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Carved Rugs Vs. Embossed

Chinese 90 Line, Carved


For oriental rugs and carpets, carving or embossing both generally imply an effort has been made to add texture of some form to any given piece.  There are many, many rugs which are found to have such techniques used, those of which are included are chinese 90 lines (seen right: a carved Chinese 90 line), some antique Chinese carpets, and even hand tufted or Indian interpretations of Aubusson designs which were highly popular in the early 70's.

However, the distinction between a Carved Rug an "embossed" rug is a very important one to make.  

Typically, when after a rug or carpet has been created, it will be sheared to have an even pile height.  Carving is done after a rug has been trimmed to this desired height to create "valleys," lower areas and texture by shearing around design elements.  What this means is the effort made is to create texture by eliminating material from an even, or otherwise flat plane.  This is a far easier technique than embossing, as any rug with enough pile may be "carved" to otherwise accentuate texture and depth of a rug.

Conversely, a rug which is "embossed" requires a bit more planning, care and attention.  If a weaver has intention of "embossing" a rug, proper consideration of higher and lower areas is incorperated into the actual process of weaving to attain a more "realistic" three dimensional pile.  Knots which are created to comprise design elements intended to be "higher" are alotted more pile material.  fibers are intentionally left longer during he weaving process for "sculpting" after the rug has been completed. Therefore, a rug which is embossed not only requires more time, material and care, but also may be more true to creating texture, and often are found to be at a higher price point.

Different piles



Carved Tufted Samples

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March 23. 2009 16:00

Selene Loomis

I have a Chinese 8 x 10 which was purchased in 1986. This sculpted rug is mostly cream colored wool with a delft blue border. There is a Chinese floral and key design along the inside border and mid point of each side. These designs are a paler blue with mauve. It is a beautiful rug but worn out. I would very much like another just like it. Do they exist and if so, where could I find one?
Thank you.
Selene Loomis

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Selene Loomis

March 23. 2009 16:43


Hi Selene,

Please send us some photographs with your size and color criteria. We may be able to assist in your search

All the best,

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