Saroughs are hand knotted on a vertical loom using warp and weft in cotton. The weft consists of two or sometimes three threads. In carpets made before the 1915, the weft is pushed down hard against the knots, which made the carpets very compact. The pile is of very good quality wool and is cut very short. However, more recent pieces seem to have deeper piles. The Persian knot is utilized with a density of 160 to 400 knots per square inch.
Saroughs may be divided into two categories: carpets with traditional designs and those intended for export, particularly to the United States. The traditional designs consist, for the most part, of the central medallion pattern. The pattern is similar to those used in Kashans, but the different interpretations by different craftsmen give the carpets a special imprint. Although they have floral patterns, this is executed in an angular fashion, resulting in an incomparable fusion of floral and geometric styles. As well as the central medallion, there is also, in old and antique Saroughs, frequent use of the boteh motif.
In contrast, the American Sarough (or Lilian) design features large blossoming floral sprays radiating outwards from a central, medallion-like, floral form. It is so named because it was adapted for the American market from a design originating in the village of Lilian; the true Lilian design has a spidery central medallion which American Sarough do not. American Saroughs use either rich rosy reds with blues and paler rose outlining the motifs, or, less frequently, bright pastel shades (usually pale blues, turquoise or lemon yellow), used to create the same strong contrasts between motifs and field as in American Kermans.
In all Saroughs the border is simple, almost always consisting of two guards framing a wider central band, which is often decorated with heratis while the former is often of traditional rosettes and wavy line collections. The colour scheme is often a bright orange-red in the field, which is softened by ivory, dark blue, red-brown and dull green. Various shades of turquoise are common in the decorative motifs.