Trends in the interior – kilim
Kilim reminds us of Aladdin and the past, of foreign countries influences, the reign of the Turks, etc. It is not rare that people make mistakes and kilims from different parts of the world are unified disregarding their origin and differences. Serbian Pirot kilim is similar to Turkish kilim and at first sight, one could say that they have the same origin because the colours and patterns are similar. However, Pirot kilim has two sides and it is woven in one piece, while Turkish kilim is combined of two pieces. It is assumed that due to the double side, the purpose of the kilim was wider. It could serve as a mantle, a cover, a mat or as decoration.
We all enjoyed reading about Aladdin’s magic carpet and we imagined having a capability of flying. While the fairies stayed in books, kilims and colourful carpets remained inspiration to artists, historians as well as interior designers.
So, is kilim just a carpet or is there something else? The story of kilim starts long time ago.
It is considered that the word “kilim” originates from the Persian word “gilim”. Gilim came to Europe thanks to Turks and their influence. Technically, kilim is a type of cloth made using smooth weaving technique which could be used for different purposes, starting from floor mat, bed covers, wall decorations, horse covers and up to expensive gifts. In terms of geography, kilim originates from the area of Balkans, Turkey and from the countries across central Asia, North Africa as well as Iran and Afghanistan.
Besides in everyday life, kilim had a wide usage in celestial and religious life. It was sometimes used in decorating urban interiors and it was specially manufactured in royal workshops because it was highly appreciated by rich people as a decorative cloth. Back then, landlords used to be proud of their homes decorated by kilims. The old Persian saying says “The richer the man, the thinner the carpet”, which means that it is made of the most expensive and of high quality fabric.
In films, we often had a chance to see a sofa covered by kilim. Sometimes we are not even aware of the wealth and beauty our ancestors have left. Colours, patterns, shapes and symbols make these kilims really special. In Balkan kilims, red colour in all nuances is the most common while there are also blue, green and white. They usually have territorial and ethnic characteristics and they are always composed in a complex composition.
The ornaments are always geometrical and they can show a stylized bird, a flower, a turtledove or any object from a weaver’s life. The patterns of old kilims are smaller and more arranged, and in the newer ones they are bigger.
With the industrialization, the old crafts become repressed. The manufacture of kilims is a hard and painstaking job and the value of the kilims is big. To protect the tradition and something recognizable worldwide, several laws were introduced to protect the old products from forgetting.
Kilims have always been associated with rural households. Usually, the wooden floors were covered with kilims or kilims served as good wall decorations. Trends in interior decoration do not have to bring new materials. The combination of different styles in the interior as well as the application of retro elements has been noticeable lately.
A marble or a wooden floor covered in kilim combined with style furniture – why not? It can satisfy all the criteria both functionally and aesthetically. Only exaggeration is something to avoid. Everything should be done moderately and the fact that you have chosen to place a part of the old tradition into your interior does not mean you have to wander off to the edge of kitsch.