Kilims - Antique Flat Woven Kilims
View Our Antique Kilim CollectionKilims - Once overlooked as utilitarian, low status items, antique Kilims are now prized as some of the most powerful and authentic weavings of the Middle East. Kilim (Gilim in Persian) is a Turkish word denoting Caucasus made in simple flat-woven or tapestry technique, in which the pattern is produced entirely by horizontal wefts that cover the vertical warps. This technique makes it very difficult to produce continuous vertical linear separations of color in the design, so Kilims often have a stepped or crenelated effect. While Kilim weaving can be fine, they tend to rely more on large-scale patterns with striking drawing and effects of color. They may utilize allover designs or grand shield-like medallions. The most well known Kilims are those of Turkey or Anatolia, which are varied in type and effect, but Caucasian and Persian Kilims are also appreciated nowadays for their color and high technical skill. Given their thinner, supple structure, Kilims are usable not only as decorative floor covering, but also as wall hangings and on furniture or bed coverlets as well.
Originating in Anatolia and the Caucasus, flat-woven kilims and tribal symbols gradually transitioned to pile rugs as nomadic and semi-nomadic herders ebbed back and forth across the continent. Traditions from turkey and the Levant traveled steadily eastward to the Mougal / Mughal states of Pakistan and India as well as Buddhist regions of Tibet, China and East Turkestan.