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When is a rug a rug?

Two questions that I am often asked:

What’s the difference between a rug and a kilim?

In short, rugs are piled, and kilims are woven, with no pile. When making a rug, a foundation of warps and wefts are woven, to which knots are then tied and clipped to the requisite length. Kilims, however, are like a tapestry, where the wefts themselves make up the design, with each row pulled down tightly to hide the warp.

To complicate the matters slightly, some rugs, such as the Dalarna or Atlas rugs shown in this website, combine the two techniques, with flatwoven and piled sections…

What’s the difference between a rug and a carpet?

This one is more arbitrary. As far as I can work out, ‘carpet’ is the word most frequently used for large rugs, over for example around 3 metres in length, whereas the term ‘rug’ is mostly used for smaller pieces. However, it seems to be very much a matter of personal choice!