- Odd Shapes
- Industry Rug Names
- Special Purpose Rugs
When talking about sizes of handmade rugs, we also need to discuss their shape. Handmade rugs are made in different sizes and shapes. Since most handmade Area rugs are rectangular, only this shape rug has been assigned standard sizes. Other shapes include runner, round, oval, square, and some odd shapes area rugs. We will discuss each shape and their dimensions in detail; however, as a general rule choosing the correct size rug depends on the dimensions of the room or space you are trying to cover. Handmade rugs are not intended to cover the entire floor. Because handmade rugs are a work of art, similar to paintings, they need a frame to enhance their beauty. This frame is created by allowing at least one to two feet (30 to 60 centimeters) of open space between the rug and the surrounding walls.
Size is a very important factor in pricing a handmade rug. Therefore, understanding the units of measurement used in determining the dimensions of a rug are also important. The length and width of rugs can be expressed in both the British Imperial System (feet and inches) and the Metric System (meters and centimeters). Likewise, the area of the rug is calculated in square feet in the British Imperial System and in square meters in the Metric System. Every foot is equal to 12 inches, and every meter is equal to 100 centimeters. Also, every foot is equal to approximately 30 centimeters. Therefore, every meter is equal to 3.28 feet.
Rectangular rugs, also called regular rugs, are the most common rugs in the world and come in a variety of sizes. Therefore, standard sizes have been assigned to rectangular rugs in order to make rug selection an easier process. However, standard sizes are not exact sizes.
In the rug industry, a rug with measurements of 8 feet and 4 inches wide and 10 feet and 4 inches long is still called an 8 by 10 (8x10). Two sets of standard sizes exist, the Imperial British standard and the Metric standard. Below, we have a list of standard sizes in the Imperial system, and then a list of the Metric standard sizes below.
Standard Rug Sizes:
Metric System (Width x Length in Meters)
|0.50 x 1.00||2.00 x 3.00||3.50 x 4.50|
|1.00 x 1.50||2.25 x 3.25||3.00 x 5.00|
|1.50 x 2.00||2.50 x 3.50||3.50 x 5.50|
|1.50 x 2.50||2.75 x 3.75||4.00 x 6.00|
|2.00 x 2.50||3.00 x 4.00||4.00 x 7.00|
Runners are the second most common shape of rug. They are very long and narrow rectangular rugs. Most runners in today's market are between 2.5 to 3 feet wide and 6 to 20 feet long, and in some cases even longer. They are used as coverings for hallways, stairways, and entrances. For this reason, they are also called Corridor rugs. The use of runners on stairs is a more common practice in the United States than in Europe. Until about 60 years ago, runners were also used in traditional Persian room arrangements. Many Persian living rooms were covered with a traditional set of rugs including one main piece, Mianfarsh or middle carpet, of approximately 6 to 8 feet wide by 16 to 20 feet long. At the head of the room, a runner called Kellegi was placed. Kellegi measured between 4 to 6 feet wide with a length of about two to three times its width. On each side of the middle carpet, two very narrow and long runners called Kenareh were placed. Kenareh measured between 2.5 to 5 feet wide and anywhere between 5 to 40 feet long. Food was placed on a cloth on the middle rug. The elderly and the host would sit on the headpiece, and everyone else would sit on the two side rugs. All four pieces were sold as a set. A complete set can rarely be found now. Today, as mentioned above, runners are mainly used to cover hallways and stairways, and the wider ones tend to be used for entrances.
The length and width are equal in a round rug, and they are the same as the diameter of the rug, so when looking for a round rug, look for sizes such as 4x4, 8x8, etc. Round rugs are unique and rare. The oldest round rug is a sixteenth-century Mamluk. Mamluk rugs were woven in Egypt and had complex geometric designs with large medallions. Round rugs were also woven in French Aubusson and Savonnerie styles in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Round Chinese rugs were woven for the first time in Tientsin and Beijing in the early nineteenth century. Both new and old Chinese round rugs are still available in the market. In the past 40 years, round rugs have become more popular in Iran, and are mainly woven in the cities of Tabriz, Esfahan, and Nain. The layout of most round rugs tends to be medallion.
Square rugs are very unique and rare. As their name implies, they have equal width and length. Therefore, when looking for a square rug, look for sizes such as 4x4, 8x8, etc. Square rugs are an ideal fit for square rooms.
Oval rugs are unique and rare in shape. Therefore, no standard sizes have been established for them. However, oval rugs are measured in the same fashion as rectangular rugs. The larger diameter is considered the length, and the smaller diameter is considered the width. Oval rugs are similar to round rugs in their history and design. They have originated from Chinese and French Aubusson and Savonnerie styles. In the last 40 years, they have become popular in Iran. They are mainly woven in the cities of Tabriz, Esfahan, and Nain. Regardless of their origin, their layout is usually medallion.
At times, you will encounter hexagonal, octagonal or even triangular rugs. They are mostly rarities rather than the rule.
It is very common in the rug industry to name rugs according to their sizes.
Below you will see a list of common rug names in Persian, Turkoman, Turkish, and some in English with their measurements next to them.
Any rug that does not cover the floor wall to wall.
An outdated Persian linear measurement of about 1.04 to 1.12 meters or 41 to 44 inches. This term is important in understanding the following terms.
Very small qaliche, a rug size about 2.5x4.5 ft (one and one quarter zar in length).
Small qaliche, a rug size about 3x5 ft (one and a half zar in length).
Medium qaliche, rugs of about 7 feet (two zars) in length and about 4.5 feet in width.
Large qaliche, a rug size of approximately 5x8 ft or 5.5x9 ft. The Turkoman name for Pardeh isEnssi. Enssi is a rug used in place of a door or curtain in a Turkoman tent. Pardeh also means curtain in Persian.
Qali, Ghali (Persian):
Any large rug measuring over 6x10 ft.
A rug larger than 6x9 ft.
Qaliche, Ghaliche (Persian):
Any small rug measuring under 6x6.5 ft. "-che" in Persian is a suffix which means small, so qaliche literally means small qali.
A rug smaller than 9x6.
A mat of approximately 2x2.6 ft."Pa-" is used as a prefix here meaning foot (extension of a leg)."Dar" means door in Persian. Therefore, Pa-dari is a rug placed at the door where people step on.
A bedside rug of approximately 2x2.6 ft. "Takht" means bed in Persian.
Pushti (Persian), Yastik (Turkish):
Pushti is a formal cushion covered with a rug of approximately 3x2 ft. These cushions are placed against the wall in living rooms. In such rooms where people sit on the floor, the main pieces of furniture are the rugs on the floor and the Pushti.
All small to very large qalis can be called room-size rugs. This is a western term used for rugs which cover most of the floor. Typical sizes are 8x10, 9x12, 10x14, and 12x18 up to 14x24 feet.
Rugs of approximately 6.5x10 ft or 8x12 ft.
Rugs of approximately 9x12 ft or 10x13 ft.
Rugs of approximately12x14 ft or 11.5x15 ft.
Very large ghali:
Rugs of approximately 13x16.4 ft or 15x20 ft.
Palace-size rugs, Oversize rugs:
Rugs larger than 14x24 ft, which are usually custom-made.
The following rugs, which come in special sizes, have or at some point had specific purposes.
PRAYER RUGS, SECCADE (TURKISH), SEJJADEH (ARABIC), JA-NAMAZ (PERSIAN):
These are one directional rectangular rugs of approximately 3.5 x 5.5 ft. Prayer rugs historically have been woven for Muslims to pray on. They still serve this purpose, and are also used as regular rugs. The usual design of a prayer rug is a mihrab (the prayer niche constructed in a mosque wall that indicates the direction of Mecca). Prayer rugs consist of symbolic objects such as columns, vases, lamps, combs, rosewater jugs, and the Hand of Fatima where the devotees place their hands when kneeling on the rug. Sometimes one, few or all of these objects are present in the rug. Prayer rugs are further discussed under Anatolian style.
Mianfarsh-Kellegi-Kenareh A special category of rugs is a four-piece set, which their production came to an end about 60 years ago. These rugs were only made in Iran and were sold as sets. A complete set can rarely be found now. Many Persian living rooms were covered with these traditional sets, which included one main piece, Mianfarsh or middle carpet, of approximately 6 to 8 feet wide and 16 to 20 feet long. At the head of the room, a runner called Kellegi, was placed. Kellegi measured between 4 to 6 feet wide with a length of about two to three times its width. On each side of the middle rug, two very narrow and long runners, called Kenareh were placed.Kenareh measured between 2.5 to 5 feet wide and anywhere between 5 to 40 feet long. Food was placed on a cloth on the middle rug. The elderly and the host would sit on the headpiece, and everyone else would sit on the two side rugs.