Request a catalogue | Call us on: 0345 460 3122

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

What makes a kilim a kilim?


Over the years we have been growing our Kilim range which includes everything from rugs to cushions and footstools and trunks. But what makes a Kilim a Kilim and not just a standard rugs. We have recently introduced a few Kilims which don’t have a traditional design which have so far proven to be really popular. But what makes a Kilim and Kilim?

Kilims are flat woven rugs made with a combination of wool and cotton or occasionally jute.  The origins of kilim rugs are unknown but there are different examples of these rugs across most of Asia and the Balkans with the earliest date back to the fourth or fifth century.  Being flat woven, kilims differ in appearance to the traditional pile that we are used to seeing in carpets and wool rugs.  For this reason they can feel quite thin, but due to the closeness of the weave and quality of materials, make for very durable floor coverings. The majority of the Kilims we have here at Myakka are 80% wool and 20% cotton which makes the slightly softer underfoot than jute versions. 

As well as rugs we have a variety of products that use the Kilim weave, for example footstools, cushions, stools and seat pads. The hardwearing weave makes the perfect fabric for items such as benches and footstools as it can withstand the daily wear and tear. Its ability to take colour and be woven into detailed patterns means that cushions and chair pads will look great. 

Many kilim rugs today are made in India, often within small cottage industries.  The wool usually comes from the Bikaneer region of India which borders Pakistan. It is carefully hand spun, washed and hand dyed with traditional natural dyes before being woven into the geometric patterns which are so inherent of kilims.  More traditionally, the different symbols had specific meanings and reflected long life, fertility and family; however modern versions focus less on symbolic meaning and are more aesthetic appeal.  Depending on the size of the kilim, the craftsmen work either alone on the loom or in pairs and the work is often fitted within farming commitments, which can often make the supply a little unpredictable!  Once completed, the rugs are transported by any means possible (foot, bike, cart, etc) to the main warehouse, where they are given a final QC check and packed for shipping to the UK. 

This spring we introduced three new Kilim ranges including Zanzibar, Marroc and Kashgar. All three of these designs are a little different to our normal designs as they use two colours to create quite geometric patterns. This creates a slightly more modern appearance that may be more associated with northern African designs from countries such as Morocco. 

Whichever design and colour you choose, all of the Myakka Kilims are sourced in a fair trade manner. 

No comments:

Post a Comment