Kilim Khorasan Sparta, circa 1930
6'10" x 4'3"
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Sizes are approximate. Photographs are not necessarily exact for color.
New Rugs Are Of The Highest Quality In Its Category And Are Handpicked Overseas By The Bashir Family
"Kilim" is a Turkish word used when referring to carpets that have been interwoven by hand using wool pile. As a result, Kilims appear less fluffy than hand-knotted carpets. Some experts claim that these types of carpets were originally made by southern Tunisians and that the craft has since spread to nomads located in Turkey, Irak, Iran, Pakistan, China, India or Morocco. Other experts believe that their birthplace is in the Near East and South-Eastern coast of Europe (Albania, Bulgaria, Bessarabia). Their major factories are found to be in Anatolia, Persia and Caucasia. Historical research reveals that Kilims have traditionally occupied different functions in time.
In certain cultures, they were given as a dowry gift to future brides and held the same important standing as household linen. In other contexts, they served as a bedding area for camels. Nowadays, we can find Kilims on a homes hard wood floor or even hanging on the walls of homes as pieces of art. Kilim carpets are fragile because their structure, as their weaving techniques, is very simple: horizontal thread weaves alternatively go above and under the vertical thread chains. After every new pick, the thread weave sequence is reversed. Since the thread weave is paused at every color change, one can spot little gaps between the colours. This is a common characteristic of Kilim carpets.
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.
"Antique" refers to carpets at least 100 years old, whereas rugs between 50 and 99 years of age are classified as "semi-antique".
Typically crafted with hand-spun wool and eco-friendly organic dyes, old carpets have a more luminous surface, creating an illusion of depth. Newer pieces are rarely able to capture the patina and character of an antique, which can add warmth to even the most pristine and minimalist spaces.
Oriental & Persian carpet designs began to change at the turn of the 20th century, as Western influence expanded across the Middle East. The authenticity of the unique designs produced by local cultures declined with the introduction of larger-scale production that aimed to accommodate foreign tastes. Preserving the traditional techniques involved in the craft also became more challenging following the effects of the Industrial Revolution.
- Antique rugs are made of natural fibers such as, wool, cotton and silk. New rugs are made from a variety of fibers including synthetic and natural fibers such as, mercerized cotton, faux silk often called "Art Silk", silk blends and artificial fibers such as, olefin.
- If the rug has signs of wear but still appears to be vibrant, this is an indication of a genuine antique carpet.
- For insurance purposes, you should always obtain a Certificate of Authenticity from the dealer, which should include the size, origin, age, style, materials, knot density, condition and estimated retail value.
- An authentic Oriental rug will not have a brand name associated with it and it will not be hand-tufted.