Everything You Need to Know About Kilim Rugs
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Choosing the perfect rug can be difficult. It is because, as rug experts, we can assure you that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to these home decors. If you have been scouring the Internet for information on some of the best rugs that you can use in your home, you might have encountered Kilim rugs in your search.
Kilim rugs are one of the most popular tapestries that people can buy online because they can be woven in small and large sizes and various styles, colors and designs. They can also be crafted in an array of motifs that will match any theme that you want for your home. If you are looking for the best rugs that you can use to accentuate the looks of your home’s interior design, you’ll surely find tons of reasons to adore Kilim rugs.
What are Kilim rugs?
Kilim rugs are pile-less rugs that are generally flat in characteristic. Because flat-weave rugs like Dhurrie and Kilim are technically easier to create than their knot-piled counterparts, Kilims are less costly and readily available. These days, there has been a misconception that all oriental rugs are Kilim rugs. This is because the design of oriental and Kilim rugs looks the same at first glance. While most oriental rugs originate from the same regions where Kilims are usually woven, these two have their differences and there is more to Kilim rugs than its description and meaning. The former is a broad classification of rugs that are produced from the Balkan and Asian regions, and the latter is just one of the many types of oriental rugs. Kilim rugs can be the perfect choice if you are looking for area rugs.
Kilims represent decades of craftsmanship and culture. Some kilims are used as decorations while some are used for religious purposes such as prayer mats. Kilims come in different motifs and each has its own meaning and purpose. While some of these modern motifs do not hold meaning and symbolize nothing other than being eye-catching, the most popular motifs that you will find are engraved from the beliefs and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Motifs can be a fascinating element of these rugs. Some of the most notable motifs are:
- Elibelinde – this motif represents fertility and motherhood. It is usually symbolized by a female figure with its hands on its hips. Elibelinde is probably the most common motif used in Turkish kilims and Pakistani rugs.
- Tree of Life – the Tree of Life is one of the most popular symbols that can be found in any craft. It symbolizes divinity and communication to God. This motif is usually found in Kilim rugs.
- Protection symbols – protection symbols are also used widely in Dhurrie and Kilim rugs. Because of the tribal origins of these rugs, one can often find these kinds of symbols even in modern Kilims. Protection symbols usually take the form of crosses, eyes, amulets and other various shapes. These symbols were highly regarded because people in the early times believed that it will bring them good luck and will drive away evil from their families.
There are also motifs that are unique for each region. While most of the modern Kilims’ design is heavily influenced by Southwestern aesthetics, there are designs that represent the regions where these rugs originated. You will find that there are unique characteristics from rugs made in Pakistan, India, Turkey, Balkan, and other Asian countries. As mentioned, Kilims represent the heritage and culture of the region where they are manufactures, and these are evident with the array of motifs and designs that you can find in these rugs.
Kilim rugs are a great starting point for budding rug collectors. The price and availability of Kilims are attributed with the types of fabric used in making Kilim rugs. The materials used to weave the handmade Kilim rugs include cotton, silk, wool and animal hair. Some are made with only one material, and some are also made with a combination of the said fabric types.
There are huge collections of available on the Internet, and many brick-and-mortar rugs shops also offer these kinds of rugs. However, due to the high demand, handmade Kilims of the highest quality are usually priced higher than other types of rugs. Collectors prize Kilims so much because they come in different colors and styles that will blend well with various design themes.
History of Kilim rugs
Kilims have been around for thousands of years now. While it is much harder to trace the origins of Kilim rugs, experts believe that Kilim rugs originated from Turkey and its earliest samples trace back to the 13th century. Initially, Kilims were made of animal skin and other organic materials. However, due to the discovery of weaving, the materials used in creating Kilim rugs shifted to the materials that are used in most present day handmade rugs such as animal hair, wool, cotton and other organic fibers.
Kilim rugs are used to adorn the furniture, floors, walls and doors of houses. Kilim rugs have been primarily woven and used by nomads throughout Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and a few other countries in the Middle East and Central Asia. Kilims are sought after because they are one of the most durable and high-quality rugs. Because of their versatility, the weaving industry continues to thrive thanks to interior decors such as Kilims.
Materials used to create Kilim rugs
Most Kilim rugs are made using traditional weaving techniques, materials and tools. Most of the native artisans who produce these kinds of rugs use basic tools such as the loft, beating comb, and the shuttle. Antique looms and those that have been used by natives during earlier times were usually made of wood and were very simple, but the more modern ones are now made of metal parts and complex designs for increased functionality. The main purpose of a loom is to hold the vertical strands or warps so that the weaver can weave the horizontal strands or wefts appropriately. The loom has evolved from being a simple tool used to weave the tapestry producing simple designs to a more sophisticated tool that allows artisans to make more sophisticated Kilim rugs.
Beating combs are called as such because of their resemblance to the combs that we use for our hair. However, the purpose of beating combs in weaving rugs is to compress the newly added strands of wefts and tighten the weave. Beating combs are mostly made of wood with some metal parts for added durability. The shuttle is a simple wooden tool that is used to weave the wefts through the warps. However, this equipment is not actually used by weaver as most of them, especially those that are more loyal to the traditional technique, prefer to do this specific part of the weaving process by hand.
How are Kilim rugs made?
Kilim rugs are made using weaving techniques that have been used for thousands of years. One of the most popular techniques used in weaving a Kilim is the flatweave. The flatweave is further divided into more specific techniques such as:
- Slit weave – the slit weave is the weaving technique that is commonly employed in creating Kilims. This is done by making the weft go around the last color of the warp. The slit weave is used to create smooth and reversible Kilims and is favored for weaving rugs with the geometric patterns.
- Plain weave – this weaving technique creates an even space between the warp and weft. Plain weave is the most basic technique when creating flat rugs.
- Brocading – brocading is a process of weaving that adds wefts for supplemental patterns and designs. This is done using the traditional weaving technique but the extra wefts that are added make a raised pattern that can be customized to any design.
- Soumak Weave – this is a weaving technique that uses mathematical patterns to create more complex designs. Since this technique employs the use of lots of time and incredible mastery in weaving, the soumak weave is usually done with smaller items compared to rugs.
Presently, Kilim and Dhurrie rugs can be produced using machines. However, if you are looking for durable Kilim rugs, you would want to skip on machine-made ones and opt for the more robust and dependable handmade Kilims to buy for the interior design of your home. Handmade rugs are still the best option for people looking to purchase interior décor that can last them for decades.
Differences between Kilim rugs and Traditional rugs
Rugs are a serious investment. It is not likely that you will buy a carpet or rug every year. That is why knowing the best options for your needs will not only save you in the long run but also lets you get the best value for your money. However, not all rugs that you see on the shelves are created equally. If you are eyeing Kilim rugs, you will want to know how they are different from traditional rugs. Knowing these differences will help you make a great buying decision.
There are actually major differences between Kilim and Traditional rugs. One is the mentioned weaving technique that is used in creating Kilim rugs. Kilims are woven using the flatweave method and this makes them have a generally flat and thinner characteristic than traditional rugs. However, due to the flat nature of Kilims, they are mostly lightweight compared to the piled and knotted rugs. On the other hand, traditional rugs are extra soft because they have a pile which creates a raised surface. This is achieved through compressing the supplementary wefts to the warps using knotting techniques. This, in turn, makes the traditional rugs heavier and thicker than Kilim and Dhurrie rugs. However, the thickness and weight of the rugs do not always equate to quality. Buying a hand-woven Kilim rug will ensure that you will have a long-lasting and attractive rug due to their durability and versatility.
Another difference between Kilims and traditional rugs is the variety of motifs and designs that you can get. With Kilim rugs, there is more freedom when it comes to the design that you can achieve. You can get more modern and bohemian designs from Kilims than traditional rugs.
Things to consider when buying a Kilim rug
There are a couple of things that you need to take note of when you are considering to buy Kilim rugs. The first thing that you need to remember is to always look for handmade rugs. Weaving rugs is an art form and handmade rugs are crafted with care and skill. This results in the rugs lasting for years because the materials used are of high-quality and natural. There are a couple of signs that will tell you whether a rug is hand or machine made. Flip the rug to the other side and if you can clearly see the design or the motif, then it should be handmade. The design is not clearly visible on the back of machine-made rugs.
You can also inspect the materials used in the rugs. Most handmade Kilims use just one kind of material such as wool or cotton. The warps and wefts should be of the same thickness. Remember these tips on how not to get scammed when buying your first rug. Bearing these things in mind, you are now ready to purchase your Kilim rug.
Where to buy Kilim Rugs?
Of course, the next questions should be where to buy Kilim rugs? These days, it is not that hard to find Kilim rugs. There are tons of online shops that sell Kilims, and Rugknots is one of the best place where you can find high-quality Kilim rugs hassle-free. We have been in the rug business for over 30 years and we have a huge collection of durable handmade Kilim rugs. If you are looking for Oriental rugs that are handmade from start to finish, check out our collection of hand-knotted rugs. We offer free shipping to any address within the continental United States and a 30-day free return policy.
RugKnots is a family owned rug company based in Hagerstown, Maryland. We specialize in selling handmade high quality rugs at affordable prices to everyday customers online and from our warehouse in Maryland.