Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fabrics of Fairy Tale: Kilim

My girl Blynken is all about the fashion. She got a book called the Fabrics of Fairy Tale for Christmas which she left on the coffee table the other night. 

I was curious, so I picked it up and flipped through a few pages. The first chapter was about rugs, specifically the kilim

Something about that word roused a dim memory, so I looked it up.  Turns out the kilim is a type of flat tapestry-woven rug that has been used for centuries.  

When I was a kid we lived for a while in Turkey. Part of our Turkish culture class was making -- you guessed it -- a  kilim. Whoa, nostalgia time! I know how to do this!

I have a  kilim at the bottom of the stairs and a large wool Turkish area carpet in front of the couch. I love those things. I just sent it out for repairs or I'd show mine to you.

The  kilim is used as a covering for everything: floors, walls, chairs, saddlebags, you name it. Some are purely functional, others are absolutely gorgeous works of art.

The process for making them is simple but fascinating. The Turkish pile carpet uses the "Turkish" or "double" knot. The Turkish knot involves wrapping a length of yarn around two of the vertical strands that make up the warp and up through the center and then a stabilization thread through the weft (woof). [Is this a carpet or a dog?]

Peasant women the world over can do this with blazing speed. They are all handmade with natural dyes.

All it takes is a little bit of wood for a frame, some wool yarn, and a huge amount of time.  These things are amazing.

1 comment:

RAnn said...

We lived in Turkey in the late 1960's and visited Mary's house. I also love my Turkish rug.


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