One of the products that inspired me to start my business was Kilim Pillows. Kilim pillows are made out of Turkish Kilim Rug cut offs. I found them to be so interesting and transformative for any space. I remember going to vintage stores during my days off on a search for Kilim Pillows, and thinking how difficult it was to find them in retail stores. I knew from that moment that I wanted to find a way to source them from Turkey. After all, I think Kilim pillows are beyond just pillows, they are intricate pieces made by hand that carry immense cultural value, artistry, and heritage. Looking at the Kilim pillows I have in my living room makes me think of the artisans that made them, their communities, their journey to source materials, who might have taught them the techniques and the extraordinary creativity, tradition and inspiration that goes into making each piece. I find it amazing and humbling to be able to have some of these beautiful pieces in my home and now through sourcing them for my shop I am able to contribute to families of artisans so they continue to make a living from the making of this craft.
In this week’s blog, I will be writing all about Kilim! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
What is Kilim?
Kilim is a name that denotes “a flat-woven carpet or rug made in Turkey, Kurdistan, and neighboring areas”. Kilims are also made in North Africa, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia and China.
How is it made?
Kilim rugs are made on a vertical loom. Artisans begin the process by preparing the warp. The warp is the backbone or base made out of longitudinal strands where artisans later will intertwine wool thread line by line starting from the bottom of the loom and working their way up, knotting the thread at the bottom of the carpet to create the different motifs. Finer knots will create more intricate and high quality designs. The more intricate the design is, the longer it takes to finish the rug.
Wool is the main material used in the construction of Kilim rugs. Cotton is commonly used for warps (base of rugs) because it is resistant to support and hold the wool yarn weavings. Other animal hair such as goat, camel or horse hair are often used to make certain types of Kilims that require added strength.
Once the weaving process is done, the rugs are washed by hand and left to dry under the sun. Artisans spend a lot of time coming up with different colors and patterns so each piece is unique. They are truly artists driven by their passion for their craft and heritage.
Motifs designed on Kilim rugs often have a meaning behind them. They are or were used in the past to convey ideas, some of these symbols became part of myths and esoteric symbolism.
Because of the handmade nature of these rugs no two carpets will be alike. Our collection of Kilim Throw Pillows are made from Vintage Kilim rug's cut offs, we get a lot of questions about why these pillows don’t come in larger quantities, and why there is only one available of each. That is the reason why. The designs vary for each square cut. These pieces are hard to replicate and even if artisans try to make several pieces of rugs, there will still be variations in shapes and patterns due to the handmade nature of this craft. We believe that that is what makes these pieces so unique and special. The small variations and imperfections are part of the craftsmanship, and the different factors that can affect the patterns are part of the beauty of handmade goods.
Now that you have learned more about this beautiful craft you might want to see them live! You can pick the perfect Kilim pillow for your home HERE.
I hope you enjoyed these facts about Kilim. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!
Have a beautiful week!
The Team at Apartment No.3