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A Brief History of Turkish Kilim Rugs
Turkish Kilims, also referred to as Anatolian Kilims, were produced throughout Turkey and are among the world's most coveted household items. Famous for their rich colors, warm tones, and beautiful ethnic motifs, these flat-woven rugs embody a splendid mix of cultures: the Greeks, Armenians, Kurds, Assyrian and Turkic peoples have all contributed to Turkish Kilims history.
Today, Turkey leads the world in a return to traditional kilim rug production. Turkish Kilims are traditionally distinguished by the areas, villages or cities in which they are produced, such as Konya, Malatya, Karapinar and Hotamis. Most Anatolian kilims are slit woven. Larger antique kilims were woven in two to three separate sections on small nomadic horizontal floor looms in three feet wide long strips, then carefully sewn together matching the patterns edges to create an ultimately wider rug. These pieces are still being produced in very limited quantities by nomadic tribes for their personal use and are commonly known as Cicim, Jijim or Jajim.
Turkish kilims come in a range of styles, designs, and colors used. One aspect of Turkish life that influenced the production of these kilims was the size of their homes. Turkish kilims have smaller dimensions because the interiors of their houses were small and so the looms were narrow. Kilims were often woven in two halves, or narrow border strips were added to increase the width of the kilim. Many kilims are influenced by animal forms, such as the use of scorpion tails in hooked lozenges that would run down the center. The use of white denotes a special-purpose rug used for weddings and other celebrations. Certain Turkish kilims are knows as contemporary kilims in employing a design variant of a 'parmakli', or a finger, design which is traditional to Turkey. Pieces from central eastern Turkey will employ bold colors typical of this area. For more information on Turkish rugs, we invite you to visit our "Turkish Rugs & Carpets" page to learn about their rich heritage in Turkey.
Sources and inspiration: Bérinstain, Valérie, et al. L'art du tapis dans le monde (The art of carpets in the world). Paris: Mengès, 1996. Print.; Jerrehian Jr., Aram K.A. Oriental Rug Primer. Philadelphia: Running Press, 1980. Print.; Herbert, Janice Summers. Oriental Rugs, New York: Macmillan, 1982. Print.; Hackmack, Adolf. Chinese Carpets and Rugs, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1980. Print. ; De Moubray, Amicia, and David Black. Carpets for the home, London: Laurence King Publishing, 1999. Print.; Jacobsen, Charles. Oriental Rugs A Complete Guide, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1962. Print.; Bashir, S. (n.d.). Personal interview.; Web site sources and dates of consultation vary (to be confirmed). Without prejudice to official usage.