The Versatile Beauty of Kilim-Rugs

kilim-rugsKilims-rugs, also spelt kelim or gelim, are flat-woven rugs or carpets. The word kilim originates from the Turkish language. Kilim rugs or carpet have different names in many languages. In the Ukraine it is called “Palas”, in Caucasia “Liat”, In Syria and Lebanon it is called “Chilim” and in Iran “Gelim” and the Kurds have their own name for it-berr. They are adaptable rugs that can be used on floors, saddle pads, sofa and cushion covers, or as wall hangings. Kilim rugs do not have any pile or knotted fluff. These rugs can be used for decoration or they can be used as rugs for prayers. Nowadays kilims-rugs are very popular floor-coverings in Western homes.

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Kilim-rugs have an unconventional charm that looks lovely on wood or tiled floors. Always use a good underlay with Kilim-rugs to safeguard your rug feels padded and comfortable. Underlays also help keep it from creasing up. There are various kilim-rugs. There are Turkish-Kilim-rugs, Afghan-Kilims-rugs, and Persian-kilims-rugs. They all have their own exclusive colours and décor to suit all tastes.

Kilim rugs are vastly praised for their depiction of folk art. Obviously, in the old days they were hand weaved by with natural colorant added to them. They are also renowned for their detailed geometrical forms. They are well-known for their rich dyes, and attractive folkloric themes. Symbolism in the patterns is used in each design.

Kilim-rugs are created by closely inter-weaving the warp and weft threads to create an even surface. This means they have no pile. Then, when the end of a dye border is got to, the weft yarn is coiled back from the borderline. Therefore, a perpendicular slit forms among the two diverse dye parts where they encounter. This is why most rugs can be categorized as “slit woven” fabrics. The slits create sharp-etched décor. This sharp etched decoration highlights the geometry of the plait.

Therefor the weft threads that convey the noticeable decor and colour are nearly always wool. The concealed warp threads can be both wool and cotton. Like with any classic handmade rug, cotton, wool, and silk are all common fibres weaving fibres.  

Maybe the greatest recognized and highly looked upon are the Turkish Kilim rugs. They are by tradition distinguished by the regions, communities or towns in which they are made. Many Turkish kilims-rugs are slit woven. Bigger vintage kilim-rugs were woven in two to three distinct segments on tiny nomadic flat ground looms in 3’ wide long strips. They were then cautiously stitched together matching the designs ends to make a broader rug. To this day, these portions are still being created in limited amounts by wandering ethnic groups for their private use. These rugs are known as cicims amongst the tribes.

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A Short History of Kilim-Rugs

Basically, the roots of kilim rugs is hidden so totally in the past of mankind that no one will never actually know the accurate tale of its origin. Unquestionably the greatest difficulty met when trying to discover hard physical proof as to when and where the earliest kilim rugs were created is the fact that all fabrics yield rapidly to the depredations of aging. Not forgetting the ravages of nature. Also, the more people investigate in time the further desperate the hunt grows into. The absence of solid data obviously offers conjecture. Some conjectures are driven by benign inquisitiveness and neutral hypothetical awareness. On the other hand, some conjectures are often motivated by less benevolent ethnic, ancestral, spiritual or jingoistic prejudice. But, it should the task of the human race not to verify or refute any definite theory but to point the quest for the origins of kilim-rugs in the direction of reason.

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Actually the first record of kilims originates from Catal Hoyuk Neolithic pottery around 7000 BCE. It is the one of the first settlements ever to have been found. The Catal Hoyuk settlement is situated south east of Konya in the centre of the Anatolian district. The archaeological site not only discovered carbonized cloth but also remains of kilims decorated on the walls of the dwellings. Most of them signify geometric and conventional methods that are comparable or equal to other historic and modern motifs.

Basically, it appears rational to presume that kilim rugs developed from purely down-to-earth, non-decorative, non-symbolic weaving when mankind began to express their selves through numerous methods of arts and crafts. Also, it seems probable that the initial weaves were just a technical development over animal skins. Animal skins which were possibly by this time adorned with colours or beads when weaving was discovered and so it is likely that some designs of colour were integrated into some of the early merchandises of the weaver’s loom. What is not known is when and where did the technical and creative features come together to result in what is known nowadays as kilim rugs.

Countless different kilims and felts belonging to the 4th and 5th centuries B.C. are amazing examples of the first weavings in the East. So it might be said that the East is the centre of kilim weaving. Though it would not be known how much the earliest old-style methods of kilim-rug weaving would have been established world-wide. Years ago, only the woollen yarns were used in kilim rugs weaving which made it more elastic and particularly smooth. Today, pile grades of single yarns put into kilim-rugs, are typically “3 to 5”. Kilim rugs woven with twin skein yarns are sturdier.

Years ago and even today, kilim-rug weaving has a significant part in tribal women’s life. It was the main part of their marriage settlement. Kilim rug weaving was also a source of revenue. Basically, kilims have significantly altered throughout centuries. This is because marriages between different tribes make different styles when they are mixed together. Also, by the end of 1900s, kilim weaving was hurt by adding undesired biochemical colorants introduced from Europe.

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The advantages of Kilim-Rugs

  • Durability – It takes years to make quality hand crafted Kilim rugs. The more work put into making these rugs means they are much more resilient. The extra craft-man-ship put in making a kilim-rug means more stitches and the tauter they are.
  • Superior Quality– Hand made Kilim rugs are created from premium supplies and natural colourants. These rugs are built to last long and the coluor will not fade away unlike other similar kind of rugs.
  • Creative Design – Kilim rugs, due to their painstaking craft-man-ship, they are virtually like paintings. In respects to the detail the creators of these rugs are very thorough in ensuring that they do not miss the minutest detail.

Disadvanges of Kilim-Rugs

  • Kilim rugs need to be cleaned on a regular basis or they will become very dirty and not very hygienic. They need to be vacuumed regularly. 
  • Never use power brush. Woollen Kilim rugs should be vacuumed at the back of the rug by beating bar or rotating brush. It should then be flipped over and vacuumed gently. Important to note, never vacuum the fringes. Prompt cleaning of marks and spills is vital. Always remember to dry the part directly after cleaning. Shampoo for rugs should be used at least once a month.
  • Never fold a rug. Folding will generate crinkles and wrinkles. Remember always roll rugs, if needed. Even after vacuuming, use a hand brush during rug cleaning for any minuscule dirt, animal furs, etc. that can still remain.

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Sources for this article:

http://en.wikipedia.org

http://www.yashar-bish.com