The condition of a rug is similarly based on a three tiered system. An area rug can be rated as fine, average, or worn. Of these categories, fine is the most desirable and refers to a rug which is in excellent condition. An average rug may need or have undergone minor repair work, and finally a worn rug encompasses anything that falls below these two levels.
When discussing the actual visual of a rug, the word motif will help in identifying artistic techniques utilized by the rug maker. The main motifs are pictorial, geometric, and curvilinear. A pictorial motif will contain recognizable visual elements such as people or animals. The other two motifs are more abstract. Geometric rugs are made up of mostly straight lines while curvilinear motifs, when displayed on rugs or portions of rugs, employ lines that bend and curve.
The origin of a rug also comes with its own vocabulary as there are four main terms that designate where a rug is produced. These terms are workshop, master workshop, nomadic, and village. Workshop rugs are made by skilled employees who may one day aspire to become master weavers. A master workshop rug differs in that it is made by a master weaver and his assistants who are students rather than employees. Nomadic rugs come from sheepherders who must complete their rugs quickly as they must be finished before the next migration. Finally, a village rug is one that is constructed by family members within their own home.
With these new vocab words in your arsenal, you should now have the confidence necessary to cut to the chase with any dealer and tell them exactly what you want, be it an antique geometric village piece, or a contemporary curvilinear. Good Luck!