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Kelim Scene

Written by on 16th March 2011 in Design & History with Leave a comment

Kelim or Kilim rugs are flat weave rugs or prayer mats that originate in central Asia and date back thousands of years. I am currently shopping for a Kelim rug and I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned and, of course, some pretty pictures.

These historical textiles are immensely popular today and although many people associate them with Turkey they were/are made all throughout the middle east.

In Canada we are familiar with First Nations art and culture and the Kelim is a similar representation of the craft and culture of tribes throughout Central Asia.  Like the totem poles of  west coast First Nations contain animal representations to symbolize life events and tell tales, so too do the designs woven throughout the Kelim.  Some of the design motifs include popular topics such as love and marriage:

‘Rams Horn’ and ‘Hands on Hip’ symbolize men, women & fertility

My search for rugs in Victoria has been pretty fruitful.  I went to a large rug sale a few weeks ago at the westin hotel, I’ve browsed Used Victoria, estate sales and my favourite…eBay.  So far I haven’t bought one, but looking is so fun I might hold out a bit longer. A few standouts for my kitchen include:

You can see how beautifully they blend with both contemporary and traditional furniture and architecture in this room by Peter Dunham…swoon.

Pillow covers are a popular way to salvage old Kelims that are damaged and the variety of pillows in the marketplace is astounding. A couple here to show the versatility and variety that make them appropriate for almost any decor style:

Finally, a confession: ….before I started to really appreciate these textiles and their history I would have said that this pillow was….gasp…. Santa Fe.  :)

Now I know better!

 

 

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