Maybe you are wondering why the kilim is in a post about ethnic fabrics. Although it may seem, and usually you see it on the ground, the kilim is not a carpet, but a plain fabric.


Carpets were of no use to nomads who were travelling through the desert in ancient times. They needed something flat, without knots, that avoid the sand entered. Kilims were the solution, a fabric that can be folded, easily transported and could be used to cover the ground or to form walls and divisions in the tents. Kilims were also used as bed linen or to make a crib, to package belongings, or to shelter the animals when the tribes camped in the mountains.


Kilims were used from the Balkans to North Africa (including Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Pakistan, Central Asia, China…). The oldest one is dated in the 5th century B.C. and appeared in 1949 in the Valley of Pazirik, from where nomadic Turks departed. However, traces of kilim dated around 7.000 years B.C. have been discovered in the central region of Anatolia.


Kilims played a key role in the survival of nomadic tribes. Women carried out the weaving them. Every bride should master the weaving technique because the kilims were part of her dowry and also constituted a source of income for the family. The marriages between tribes made possible the mix of styles resulting in their current variety.

Via: Amber Interiors

Kilim means “tissue that not mix colors” because they are woven with the slitweave technique. Every color is a block and the slit is the gap left between two strips of color. Older designs have a symbolism: messages, wishes, good news… They were woven spontaneously, without pattern, so all them were unique. Materials used vary by region: wool, cotton or goat hair are the more usual. Typical colors have always been garnet and blue.

Via: Serendipity Fabrics

Today the kilim passionate, and not just for their utilitarian benefits, but because of its great beauty and aesthetics. The success of this ethnic fabric in interior design continues. You see it decorating walls and as tapestry in armchairs, ottomans, stools, cushions, trunks… And, of course, on the floor. A beautiful reminder of its history, its tradition and the hospitality of the people who created them.


Via: Dabito, Instagram

Ethnic fabrics fever!

With this one, there are now four posts in our blog about ethnic fabrics: batik, shibori, ikat and kilim. And we are preparing more. All these fabrics are a subject of passion because within their threads is written our History. The designs, full of spiritual or magical meanings, have something of the life of the people that have woven them for thousands of years, generation after generation.