Introduction to Kilim Rug

what is a Kilim Flat weave

Flat Weave Rugs

The basis of a carpet are two sets of threads — the fixed warp threads which run from north to south, and the weft threads which are woven from east to west and separate each row of knots. The Turkish knot is knotted around two warp threads while the Persian knot is knotted around one warp thread and looped under the next in an TS’ pattern.
Each knot is tied by hand. Skillful artisans can tie about 15 knots a minute or about 8,000 a day. This means it would take the artisan more than two months to weave a carpet that is 10 feet by 6 feet and has a hundred knots per square inch. Typically, a rug of this size would be woven by several artisans working together from a chart which shows the number of knots to be tied in each colour.

WEFT-WRAPPING OR SOUMAK

In addition to knotted rugs, the Caucasus is known for producing Soumaks. These are pile-less carpets made with a flat weave technique of wrapped weft threads — a technique used throughout the Middle East. The geometric decorative elements used for the Caucasian soumaks are based the designs used for knotted carpets. A typical layout includes superimposed medallions in the form of notched stars. Typically made of wool, these Soumak carpets are strong and compact.
The majority of Oriental rugs, including those from Turkey and the Caucasus, use Turkish knots. Many Turkoman and Persian rugs use Persian knots, but Turkish knots also are common in those regions. The geographical dividing line seems to be the Caspian Sea. To the west of it, the Turkish knot is used almost exclusively. To the east, the Persian knot dominates. Lying on both sides of the dividing line, Persia uses.
How do the carpets get from Iran to the customer in the world?

The purchase of the pieces is of course an art in itself: generally, when a carpet is made, it is used by the family of the weaver or is kept for a few years so when in need of money, that would become a source of income. It is often seen that when a new carpet is made the weaver is then ready to sell his old carpet.They are sometimes bought in provincial bazaars, where they have to be spread out, side by side on the street, for want of space and light inside the bazaar.

Often we have to journey to remote villages and encampments, and buy from the often encrusted with mud, and in need of wash, restoration and repair. We have a team of people in Tehran, employed in washing, restoring, stretching, etc.which could take up to 3 months for each carpet.

Sometimes if a carpet has many bright colours, we would leave the rug in the sun to achieve more muted colours and since the dye stuff in a rug may vary, that is when you see an abrash which is a change of colour shade in the carpet which is quite natural in Nomadic and village carpets and can add to it’s beauty.

The work is not easy. Yet we feel it is our vocation to ensure that people should be able to own carpets that they will love, and which, with care, will beautify their homes for a long time to come.

Designs of Oriental Rugs

No matter how well woven and rich in colour, the Oriental rug probably would cease to fascinate without its seemingly infinite variety of designs. Regions develop and jealously guard their own patterns and designs, passing them down from generation to generation. By studying a design, it often is possible to date a carpet and determine where it was produced.
To a certain extent, carpet-weaving areas can be divided into those using floral designs and those using geometric shapes and patterns. Floral patterns dominate in Persia and India. Caucasian and Turkoman rugs almost always employ geometric designs; when the rare floral pattern is used in these rugs, the design tends to be stylized and rectilinear. In Turkey, both floral and geometric designs are used, although the latter are more common. Chinese vintage rugs are easily recognized by patterns that include dragons, monsters or fabulous birds.
Most creatures possess symbolic meaning, and, in China, the dragon represents imperial power and also has strong associations with Confucianism. In Persia, however, the dragon symbolizes evil; in India, death. Scenes of fighting animals on Oriental carpets typically represent the struggle between good and evil.

Plants, flowers, and even geometric motifs, also have special meanings. The cypress tree symbolizes mourning, as well as immortality through death. The palm and the coconut are metaphors of blessing and fulfilment. The peony symbolizes wealth, while the lotus foretells a great lineage. A universal symbol found in South America, Egypt, India and elsewhere is the geometric swastika that has been a popular border design. In China, the swastika symbolizes peace — a meaning apparently ignored in 20th-century Europe. A frequent Mohammedan symbol is the crescent which signifies faith. Another universal symbol, the endless knot, represents wisdom and immortality. Because the Prophet Mohammed spoke against the artistic representation of humans and animals, geometric patterns often dominate the designs of Islamic peoples. Although Persia embraced the Islamic Shiite religion in 7th. century, the area’s carpet-makers often continued to decorate their creations with lively animal and human figures in dream-like surroundings. On the other hand, it is quite rare to find any animal or human figures on early Turkish rugs.

Turkish prayer rugs are characterized by rich and minutely detailed decoration. Found on all prayer rugs is the arched mihrab, or prayer niche, which is pointed to Mecca when the rugs are used in prayer. As for the designs , certain themes reoccur throughout the history of carpet design, such as the Persian garden which were already famous in the time of Marco Polo: they have provided inspiration for carpet designer’s right down to modern times. Another example in the famous Isfahan can put in V&A which inspired William Morris with most of his designs.

Introduction to Oriental Rugs

During the past century, the Oriental rug has become valued throughout the world as a work of art. Because of its rich history, colour and design they can performs magic, transforming interiors into extraordinary spaces. The term, Oriental rug, traditionally has been used to describe hand-knotted rugs from the East. The process typically involves stretching warp threads on a loom and knotting the pile to these threads. To a large degree, the precision of the design depends on how tightly the rug has been knotted and how short the pile has been cut.
The rug’s density, or number of knots per square inch, can be a useful indicator of the fineness and durability of the rug — the more knots the better. A superb Oriental rug may have more than 500 to 1,000 knots per square inch. Historically, the great carpet-producing areas include Persia, Turkey, the Caucasus and Turkestan. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India and China also must be added to the list, under Arab influence, Spain, Morocco too, has produced hand-knotted rugs of distinction.

HISTORY

Although there are references to carpets by early Greek and Arab writers, just when the first Oriental rug was woven is unknown. In 1949, a Russian archaeological expedition to the Altai mountains in southern Siberia excavated a royal burial mound that contained a miraculously preserved frozen carpet, Known as the Pazyryk carpet, it was used as a saddle cover approximately to 2500 years ago, the rug dates from the 4th or 5th century B.C. and is the earliest-known surviving example of a hand-knotted carpet.
One theory is that the technique of knotting carpets was begun by the nomadic tribes of Central Asia. These tribes produced small rugs typically decorated with geometric motifs inspired by plant and animal forms. For the nomad, the rugs were both decorative and utilitarian, serving as floor covers, wall hangings, curtains and saddlebags.
Because the nomadic carpet-makers were forced to dismantle their looms and move on whenever their security was threatened by natural elements or human foes, their creations may contain irregularities in weave, selvages and design. The nomads are credited with spreading the art of carpet-making to new lands and peoples.
Some of the greatest carpet-making centers developed in Persia and Turkey. Describe the Spring Carpet of Chosroes. This rug was woven of wool, silk, gold and silver. It was studded with precious stones.

The period from the 16th century through the first half of the 18th century is known as Persia’s golden age of carpet-making. A number of carpets survive from this era and are recognized for their harmony of colours and originality of designs. There are reference to the Italian travellers Marco Polo described the area’s carpets, with their geometric designs and animal figures, as the most beautiful in the world in 1271. Turkish rugs appear frequently in the paintings of well known artists. In fact, German artist Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) painted the geometrically patterned rugs so often that they came to be known in the West as Holbein carpets. It was primarily through Italian merchants that the Oriental rug became recognized and valued in Europe. Venice early established itself as a major trading trader with the East. Venetians spread Oriental rugs along their narrow streets, hung the rugs from windows and used them to decorated their gondolas.
By the early 16th century, Oriental rug collections could be found in the great courts of Europe, including those of Catherine de Medici and Charles V. The Lord Chancellor of England, Cardinal Wolsey, is reported to have purchased 60 Turkish carpets from a Venetian dealer to furnish his palace at Hampton Court.
Western interest in Oriental rugs waned during the 17th and 18th centuries. But after the great exhibition of 1891 in Vienna, Europeans had renewed enthusiasm for the carpets. Americans soon followed suit. Western importers began asking the carpet-makers to modify dimensions, and sometimes colour and design, to satisfy the tastes of Europe and the Americas. In the 20th century, the appeal of the Oriental rug continues to grow.