oriental rug - Hand knotted, soumac, kilim
Tufted - Hand tufted, hooked
Flatweaves - Needlepoint, Aubusson, Chainstitch, Dhurries, Rag Rugs,
Machine Made - see FAQ's Oriental Vs. Machine made (including Oriental Designs, machine hooked and tufted)
The face of a hooked rug.
The face of a hooked rug under close inspection. Notice how the pile is looped rather than cut.
The above photograph is on a kilim (rug is horizontally oriented in photo) Kilims for the most part have the same look on both the front and back of the rug. Note the light travelling through the rug. In kilims, you often will find these gaps where color changes are made. Some may be wide enough for a pencil to be stuck through. Kilims are very light weight and reversible.
Take a look at the look of the weaving under higher magnification. Please note, the rug is oriented horizontally.
A soumak is a pile-less weave. The weaving on the face of the rug as shown above looks similar to that of a crochet knit. These rugs tend to be less formal and on the thin side, however are usually very dense and durable.
Note the reverse side of a soumak rug is almost identical to that of any other Oriental Rug.
The technique used on the two photographs above is called looping the rug (top is the face of the rug, bottom is the reverse side). The pile of the carpet is literally knotted around a metal bar, which is then removed after the pile has been formed.
Shown above is the face of a needlepoint rug. Note how it looks similar to the knots on the reverse side of an Oriental Rug. However, upon flipping the rug over you can see that it is quite different as seen on the bottom of the page. There are several long strands of yarn which dangle from the back. It's okay to leave these fibers as they are. Needle-points are very thin and sometimes delicate rugs not well suited for high traffic areas due to their lightweight nature and non-existent pile.