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Glossary

 

M

Madder
A Southwest Asian long lasting plant (Rubia tinctorum) with small yellow flowers, spiraled leaves, and a red root. The root of this plant was and in some places still is an important source of red dye.

Make
This attribute determines where a rug is actually made.

Maintanance
Steps taken to ensure that a rug is aging gracefully such as vacuuming, rotation, and correct wash.

Malachite
A light to dark green carbonate mineral {Cu2CO3(OH)2} used as a source of copper and for ornamental stoneware and a source of green dye.

Manganese Dioxide
A black crystalline compound (MnO2) used as a depolarizer of dry-cell batteries and in dyeing weaving yarns.

Mamluk Rugs
Rugs woven in Egypt possibly beginning in the thirteenth century until the sixteenth century with complex geometric designs and large medallions.

Master Workshop
Master workshops are specialty workshops run by usually a well-known master designer/artist. The rug weavers are talented students who are directed by the master designer. At this setting very unique rugs are woven. Master workshops pay attention to the artistic aspect of weaving rather than the commercial aspect. Many master-workshop rugs are displayed in galleries and museums. Two of the well-known master designers of Iran are Seyrafian and Arabzadeh.

Medallion
A common rug layout where a large centerpiece called medallion is the focal point of the design.

Medallion-and-corner
A special medallion layout with quartered medallions in four corners of the rug in addition to the full medallion in the center.

Meter
The international standard unit of length, approximately equivalent to 39.37 inches. This unit of measurement is used in all countries with the exception of the US and England for measuring length and width of rugs.

Metric System
A decimal system of units based on the meter as the unit of length, the kilogram as the unit of mass, and the second as the unit of time. Meters and centimeters are units of measurement used for measuring lengths and widths of rugs in most countries except the United States and England. Every meter is equal to 100 centimeters.

Mianfarsh
A rectangular rug of approximately 6 to 8 feet wide and 16 to 20 feet long. Mainfarsh was part of a four-piece set of rugs, which their production came to an end about 60 years ago. These sets 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 consisted of one main piece, Mianfarsh or middle rug. 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.

Mihrab
A niche in a mosque facing Mecca.

Mina Khani (Persian)
An all-over pattern consisting of two or more flower blossoms connected by a diamond lattice.

Miniature paintings
Paintings in which the figures are painted on a small scale. Miniature paintings were popular in Persia, India, and Turkey even before the 16th century. In Renaissance Europe, miniatures were painted on jewelry and the interior of watch covers.

Minor border
Many rug borders consist of one wide band known as the main border or simply the border, and one or many narrower bands on each side of the main border known as the minor border or guard stripes.

Mir-i-boteh (Persian)
Multiple rows of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal small boteh.

Moharramaat, Ghalamdaani
A design consisting of vertical stripes with equal widths. Each stripe contains different or sometimes the same motifs and is a different color from its neighboring stripes. This design can be seen in Qum rugs.

Moors
Descendents of Arabs and Berbers living in northwest Africa today. In the 8th century A.D. Moors invaded Spain and built a civilization which lasted until the end of 15th century.

Morocco
A country located in North Africa. Morocco gained its independence from France in 1956 and now is a constitutional monarchy. The capital of Morocco is Rabat. Rugs from Morocco have not reached the Western market yet. They are mostly woven for local use or sold in bazaars to tourists.

Motif
Any single form or interrelated group of forms which make up part of the overall design.

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