A kilim (Azerbaijani:
6.1 Persian (Iranian) 6.2 Balkans and Eastern Europe 6.3 Anatolian (Turkish)
7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links
The term 'kilim' originates from the Persian gelīm (گلیم) where
it means 'to spread roughly', perhaps of Mongolian origin.
Like pile carpets, kilim have been produced since ancient times. The
Mark Aurel Stein
"As kilims are much less durable than rugs that have a pile to protect the warp and weft, it is not surprising that few of great age remain.... The weave is almost identical with that of modern kilims, and has about fourteen threads of warp and sixteen threads of weft to the inch. The pattern consists of narrow stripes of blue, green, brownish yellow, and red, containing very small geometric designs. With this one exception, so peculiarly preserved, there are probably very few over a century old."
Kilims are produced by tightly interweaving the warp and weft strands
of the weave to produce a flat surface with no pile.
Turkish kilim, folded to show slits between different coloured areas
When the end of a color boundary is reached, the weft yarn is wound
back from the boundary point. Thus, if the boundary of a field is a
straight vertical line, a vertical slit forms between the two
different color areas where they meet. For this reason, most kilims
can be classed as "slit woven" textiles. The slits are beloved by
collectors, as they produce very sharp-etched designs, emphasizing the
geometry of the weave.
Detail of a Turkish kilim, illustrating usage of several kilim motifs
Many motifs are used in Turkish kilims, each with many variations. A
few examples are illustrated here, with meanings as described by
Güran Erbek in Kilim. A widely used motif is the elibelinde, a
stylized female figure, motherhood and fertility. Other motifs
express the tribal weavers' desires for protection of their families'
flocks from wolves with the wolf's mouth or the wolf's foot motif
(Turkish: Kurt Aǧzi, Kurt İzi), or for safety from the sting of the
scorpion (Turkish: Akrep). Several motifs hope for the safety of the
weaver's family from the evil eye (Turkish: Nazarlık, also used as a
motif), which could be divided into four with a cross symbol (Turkish:
Haç), or averted with the symbol of a hook (Turkish: Çengel), a
human eye (Turkish: Göz), or an amulet (Turkish: Muska; often, a
triangular package containing a sacred verse). Such an amulet woven
into a rug is not a picture of the thing itself: it actually is an
amulet, believed to confer protection by its presence.
Other motifs symbolised fertility, as with the trousseau chest motif
(Turkish: Sandıklı), or the explicit fertility (Turkish: Bereket)
motif. The motif for running water (Turkish: Su Yolu) similarly
depicts the resource literally. The desire to tie a family or lovers
together could be depicted with a fetter motif (Turkish: Bukaǧı).
Several other motifs represented the desire for good luck and
happiness, as for instance the bird (Turkish: Kuş) and the star or
Solomon's seal (Turkish: Yıldız). The oriental symbol of
Hands-on-hips female figure (Elibelinde), for motherhood and fertility
Eye (Göz), to ward off the evil eye
Wolf's Mouth (Kurt Aǧzi), to protect the flocks against wolves
Rugs and commerce Because kilims are often cheaper than pile rugs, beginning carpet collectors often start with them. Despite what many perceive as their secondary (or inferior) status to pile carpets, kilims have become increasingly collectible in themselves in recent years, with quality pieces now commanding high prices. What some sensed as inferiority was actually a different nature of rugs woven for indigenous use as opposed to rugs woven on a strictly commercial basis. Because kilims were not a major export commodity, there were no foreign market pressures changing the designs, as happened with pile carpets. Once collectors began to value authentic village weaving, kilims became popular. Three factors then combined to reduce the quality of the West's newly discovered kilims. The first was a development in industrial chemistry. An important element in the attractiveness of traditional rugs is abrash, the dappled appearance resulting from variation in shade of each colour caused by hand-dyeing of the yarn. The synthetic (aniline-derived) dyes introduced late in the Victorian era abolished abrash, giving brilliant colours which however often faded with time. A second factor was the loss of the nomadic way of life across Central Asia. Once people had settled, the tribal character of their weavings faded. A third factor was a direct consequence of the kilim's new-found marketability. As rugs began to be made for export and money rather than personal use, the local style and social significance of each type of carpet was lost. Patterns and colours were chosen to suit the market, rather than woven according to tradition and to suit the needs of the weaver's family and the weaver's own hopes and fears.[a] Types
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Ordinary kilims: this type of kilim is woven with hemp, cotton and also wool threads. Gunny kilim: this special type is woven with varicolored pieces of cloth. Suzāni kilim: this type is embroidered with raised figures after the ordinary kilim is woven. Needlework kilim: this type of kilim is hung on the wall and is woven with cotton threads. Jol (جل): this is a kind of kilim the surface of which is embroidered. With their decorative designs, they are used as horse saddles. Palās or Palaz (پلاس): this is a kind of kilim in which each color is used for weaving several rajs, it does not have a pile. Palas is also the name used for the coarse woollen robes dervish wear. Jājim (جاجیم) or chador-shab (چادرشب): this is a kind of striped carpet woven with colored threads and thinner than palas. Zilu (زیلو): this is a kind of kilim woven with cotton threads and simple designs quite in harmony with rural life. It has a cotton warp and weft. Rakht-e-khāb pich (رختخوابپیچ, "bed-packing"): this type of kilim is used by migrating tribes. Charkhi-bāf kilim (چرخیباف): this is a kind of sturdy and thick kilim only one side of which can be used. Khorjin (saddle-bags) and Juwals: these kilims are used for carrying goods. Gilimcheh (گلیمچه, "small kilim"): these are woven like kilims but tiny and decorative. Masnads: these are sturdy and fine-woven decorative kilimeches. Navār-chādor (نوارچادر, "tent-band"): this type of kilim is decorative. Sajādeh (سجاده, prayer kilims): these are woven with altar designs and are used for praying. Ghigh: this kilim is used for the walls of tents; both of its side are the same and can be used alike. Rah Rah (گلیم راهراه): These kilims (or, more precisely, soumak rugs) are woven mostly in the Sirjan region and are also called khatti design kilims. Ardebil and Moghan are woven in the same design but in lower qualities. Kamoo Sofreh (سفره کامو): These Sofrehs are woven mostly in Kamoo and are also called Natural design Sofrehs.
Balkans and Eastern Europe
Chiprovski Kilim, of Bulgaria Pirot Kilim, of Serbia
Anatolian (Turkish) Perhaps the best known and most highly regarded, these kilims (or kelims) are traditionally distinguished by the areas, villages or cities in which they are produced, such as Konya, Malatya, Karapinar and Hotamis. Most Anatolian kilims are slit woven. Larger antique kilims were woven in two to three separate sections on small nomadic horizontal floor looms in three feet wide long strips, then carefully sewn together matching the patterns edges to create an ultimately wider rug. These pieces are still being produced in very limited quantities by nomadic tribes for their personal use and are commonly known as cicims.
Cicim or Jijim or Jajim: kilims woven in narrow strips that are sewn together.
^ Jon Thompson writes "In terms of carpet weaving we are observers of the very end of an ancient art form."
^ Digard, Jean-Pierre; Bier, Carol (1996). Carpets v. Flat-woven
carpets: Techniques and structures (Online ed.). Encyclopedia
^ "Kilim". American Heritage Dictionary.
^ Hawley, Walter A. Oriental Rugs Antique & Modern. (1913).
Reprint (1970): Dover Publications, New York, N.Y., p. 278.
^ "Carpets v. Flat-woven carpets: Techniques and structures",
Encyclopædia Iranica 
^ a b Davies, 2000[page needed]
^ a b c Erbek, Güran (1998).
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kilims.
Mackie, Louise; Thompson, Jon (1980). Turkmen: Tribal Carpets and Traditions. The Textile Museum, George Washington University. Landreau, Anthony N.; Pickering, W. R. (1969). From the Bosporus to Samarkand Flat-Woven Rugs. The Textile Museum, George Washington University.
Allane, Lee (1988). Oriental Rugs: A Buyer's Guide. Thames &
Hudson. ISBN 0-500-27517-3.
Davies, Peter (2000) . Antique kilims of Anatolia. W.W. Norton
& Co. ISBN 978-0-393-73047-0. [The first edition of
this book was published by Rizzoli International in 1993 as "The
Tribal Eye: Antique kilims of Anatolia", ISBN 978-0-8478-1705-4]
Petsopoulos, Yanni (1979). Kilims: Flat Woven
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Rugs and carpets
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Ghiordes and Senneh knots Knot density Pile Rubia Rug hooking Rug making Tack strip Underlay Warp and woof
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Early Anatolian Animal carpets
Elibelinde Evil eye Tree of life
Magic carpet Oriental carpets in Renaissance painting Pictorial carpet Prayer rug Red carpet Transylvanian rugs War rugs
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Ardabil Carpet Armenian Orphan Rug Badding Rug Bahar-e Kasra Coronation Carpet