Kilim Rugs

Flat-weave rugs display bold abstract designs that are both invigorating and modern.

  • Styles
  • Origin
  • Material
  • Pattern
  • Colour
  • Afghan Rugs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is A Kilim Rug?

    The first kilim rugs were made in Central Asia around the 10th century AD. Originally intended as floor coverings, kilims are also used as wall hangings.

    A kilim is a flat tapestry-woven carpet or rug that is typically made in nations that were once part of the Persian Empire, such as Iran, the Balkans and Turkic nations.

    Kilim rugs are a type of lint-free carpet that can be hung on walls or set on floors. They are typically patterned and multicoloured, and they are handwoven from hair or wool. They are mostly employed for decorative purposes due to their rich elegance of patterns, exotic colour harmony and strong geometric expression.

    One of the earliest weaving methods used by humans, this method uses vertical or horizontal floor looms to weave wool or bristle yarn. Its absence of lint and knots sets it apart from piled rugs, and its use of two yarn systems and lack of fluffy patterns set it apart from other plain weave mats.

    It has Anatolian roots and varies in style by area. It is well known that the nomadic Turks of Central Asia created the "kilim" as a means of defence against the moisture in the ground beneath their tents. The most well-known kilim rug-producing areas in Turkey are Konya, Kayseri, Sivas and Aksaray,  a village in Sivas, a well-known region of Turkey for rugs.

    Kilims can be used as prayer rugs or purely for decoration.

    Original Name: سجاد الكليم

    Alternative Name(s): Azerbaijani: Kilim کیلیم; Turkish: Kilim; Turkmen: Kilim; Persian: گلیم Gilīm.

  • The History Of Kilim Rugs

    A Kilim rug is frequently used for purposes other than interior decoration. It is a typical dowry gift for brides and also works as a prayer rug for spiritual purposes. Kilims, however, are works of art that stand in for cultural legacy, tradition and personality in addition to being useful in a practical sense. Kilims are complex works of art that have a lot of symbolism woven into their patterns. Its hand woven technique is said to be a tradition that came with the Turkmen Tribes.

    The amazing combination of geometric forms and conventional motifs on a vintage Afghan flat weave Kilim rug indicate its country of origin. The excellent balance of warm and cold tones produced by the union of the colours red and blue adds visual richness.

    The Mongols brought kilims to Europe in the 13th century. The Turks also introduced kilims to the West at this time.

    Kilims are a romantic mirror of history and might be regarded as cultural treasures. It is a long-standing tradition that dates back far into the past.

  • How Are Kilim Rugs Made?

    Kilims are rugs made using the flatweave technique. Instead of knotting the threads together like a carpet or pile rug, flatweave is made by entwining different coloured wefts (the transverse threads on a loom that are passed over and under the warp) and warps (the longitudinal threads on a loom over and under which other threads, the weft, are passed). The slit weaving method, a sub-weave of the flatweave method, is typically used to weave kilims. There are a few different styles of flat-weaving that give kilims their stunning and distinctive designs. Below is an explanation of all of these unusual approaches.

    With this technique, the weft and warp are equally visible on the completed product since they are evenly and similarly spaced. Wefts are tightly packed together and the warps are more dispersed in a type of plain weave known as weft-faced that makes them less noticeable.

    One colour block at a time is hand knotted using discontinuous knotting. In this weave, the weft typically turns back on itself. A tufty soft mat is created by tulu weaving. This is made with a loose yarn weave that is woven into a plain weave kilim using the Turkish knot, which is a method of wrapping two warps and bringing them tightly together.

    In the buttonhole rug technique, the warps are covered by inserting wefts of various colours between the warps from one bottom and one above, then returning from the borders of the patterns.

    A vertical buttonhole appears between the two patterns if there is a vertical line between them and the scarf of the nearby motif in a different colour returns multiple rows from the same spot on its border.

    Because the warp pairs standing next to each other are encircled by two different wefts and retracted at the border of the two patterns, vertical lines are minimised as much as possible in weft-faced weaving. The growth of tiny buttonholes no larger than 10 mm (0.4 in) in phases prevents tears from emerging in these vertical pattern borders.

    The diagonal slit technique avoids buttonholes by weaving patterns that largely consist of transverse and diagonal lines rather than vertical ones. Buttons can be inserted in a few places if it's absolutely essential.

    Normally, the wefts in curved scarf rugs are passed between the vertical warps in a transverse straight line. However, in this method, the wefts are pressed with a kirkit (a comb-like tool made of iron or wood used to tighten the weft thread in hand-loom weaving), strongly in some places and lightly in others, in accordance with the pattern. The wefts are subsequently passed between the warps with the proper curve for the pattern.

    The scarves may have curved and round lines because they are loose in some places and strained in others. A flower, a bent branch, or a leaf may only be woven realistically in the presence of an extremely precise weaving pattern.

    A small group of wefts is placed on top of previously laid and kirkit-compressed ordinary wefts to add additional weft clamping between them. The original wefts are then carefully layered on top of it in several rows.

    When buttonholes are removed using a double clamp, coloured scarves that leave and then return to their own design area are intertwined with the other coloured scarf they meet on the way out. In other words, a weft going through the pattern in one row double clamps with the top weft in a round trip after being clamped with the weft on the other side. This provides a firm touch and a weave free of any buttonholes.

    Pattern parts are divided from one another on the front by hard lines. On the reverse, both design regions appear to have been joined with neighbouring strands of a different colour of thread. In Anatolian rugs, this technique is rarely used to remove buttonholes.

    Removing buttonholes using wefts that return to the same warp is a technique where the same warp is shared by pattern threads from several pattern areas. The warp pairs that are divided at the vertical pattern borders are thus united. The wefts can be turned one at a time to destroy the buttonhole, or they can be returned two at a time.

    A frame thread of the same colour as the remaining warps and frame lines is wrapped around the gaps and buttonholes created between the wefts, giving the fabric's surface the appearance of needlepoint embroidery. Depending on the pattern, the wrapping can be done vertically, diagonally, upwardly or downwards.

    Many individuals believe that a needle is used to address these. However, a pattern yarn of a different colour is wrapped around a pair of warps in between each weft row's return.

    This yarn is left there until the second row is finished, at which point it is repeated all the way through the pattern by being wrapped around two warps. This method is used to weave rugs in practically all of Turkey.

    Weft-contour curve is when wide spaces are left between the patterns, which are filled by weaving parallel to the edge of the pattern through the warps with a contour thread of a different colour. Thus, wefts that are typically introduced transversely are filled in between diagonally curved stripes.

  • The Characteristics Of Kilim Rugs

    Kilims, also known as flatweaves, have nearly identical top and bottom appearances. They, therefore, have a significant benefit over other kinds of carpet in that they may be utilised on both sides. Additionally, they have really unique patterns and motifs. The linear and geometric designs are made possible by the weaving method using warp and weft.

    Kilim Rugs Are Made From The Finest Raw Materials

    The main, and frequently the only, material needed to create a kilim rug is wool. Wool is often the main weft fabric used with cotton warps, making up the vast bulk of kilims. Wool is frequently used for both the warps and wefts of kilims.

    Wool is quite popular because of its natural characteristics. It is flexible, strong, handles spinning and weaving well, rapidly accepts colours, and, most importantly, is available in large quantities in kilim-making locations. There are some sheep breeds, such as the merino, whose fleece is particularly prized for its unique shine and length of fibre, but in reality, the domestic fat-tailed sheep, produced in accordance with its ideal climatic and feeding requirements, gives a great deal of benefits on the fleece used in kilims.

    Standard Colours

    The most widely used hues for Kilim rugs are red, blue and green. Natural dyes are frequently used while making kilim rugs, which can give them a more subdued appearance than some other rug styles.

    Patterns, Styles & Common Designs

    Kilim Rugs are works of art. Kilims distinguish out from other rug varieties due to their distinctive bold patterns and vibrant arrays of colour, with motifs that include geometric forms, animals, plants and representations of natural phenomena or feelings. These magnificent pieces of artwork may also use a variety of symbols and unusual colour combinations. However, the actual reason Kilims are so unique is that underlying all the eye-catching decoration, there is a deeper message.

    Kilim rugs are true masterpieces as each rug tells a different story. Traditionally, antique Kilim rugs are made by tribal women. The symbols woven within the rugs usually represent well wishes such as good health, fortune, protection from danger, good family relations or fertility. The "ebelinde" motif, for example, is a stylized figure of a woman which represents motherhood and fertility. A fetter motif or a "bukagi" is used if there is a desire to tie families together or to seal a bond between lovers. A wolf's mouth and wolf's foot motif (Turkish: Kurt Aǧzi, Kurt İzi) expresses the desire for protection from harm. Hope for safety from the "evil eye" is symbolized by a hook (Turkish: Çengel), a cross symbol (Turkish: Haç) or the eye (Turkish: Göz). For good luck and lasting happiness, a bird motif (Turkish: Kuş) and the star of Solomon's seal (Turkish: Yıldız) are used. Other Kilim rugs also possess amulets or a triangular symbol, known as the "Muska", which contains a verse to speak of protection. In some cases, the oriental "yin yang" sign is also used to depict love.

    Additionally, kilim rugs serve as a metaphor for artistic originality and self-expression. Through the patterns on the carpets, the creator can convey a narrative or arouse feelings. Every piece is guaranteed to be unique because the design is unrestricted and doesn't adhere to any set rules.

    Weaving Technique

    The warp and weft strands of the weave are closely woven together to create a flat, pile-free surface for kilims. Technically known as weft-faced plain weaves, kilim weaves are tapestry weaves in which the horizontal weft strands are drawn tightly downward to conceal the vertical warp strands.

    The weft yarn is coiled back from the colour boundary point when it reaches its end. As a result, if the field's boundary is a straight vertical line, a vertical slit forms where the two different colour sections meet. Due to this, the majority of kilims fall under the category of "slit woven" textiles. Collectors appreciate the slits because they produce extremely finely etched designs that highlight the weave's geometry. The design image is more hazy when using weaving techniques like interlocking to prevent slit formation.

    The hidden warp strands can either be wool or cotton, whereas the weft strands, which carry the visible design and colour, are usually made of wool. Only the fringe, which is formed by the warp strands, is visible. For the purpose of preventing the weave from becoming loose or unravelling, this fringe is typically tied in bunches.

  • Traditional Kilim Rugs vs Contemporary Kilim Rugs

    The Middle East gave birth to the textile art known as kilims. They have been used for many ages to decorate homes, and they are still in high demand today. Wool or cotton strands are woven into a flat piece of fabric to create kilim rugs. The final product can differ significantly depending on the weaving technique. Traditional and contemporary kilim rugs are the two primary categories. Local weavers create traditional kilim rugs by hand using wool, silk and cotton as well as natural colours. Modern kilim carpets might use different colours than their traditional counterparts and can be handmade or machine-made from synthetic fibres.

  • Types Of Kilim Rugs

    Kilim carpets come in a wide variety of styles, each with a distinctive design. These are a few of the most well-liked Kilim rug patterns:

    Botteh Kilim Rug:

    This particular style of Kilim rug has a number of tiny, repetitive geometric patterns that look like pinecones or teardrops.

    Gül Kilim Rug:

    A succession of sizable, repetitive flowers or other motifs can be seen on these Kilim rugs.

    Ikat Kilim Rug:

    The warp and weft threads used to weave these Kilim rugs were tie-dyed to create the pattern.

  • What Makes Kilim Rugs So Special?

    Kilims are distinctive for a variety of reasons. Kilim carpets have other advantages besides their distinctive visual appeal that make them sensible investments for your house.

    Kilims are versatile. A Kilim rug can be used for more than just flooring decoration. It can be used as upholstery for a stunning accent chair or hung on the wall as a work of art. No matter how you decide to arrange your Kilim, it will instantly liven up the space.

    The design possibilities that a Kilim rug offers are endless. With so many different colours and designs available, incorporating them into interiors is simple. Regardless of the dominant design of your home, whether it be classic or tradition-inspired, it may be employed in a variety of room settings. This kind of rug is ideal for diverse themes because it brings the ideal balance of character and elegance. They complement minimalist spaces in modern designs by serving as highlight pieces, and they also blend well with the traditional style of a house.

    They can be employed as the centre of attention in a room or as coordinating interior decors that connect a design together. It works well to base furniture pieces, provide a splash of colour, bring in texture and pattern or energise a room.

    Kilims are timeless. Kilim rugs have a history of durability. Despite being conventional, they are always in fashion. A fine Kilim rug will be able to fit the décor even if the design of your house changes.

    Kilims are evolving. Kilims started to rank among the most popular rugs for interior design, and as a result, their designs started to change into more modern variations. Geometric patterns are toned down with softer hues. These contemporary kilims use the same traditional process and have the same flat weave texture, but their motifs are more abstract and have a more modern feel.

  • How Much Do Kilim Rugs Cost?

    The price of a handmade rug depends on a variety of different aspects. The time, labour and skill that go into creating Kilim rugs are primarily responsible for their lower price (when compared to other Persian rugs). They are of exceptional quality and exquisite craftsmanship, but because of how they are manufactured (flat-weaved, as previously said), they are not as labour and skill intensive as hand knotted carpets.

  • Why Choose London House Rugs?

    You've come to the right place if you're looking for a kilim rug! From floor runners to huge area rugs, London House Rugs offers a wide variety of kilim rugs. You are likely to discover a kilim rug for any room in your house, whether you're looking for one with a simple geometric pattern or one with many different colours.

    We've spent more than four decades honing our method and cultivating long-term, ethical connections with weavers all around Asia. 

    A London House Rug is subject to rigorous sourcing, manufacturing and finishing procedures to assure quality and beauty.

    We spend a lot of time looking for the most beautiful antique carpets and developing long-term ethical relationships with weaving cooperatives. 

    Our store has a massive assortment of new and antique rugs in various sizes.

    Please look at some of our recent projects to get a sense of the wide range of services we offer, including everything from a single hearth rug for your house to a hundred handcrafted Persian carpets for a hotel rollout.

    Because we have over 40 years of experience, we can assist you in selecting the ideal rug for your space.

    When a plain setting meets the stunning patterns and rich colour palettes of a kilim rug, it is never hard to transform it into a lively refuge.

    With so many options for hues and patterns, incorporating them into interior design is simple. No matter what style dominates your home - classic, traditional, eclectic, modern, bohemian, minimalist - it may be used in a variety of room settings. With kilim rugs, the pattern possibilities are essentially endless.