Kilims are a type of Turkish rug that are very popular and loved throughout the entire world for their beautiful designs and unbelievable ways to enhance just about any space within a home or office. Kilim rugs aren’t only from Turkey or Anatolia, and they’re also made in North Africa, Iran, Central Asia and China.
Some rug distributors may classify kilim rugs along with ubiquitous Oriental rugs Charlotte NC, but the truth is that kilim rugs are truly in a class of their own. The main distinction between kilims and other Oriental rugs is the famous flatweave associated with kilims, which is a unique way of interweaving an assortment of warps and wefts of a many different colors.
The slitweave technique is typically how kilim rugs are woven, and the results of this intricate weaving technique truly speak for itself. We are more than confident that you’re going to fall in love with the many different choices we have in our online kilim rug inventory, and that you’re going to notice how much lower our prices are as compared to our big box competitors.
The entire Rug Source team is truly passionate about all types of exotic rugs, so trust us when we say that kilim rugs really are some of the most unique rug types throughout the globe. Throughout this page we’re going to provide our guide to buying your next kilim rug, which will include information pertaining to the versatility, manufacturing, materials and motifs associated with kilim rugs.
By reading through our buying guide you’ll ultimately have a better understanding as to exactly why kilim rugs are so special, and we’re always here to answer any questions you have. Our team is here to support you in finding the perfect kilim rug match for your space and personal preferences, so feel free to contact us online to speak with one of our experts!
Kilim Rug Versatility
What’s rather unique about kilim rugs is that people don’t necessarily just put these works of art on their floors. Kilim rugs are so beautiful and intricate that many home and business owners will hang them on their walls, create bench coverings with them, or have them sewn into bags. Many people will even create kilim pillows!
The overall beauty associated with all kilim rugs is a clear indication as to how unique and special these rugs are, and how they’re typically incredible investment opportunities that can accrue in value over long periods of time just like other art pieces!
Whether you’re thinking about placing your kilim rug on a room’s floor or wall, we’ll be able to help you decide what’s the best place for the options you’re most interested in.
How Are Kilim Rugs Made?
Kilim rugs ironically don’t require a lot of materials, considering how intricate the end results are. Rug designers will need a loom, beating comb, scissors/knife, and a shuttle to get their kilim rug started. Wool is usually the primary material within these rugs.
But in conjunction with wool, kilim rugs are also made with silk, cotton and animal hair (horse, goat or camel). Many kilims will also utilize silver or gold thread, small decorative baubles and many beads that are then inserted within the rug’s overall aesthetic design.
The overall manufacturing functions of each necessary material include the following:
- Loom: The main function of a loom in kilim rug manufacturing is to properly hold the tension of the warps (length strands) in order for the wefts (width strands) to be properly interwoven within the design’s framework.
- Beating comb: The overall function of a beating comb is to beat down or compress any succeeding and preceding weft lines so that the kilim is as tightly woven as possible.
- Shuttle: A shuttle is fundamentally a stick that contains many notches on the ends. The shuttle is used to produce the rug’s weave by being attached to the weft end and inserted between alternate warps.
- Knife/Scissors: The cutting device is essentially used to trim and cut the warps and wefts.
Kilim rugs are known throughout the world for their incredible designs, but the materials commonly associated with kilim rugs is also a big part of their notoriety. Some of the common kilim rug materials include the following:
- Wool: Wool is typically the most common material used with kilim rugs, and many kilim rugs are made primarily with wool. The main reasons why wool is so popular within kilim production are its durability, suppleness, and general abundance in kilim-making regions.
- Cotton: Cotton is also one of the most commonly used materials for kilims alongside wool, and it’s typically utilized for a rug’s warps due to its overall strength and abundance in kilim-making regions. Cotton is known for keeping its shape and being finely spun, so cotton is used widely as a highlight within a rug’s aesthetic design to extenuate other colors.
- Animal hair: Although it’s not as common as wool and cotton, animal hair is typically used to very good effect in the production of kilim rugs. Camel hair will many times be utilized for added strength, horse mane hair is used for fringes and tassels, and goat/mohair hair is used to provide a silky shine to combine with wool.
- Silk: Silk is still a very luxurious rug material today, and many kilim rugs from Anatolia utilize silk.
One of the most intriguing aspects of kilim rugs is their esoteric symbolism that conveys a whole variety of ideas and myths. The motifs involved with kilim rugs vary dramatically, but overall they make these rugs very special in that they mean much more beyond their aesthetic appeal.
Contact Our Team For More Information
Kilim rugs are among the most unique and beautiful rugs in the entire world, which can of course make purchasing decisions a lot more complicated. The Rug Source team is always here to support you as you’re figuring out your favorite options among our large online inventory, and we’d be more than happy to answer any questions you have while you’re diving into the complex kilim rug world!
Always feel free to contact us online or call us at 980-422-4080 or 704-763-0979 so we can get you in touch with one of our experts.
Handwoven Kilim Rugs: Turkish Weaving with a Storied History
Kilim rugs are a handmade, flat-woven carpet with no piles or knotted fluff. Although the word kilim is of Turkish origin, kilim rugs have been made in Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Morocco, the Balkans and Scandinavia, proving the flat-weaving technique spread far. Because these antique rugs are found across the globe, each region has a different pronunciation and spelling of the name Kilim.
Most experts believe kilims originated in the Anatolia region of modern day Turkey. The earliest examples of kilim rugs date back as far as the 4th century AD, although there is evidence the flat-weave technique probably began at about 1,000 BC in Egypt.
Qashgahii kilims from the Zagros region, along with Turkoman and baluch kilims from eastern Iran and central Asia, are among the styles now highly coveted by those who buy kilim rugs.
The techniques used to make vintage kilim rugs have changed little over the centuries. Whereas a pile rug is made by knotting short strands of different color onto warps and held together by pressing the wefts tightly against each other, the design of a Kilim rug is made by interweaving the variously colored wefts and warps.
The simple interlocking strands of wool, hair or fiber requires no backing, so Kilim carpets are thinner than traditional Persian rugs and Oriental rugs, making them popular as tapestries or use as bed coverlets.
The Distinctive Motifs and Colors of Kilim Carpets
Common motifs found in Kilim carpets include serrated leaf elements, zig-zag crenellations, shield medallions, diamond borders, and geometric designs. Many of the geometric motifs in kilims – “ramshorn” motifs and serrated medallions or “ashiks” – traveled with nomads as they spread to the Middle East. Elements such as perennials, pomegranates and fronds are popular in modern kilim carpets and vintage kilims alike.
The wide-ranging palette of reds, greens, oranges, and browns in antique Kilim carpets demonstrate the quality of dyes early Anatolian weavers had at their disposal. Many traditional kilim rugs feature warm, muted colors as the primary hues, with cooler tones used to create points of contrast.
The flat-weaving technique used to make Kilim rugs makes it difficult to produce continuous separations of color, so Kilims often have a stepped or crenelated appearance.
A Traditional Kilim Was Practical Before It Was Decorative
Woolen kilims are known for their strength and versatility. Long before Kilims became decorative pieces, tribal communities used them as floor coverings; as bedding or clothing; as horse blankets; for storage of grains; or draped as a shelter against the weather.
Lightweight and easy to transport, Kilims are especially popular in rug-weaving centers with warm climates, where shaggy rugs were not needed to keep warm.
Buying Antique Kilim Rugs and Contemporary Kilims
For many decades, antique Kilim rugs were considered artifacts of primordial tribal design unaffected by the influence of high art or foreign culture. Once overlooked as low status items, antique Kilims are now cherished as examples of the authentic weaving tradition of the Middle East.
We pride ourselves on a distinctive collection of Kilims. For those interested in buying vintage Kilim rugs, our collection of antique carpets offers an extraordinary range of designs and colors. We also carry a vast selection of more modern Kilims for the contemporary home. Shop online or contact us at our Charlotte, North Carolina location to shop for kilim carpets that reflect your style.