Kilims and Flat Woven Antique Kilim Rugs and Carpets

Antique Kilim Rugs – Antique rugs that are called “Kilim rugs”, primarily refer to a type of flat woven rug that was produced without knotted pile. Because these antique rugs are found across the globe, each region has a different pronunciation and spelling of the name Kilim. Homers Iliad and Egyptian tomb paintings, from the same time period, depict weavers producing rugs and carpets of this kind.

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Since this is one of the oldest methods of rug production, it is considered to be primitive compared to Oriental knotted rugs. Comprised of simple interlocking strands of wool, hair or fiber, they are durable, decorative and used for many purposes. Some of these uses include, clothing, shelter, storage, floor coverings, pillows and barter / trade.

Although, antique rugs made of hair or vegetable fiber do not stand the test of time due to decay. Therefore, many antique rugs of this nature have not survived to the present day. But those that have survived the test of time are most definitely a sight to see and great examples of antique textile art pieces.

Once overlooked as utilitarian, low status items, antique Kilims are now prized as some of the most powerful and authentic weaving of the Middle East. Kilim rugs (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 the weaving quality of kilims 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 Kilim rugs are also appreciated nowadays for their color and high technical skill. Given their thinner, supple structure, Kilim rugs 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.

Kilim rugs are beautiful Middle Eastern masterpieces that denote pile-less textiles. Because these rugs do not feature that additional backing, they are often much thinner and easier to apply to walls as tapestries or on top of bare-bones flooring and other sections around the room. These rugs follow a specific flat-weaving technique that originated around Turkey, North Africa, Iran and Afghanistan. As these weaving techniques spread around the world, weavers from all over began to develop their own kilim rugs, incorporating their own traditional cultural elements through the use of this style of weaving.

kilims feature muted colors and thin textures to allow the picture itself to stand out as the most noticeable feature on the rug’s surface. Warm colors are often used as the primary hues throughout, though many kilims tend to balance the landscape by also applying cooler tones, which help create points of contrast that entice the viewer’s responsiveness. Classical Turkish motifs are also often used along the rug’s surface, with elements such as perennials, pomegranates and fronds featured heavily in both borders and centers. The flow of movement generally varies from rug to rug, though angular motions are used more often to establish a central degree of grounding. Decorating with kilims can be as simple as setting them alongside other muted elements to create a pleasant transition for the eyes.

Many kilims use sharply contrasting colors to stand out as centerpieces, but the muted tones are otherwise best applied as an accenting force, especially if there are brighter and more noticeable furnishings present in the room. Set kilims alongside furnishings or underneath functional pieces of furniture, such as tables and chairs, to allow the room’s dynamic to flow more elegantly, especially if there are neutral tones and lighter colors that can match the kilim’s degree of visibility.

Everything You Want to Know About Flat Woven Carpets and Rugs

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View our selection of antique flat woven Kilims and Kilim rugs:

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Showing 1–32 of 185 results