Sizes, Shapes, and Colors

Handmade rugs are made in different sizes and shapes. Since most handmade rugs are Rectangular, only this shape rug has been assigned standard sizes. Other shapes include Runner, Round, Oval, Square, and some Odd Shapes.
Size is a very important factor in pricing a handmade rug. 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.


Sizes and Shapes

The following is a list of different rug shapes and methods of measurement used for each one.

Rectangular : 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. Two sets of standard sizes exist, the Imperial British standard and the Metric standard. Below, on the left, we have a list of standard sizes in the Imperial system, and on the right, a list of the Metric standard sizes.

British Imperial System (ft x ft) : Width x Length

2 x 3
2 x 4
3 x 5
4 x 6
5 x 7
5 x 8
6 x 9
7 x 10
8 x 10
9 x 12
10 x 13
10 x 14
12 x 15
12 x 18
13 x 20
14 x 21



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.


Round Rugs

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 4×4, 8×8, etc. Round rugs are unique and rare. The oldest round rug is a sixteenth-century Mamluk, Egypt. In the past 40 years, round rugs have become more popular and are now woven in Iran, China and India.


Oval Rugs

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. Oval rugs are similar to round rugs in their history and design.


Square Rugs

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 4×4, 8×8, etc. Square rugs are an ideal fit for square rooms.


Odd Shapes

At times, you will encounter hexagonal, octagonal or even triangular rugs. They are mostly rarities rather than the rule.




Color is more important than design because it is by color contrast that design is created, whether that work of art is a black-and-white portrait or a colorful handmade rug. In handmade rugs, colorful motifs are woven into the rug against the solid color in the background and the border, creating even more incredible color contrast. All handmade rugs are identified by their Background Color and Border Color.

Colors are also an important factor in determining the origin of handmade rugs.

Background Color : This is the dominant color in the background of the rug. Background color is the underlying color of the entire rug with the exception of the border. In some cases, however, the background and the border color are the same. The most widely used background colors are red, blue, beige, and yellow. These colors come in various shades and hues.

Border Color : In many rugs, the border color is not as readily distinguished as the background color. One reason is that there are always colorful designs and patterns in the border of the rug, and hence they overshadow the actual border color. Major border colors are red, blue, beige, yellow, and green.


Color Symbolism

In the East, colors have symbolic values. Traditional and religious meanings of colors sometimes affect the choice of colors used in handmade rugs. Green, for example, is considered by Muslims to be a holy color; therefore, until the end of 19th century, it was mainly used in prayer rugs. However, at the end of the 19th century, in order to comply with Western taste, numerous decorative rugs containing green were produced for exportation. Red, the most widely used rug color, means happiness and joy. Yellow and gold are Chinese royal colors and symbolize wealth and power. Dark blue signifies solitude. White is symbol of mourning, peace, and purity in Persia, China, and India, and brown, the color of earth, symbolizes harvest and fertility. Today, however, as stated above, because of exportation, color symbolism is not observed to the same extent, but it can still be seen, mostly in rugs produced for local use.