Kilim Rugs – Persian
The term ‘Kilim’ originates from the Persian gelīm (گلیم) which it means ‘to spread roughly’. Perhaps of Mongolian origin. The Turkish name is “Kilim” as well. Like pile carpets, Kilim rugs go back to ancient times.
The explorer Mark Aurel Stein found Kilims dating to at least the fourth or fifth century CE in Hotan, China:
- “As Kilims are much less durable than rugs that have a pile to protect the warp and weft, it is not surprising that few of great age remain. The weave is almost identical to that of modern Kilims and has about fourteen threads of warp and sixteen threads of weft to the inch. The pattern consists of narrow stripes of blue, green, brownish-yellow, and red, containing very small geometric designs. With this one exception, so peculiarly preserved, there are probably very few over a century old.”
They produce the Kilim rugs by tightly interweaving the warp and weft strands of the weave to produce a flat surface with no pile. The weaves are tapestry weaves, technically weft-faced plain weaves, that is, they pull the horizontal weft strands tightly downward so that they hide the vertical warp strands.