borders. This rug is the model for many of today's Indian and Persian rugs.

Salatshak: An hexagonal weaving, the exact function of which is controversial . Again, the mihrab-like designs of many examples have led some writers to suggest that they are prayer rugs hut several specialists in Turkmen weavings, including Siawosch Azadi, have stated that they were made as cot covers. Some examples have a slit at one end, suggesting use as a saddlecloth. Again, the majority of published examples do not appear particularly old (see also Tainaksha).

Salt Bag (Namakdan): A little bag (usually a flatweave measures about 20" x 16") with a neck or spout which is used to store grains or salt. It is most commonly woven by the Afshars, Bakhtiaris, Baluch and Shahsavans.

Saraband: A district in western central Iran which is known for the production of rugs having a light red field decorated with small botehs all over. Rugs usually have symmetrical knots and are woven on a cotton foundation.

Sarouk: A village north of Arak in central western Iran which is famous for the production of floral rugs for the US market in the 1920's-1930's. Until the first world war, the central medallion design was the most popular until this was replaced with the pattern of detached floral sprays on burgundy or dark pink backgrounds. Some navy blue field Sarouks are sometimes seen as well. Asymmetrical knots are used on cotton foundation with blue wefts.

Savonnerie: Originally, the Savonnerie workshops were founded in Paris in 1628 and their output of weavings was for royal palaces, state gifts and important commissions. Designs created by court artists included floral arrangements, military and heraldic references and architectural motifs. Warps were made out of linen and the woolen pile was woven using the symmetrical knots. The greatest period of production was between 1650 - 1789.

Selvedge: The area between the edge of a rug and the fringe. The selvedge is the same material used to form the warp and weft. A design can be added to the selvedge to enhance the look of a rug.

Senneh Knot: Persian knot.

Senneh: A Kurdish city in northwest Iran which is known for very fine antique rugs and kilims. Most rugs have a cotton foundation, use the symmetrical knots and are single wefted. Warps are sometimes dyed in very colorful bands. Designs include the all over boteh, all over herati (mahi), and others with a central medallion.

Sewan (Sevan) Kazak: A group of antique Caucasian Kazak rugs from the Lake Sevan area having large cruciform shaped medallions. These rugs are knotted on a wool foundation and most have wefts which are dyed in red.

Serapi: A trade term used to refer to a fine antique Heriz which is at least 100 years old.

Serab: A town in northwest Iran between Arbdebil and Tabriz which is mostly known for the production of runners. Frequent design depicts repeating diamonds or hexagon on a camel or ivory colored field. Symmetric knot is used on a wool or wool and cotton foundation.

Shah Abbas: A symmetrical palmette having two floral sprays on top.

Shah Abbasi Palmette: This motif is used both in the field and in the border.

Shahsavan: A group of Turkish speaking tribes inhabiting northwest Iran. In Farsi Shahsavan means: "For those who love the Shah" - a 17th century title bestowed on warriors from these tribes who were defending Persia's northern border. Most of their weavings consist of functional pieces such as saddle bags, mafrashes and animal trappings. Their textiles frequently use the soumak and kilim weaves.

Shiraz: SW Iran major rug collecting centre.

Shirvan: An important central eastern Caucasian region known for weavings of fine antique rugs. Size of rugs is usually small with an average size of about 28 square '. Foundation is either all wool or wool warps and cotton wefts. Designs include prayer formats, geometric medallions layouts, and rugs depicting animal motifs.

Shou: A group of Chinese characters or motifs symbolizing longevity. Most common is the rounded medallion character.

Siding: Edging on non-fringed sides of a rug.

Silk Road: Mythical name for the Mediterranean - China trade routes.

Simurgh: Mythical Persian bird.

Sileh: A Caucasian flatweave usually depicting the "S" shaped dragon motif with a soumak structure. In the Near East, the term "Verneh" is used.

Sivas: A city of north central Turkey which is a production site of Turkish rugs based on Persian designs. Many Sivas rugs were woven by prisoners. Older Sivas rugs have wool foundation while recent ones use cotton. Rugs can have either the asymmetrical or the symmetrical knot. Designs include prayer rugs with stepped mihrabs, rugs with three different colored panels, or pieces with vertical stripes.

Solution Dyed: A method of dyeing synthetic fiber in which pigment is added to the nylon or polypropylene chip before it is extruded as filament yarn.

Sofreh:Term means "tablecloth". A small flatwoven rectangular cloth which is laid on the ground and on which food can be served or prepared.

Sumak (Soumak,Soumac): This refers both to the carpets made in the soumac technique and the technique itself. Primarily practiced in the eastern Caucuses, this technique produces a flat-woven carpet using weft wrapping in which wefts are pulled over then wrapped under a series of warps.

Space Dyed: Yarn colored in sections of different colors before being tufted or woven into a rug. Abrash effects can be created with space dyed yarns. Space dyeing is frequently applied to nylon fibers.

Spanish Knot: An unusual variation of the Turkish knot. A knot is tied on every other single warp thread with knotted warps alternating on each row.

Spinning: The process whereby a continuous thread is formed by twisting fibers together. The twist may be imparted by the rotation of a weighted rod (drop spindle) suspended from the thread. Alternatively, the rod may be attached to a rotating wheel driven by hand (spinning wheel) or a machine.

Star Kazak: A type of Caucasian kazak rugs which depict large eight pointed stars. These rugs are some of the most rare and sought after of all Caucasian weavings.

Salor: A tribe of Turkmen weavers renowned for their fine rugs and highly evolved designs. The knots are asymmetric open left. We have for sale Salor rugs

Saryk: Another tribe of the Turkmen, weavings are distinguished by the use of the symmetric knot and often use cotton in the pile.

Sultanabad (Arak): Many high quality oriental rugs were woven in this city and province in northwest Iran. Most rug production took place in the late 19th century when European companies commissioned large decorative rugs for the European market. Oriental rugs weaving centers include those of Mahal, Sultanabad, Sarouk, Lilihan, Ferahan and Saraband.

Suzani: Embroidered cotton panels which are sewn together to form wall hangings, curtains and bed covers. Most Suzani were done in cotton and silk threads. Finest pieces were woven during the 19th century in Uzbekistan city - Bokhara, Samarkand, Tashkent, Shakhrisyabz and Nurata.

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