Tagged: kilim



My amazing eagle eyes on the ground in Krakow has found me yet another kilim from the early part of the 20th century, this one a Huculski kilim from the Ukraine.

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nkilim_01Details from a new kilim. I’m finishing the ends with a Philippine edge and then sliding the warp ends back into the rug, makes such a stable and satisfying edge.


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Amazingly, my eagle eyes on the ground in Krakow found a kilim last week that is a close relative to the kilim I found last time I was there, the same sunflower pattern but this one in blues. Still researching to find the studio/era they were made in.

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In place of going to Poland, I’ve been digging around looking for images that might allow me to date the two kilims I brought home with me from Krakow last time I was there. Amazing to see these Polish kilims being woven on upright looms.


Kilims part II

This is the kilim that my eagle-eyed host spotted at the flea market and the more I look at it the more strange the rendering of each sunflower and leaf becomes, and then there is that single black V shape hanging out in the bottom left hand corner. It came with loops to hang it on the wall, which is where kilims would be traditionally displayed, being of too much value to become worn lying on the floor. There is one spot that has suffered some serious wear and a somewhat colour blind repair has been done on this area


Kilims part I

I was very lucky to be given one absolutely incredible kilim by my wonderful hosts in Krakow and was almost as lucky to find another one at the flea market there for only 70 zloty. The older of the two (pictured above) my expert host reckons was made in the Krakow Workshops (1913-1926), during the interwar period where kilims were hugely popular. I am still tracking down a copy of the book

Finished kilim

I cut my kilim off the loom the other day and spent an evening twisting all of the ends. It came out shorter than I had planned as I ran out of the grey wool I was using and because I didn’t buy it myself I knew I wouldn’t be able to find a proper match, so I finished it early so to speak. It’s come out 47 inches long as opposed to 70. I’m pretty pleased with it, mostly


I am on a major learning curve right now with the kilm rug that I started a few days ago, but so far I am really happy with how it’s coming along. I actually made a drawing for this rug, after reading Peter Collingwood’s excellent instructions found in his ‘Techniques of Rug Weaving’ book. The structure of a kilim is that it is basically a slit-tapestry woven rug, meaning that in order to create shapes of different colours small gaps appear between warp threads. The structure also means that only particular shapes are possible, and thus the geometric shapes that comprise much kilim design.

For the main background colour I’m using a grey wool warp that came in the massive stash along with my loom. For the colours I went to Birkeland Brothers and got some really nice Quebecoise wool, it’s a great worsted weight that comes in myriad beautiful colours (and is made in Canada too).

From my small sketch you’ll see that the first shape was to be a triangle, but actually came out in a half-moon shape as I increased the incline of the edges too quickly. I had better luck with the second yellow triangle, and even better with the third white one. I’m 30 inches into the rug, I plan to make it approximately 70 inches when finished.

This kind of pattern weaving, despite being very basic, moves slowly. I’m using two shuttles for the grey weft on either side of each shape, and then a finger hank for the colour sections which is easier to handle. It all feels a bit like knitting in that it goes on forever with only an inch or so gained. I thank the universe for BBC iplayer radio as a companion to this rug.

p.s. note how now BOTH of my bathrobe belts are now on the loom for the foreseeable future.