Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Hotamis Kilim (detail), central Anatolia, earl...Image via WikipediaThanks to Pottery Barn and other like-minded retailers, you've probably caught a glimpse of a Kilim before. The flatweave carpets were originally made by nomadic peoples of Anatolia for everyday use. (Only wealthy citizens afforded carpets with heavy, plush pile crafted by artisans.) Just pick it up, shake it out, fold it up and move house.

The geometric patterns and earth tones are wonderful and vary according to the weaver. I love them, except I hate to vacuum them.  My machine usually sucks the whole thing up and then I get fustrated and the fringe gets caught in the beater and the house smells like wool on fire....

So to avoid that scenario, I hang them on a wall (like a tapestry) or buy things made out of kilim instead.

A quick, affordable way to add some kilim to your decor is with throw pillows. I've seen plenty of those.  I also covet other items, like a kilim upholstered bench (Restoration Hardware?). Last winter I saw stockings (for Santa) at the Charlotte antiques show.

How about handbags? The other day I saw a woman with a clutch made out of an old looking piece.  I think she must have bought it abroad. I wouldn't mind a nice carry-on made out of kilim... I'm sure someone creative with fabric could come up with a dozen other things I'd like to buy on Etsy too!
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Natasha said...

We get kilim carpets in India too, but I never knew they originated in the Middle East. I always thought kilim was a corruption of the Hindi/ Urdu word - kalam (pen).

Jules said...

I had no idea where it came from but I have always like it :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Carolyn Abiad said...

@ Rayna - no connection to kalam as far as I know. Kalem in Turkish/Arabic also means pen.

@ Jules - other nomadic peoples make flatweave materials too. The Kilim happens to be from the Turkic nomads.

Carolyn V. said...

They're so pretty. I love the patterns.

LTM said...

yep, and the older they get the more valuable they are, right? There was an "oriental" rug shop in BR when I was growing up and I think the owners were first-gen American. My parents bought some rugs there. I have a small one~ :o)

Hart Johnson said...

It's beautiful! Makes me wish we had a couch without a floral pattern, but when you take hand-me-downs, it's hard to be choosy--still, I think it're really beautiful--nice alternative to a painting on the wall.

Unknown said...

I've never heard about them but I love the look. I wonder if I can pick any up in Mexico.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I've seen them around but I never knew their name. I think they are gorgeous. I love the colours and patterns.


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