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One of the most important features of an area rug is sometimes the most difficult to describe. It is the basic pattern woven into the rug. But articulating what you see on the face of that beautiful rug can be challenging. And when searching for that "just right" rug, people frequently don't know the terminology to use to narrow that search when they have a specific pattern in mind.
Pattern is closely related to style and theme but can be defined more broadly. Basically the rug's pattern is determined by the way lines and curves are used to generate shapes. The industry generally recognizes three main categories of patterns: geometric, curvilinear and pictorial.
As with most things related to area rugs, there is a tremendous amount of overlap between these categories. Still it is useful to understand them. One or the other will probably be more dominant in the rug's pattern than another. This then becomes the best way to describe the pattern of that particular rug.
Let's take a look at the three categories of rug patterns and examine a sample that fits into each group.
A geometric rug is created with straight lines, often using a variety of shapes - triangles, squares, diagonal lines, etc. In a way it is somewhat more primitive than the other two patterns. Southwestern and Navaho rugs frequently make use of a geometric pattern, but it's not uncommon in older traditional designs as well.
When a pattern makes use of a variety of smooth curved lines it is referred to as curvilinear. In fact, that's the definition of the word! It's a bit harder to weave rugs in this pattern and frequently the overall knot density of a curvilinear rug is higher than other, simpler patterns. With the advent of machine-made area rugs, it is much easier - and more economical - to weave a curvilinear pattern than when everything was done strictly by hand. Curvilinear rugs are common in just about all styles and themes of rugs from traditional to contemporary.
A rug with an image of people, animals, flowers or nature falls into the pictorial category. The first rugs created of this type depicted historical events, mythological creatures or famous people. They truly were art forms, often made to hang on a wall instead of placing them on a floor. Today you can find an image of just about anyone or anything on an area rug. Still, as in ancient times, they are not as common or popular as the other two patterns of area rugs. A room's decor has to be just right for a pictorial rug to fit in appropriately.
Rugs Direct carries well over 60,000 area rugs representing all of the above patterns. Our proprietary Rugs Directory search engine will help you find exactly what you are looking for in no time. Click here to visit the Rugs Direct online showroom to find the perfect area rug for your home.