Having a property in Turkey you will at some point consider its interior design and something you should think about is the use of the kilim. Turkish carpets are masterpieces of colour, design and workmanship but kilims are often seen as the poor man’s carpet by those not aware of their special charm. Kilims have a beauty and functionality of their own.
Originally woven not for a property in Turkey but by nomads throughout Anatolia and Thrace but also North Africa, The Balkans, Central Asia, Iran and Iraq. Flat woven they are often lumped together as an oriental rug but the Kilim should really be in a class of its own.
Flat weave rugs are woven on a loom, not knotted and do not have a tufted pile. They make hardwearing, colourful floor coverings but also consider them for wall hangings. Due to the style of weaving, a slit weave, geometric shapes are the favoured pattern but you will find the occasional floral patterns.
A Traditional Kilim
An Heirloom or Just a Floor Covering for your Property in Turkey?
Some patterns and material content are a family or trade secret. Often treasured bridal gifts and passed down through generations, a recognised status symbol and investment. You will normally find that the kilim is made from wool but there are different versions: -
- A wool kilim is normally made from the fleece of fat tailed sheep but merino wool is prized for the length of its fibre and the lovely lustre it gives to the finished kilim. Wool is durable, takes dye easily and readily available in the kilim weaving areas.
- A wool and cotton kilim is the most common found kilim. Using cotton for the warps and wool for the wefts adds a tensile strength to the kilim. Easy to use cotton helps keep the rug’s shape and the whiteness fades less over time. Cotton fibres are also used to highlight parts of the kilims design.
- Silk; the addition of silk obviously makes the kilim a luxury item and expensive. Rare to find them but the area of Kayseri, in the Anatolian region of Turkey still weaves them. These Kilims tend to be included in bridal dowries and are a much treasured item in families.
- Animal hair is also used in kilims, horse hair for the decorative tassels; goat and camel hair to add additional strength to wool kilims. Angora goat hair ‘mohair’ is used to make the luxurious filikli tuylu kilims. These longer thread kilims are mainly from a region near Konya, Karapinar and are special in that they are more like cultural pieces of art than just a rug, often used as wall hangings.
Filikli Tuylu Kilim
Hope you have enjoyed the short introduction to the Turkish Kilim and will feel more confident in purchasing one for you property in Turkey, they really do add that extra je ne sais quoi!