What is Kilim?
Kilim is a flat woven tapestry usually found as a woven carpet, or can be used to make fashion items such as bags, bets and shoes. Kilim can be used for purely decorative purposes or can be for more of a functional use such as furniture or prayer rugs.
The word 'Kilim' originates from the Persian 'gelim' meaning 'to spread roughly.' It was traditionally produced in former countries of the ottoman empire (Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkic countries of central Aisia.) In present day, modern Kilims are most commonly used as floor coverings, sofa throws, foot stools and fashion items in western households.
The aim of Kilim (often referred to as slit woven textiles) is to produce a flat surface with no pile which sets them apart from modern carpets. They are tapestry weaves which are technically referred to as weft-faced plain weaves and to achieve the desired 'flat pile' signature look, slit woven visible weft stands of wool are combined with hidden warp strands of wool or cotton.
The warp strands are only visible at the end of the pile, forming a fringe which is usually tied into bunches which ensures against loosening or unraveling of the weave. Turkish Kilims, as seen on this website, possess many motifs that have made their traditional style and quality increasingly collectible and popular in recent years.
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