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Deciphering Rug Names

Rug names are often spelled differently, but refer to the same design

 

Ushak. Oushak. Uşak. Three different spellings, all to describe the same type of Anatolian rug design. If you’re in the market for a specific kind of rug, it can be difficult to find it by the same name at another source. You may be wondering, what’s the difference?

It’s a pretty simple explanation. Most high-quality rugs are produced in countries from an area that spans from the Balkans east to China and from the Caspian Sea south to India; This great swath of land and cultures is commonly referred to as “the orient.” (Hence the term, “oriental carpets.”) There is no common language that spans this territory, and in fact, many of them use script languages rather than the Latin alphabet we use in English. That means that almost all rug names are rough, phonetic translations from the original script language into the English alphabet. It’s imperfect and open to a lot of interpretation, especially from region to region.

Long story short, an ushak is an oushak is an uşak. What’s more important to know in terms of quality is the origin of production rather than the origin of the design. So keep your eyes open for where it was made, instead of how it is spelled.


Erin Eisinger
Erin Eisinger

Author

Floorplan CEO and Co-Founder. Designer. Storyteller. Entrepreneur.



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