Kilims is a term used to describe flat tapestry-woven carpets that come from the Balkans. The term “kilim” comes from the Persian “gelim” and it means “to spread roughly”. These carpets are purely decorative in most cases but they can also serve as prayer rugs. They feature all sorts of patterns and symbols, some geometric and some of mythological inspiration.
Kilims are produced by tightly interweaving the warp and weft strands of the weave and the result is a flat surface with no pile. The weft strands that create the design and color are usually wool. The hidden warp strands can be either wool or cotton, depending on the case. The strands are only visible at the ends and they emerge as the fringe which is usually tied in bunches.
There are several types of kilims. Persians are very popular and they can be categorized into several types as well. Some are woven with hemp, cotton and wool and others with pieces of cloth. They also have different functions as well. For example, Jol is an embroidered kilim used as a horse saddle. Others are sued for carrying goods, others are displayed on the walls and some are designed for praying. There are also kilims that come from the Balkans and Eastern Europe and then there are the Anatolian or Turkish kilims which are probably the most popular.