Kilim Rugs


Kilim Rugs

Kilim rugs are an ancient style and design (oldest surviving example dates to around the fifth century B.C.) characterized by long, narrow slits in the fabric that are arranged in a stair-step pattern to avoid weakening the rug. Kilim rugs were originally small, however these slit-weave tapestry wool collectibles are being woven much larger and are quite popular in the United States since their introduction in the early 1950s. A variation of this construction uses a diagonal slit. Either way, these are truly works of art and worth acquiring.

Kilim rugs are considered a type of tapestry rug woven from fairly harsh, thick wool. Kilim artistic expression  is highly regarded, especially when compared to the price and there is a fantastic variety of unique and stimulating designs available. The best value is generally in long narrow runners rather than larger room size pieces. As a flatweave, they are arguably not as practical as some other similar ones in it's class and have a tendency to pucker up.

Kilim rugs are woven by the nomadic peoples in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Russia, China, Pakistan, India and Morocco. They were originally intended as a pliable warm carpet that could be placed on a sandy desert surface and easily rolled up and packed on a camel or horse for travel. The wide range of designs represent the different influences from the numerous tribes and regions. Kurdish pieces are brighter, sometimes mixed with embroidery, and generally more affordable. The Turkish feature bright Mediterranean colors of gold orange and turquoise. Iranian examples are noted for being grounded in burgundy, rust, heavy blues and heavy greens. Most are reversible, but rarer collectables  have loose ends on the back and are becoming increasingly more valuable.

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