Kilims or Gilims are flatwoven textiles with a woollen weft on a woollen, goat hair or cotton warp. There are many different techniques and designs. The weaver normally works within a tradition of techniques, motifs and designs specific to a particular area or ethnic group. The designs relate to her natural surroundings, protection, fertility and the harmony of family relationships. Each weaver adds something from her own creativity and sense of composition. Kilims are often woven as part of a marriage dowry and can be used to create many different objects like storage bags, horse-blankets, baby carriers, blankets and wall and floor coverings.
This vintage kilim was hand-woven on a simple loom by a village or nomadic weaver for her own use. Probably the weaver used wool from her own sheep. The wool was first cleaned, then hand-carded, hand-spun and finally dyed by hand, often using natural dye materials like roots, nuts, berries, fruits, flowers and plants. Kilims from the last quarter of the twentieth century mostly use synthetic dyes. This kilim would have taken many months to complete.
All our kilims selected in the country of origin and are professionally washed and restored before we import them directly from Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan. Natural patina and charming imperfections in design and colour (abrash) are highly valued characteristics of hand-woven kilims.
Sofrehs take their name from the Farsi (Persian) word for cloth and are used for several functions connected with preparing and eating food. Eating cloths are normally referred to simply as sofrehs and vary enormously in size-from small, rectangular mats for personal use to extremelly long, narrow runners for communal eating. They are woven in several standard techniques, including alternating bands of kilim and pile rug, and produced by a number of nomadic and tribal weavers in Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia and to a lesser degree, elsewhere.
This semi antique Qahqai sofreh from the 1950s is woven with natural undyed wool (ivory color) and the colored areas have aal been dyed with natural pigments. The central motif is a huge rhombus surrounded by small rhombuses arranged randomly as if they were stars in the sky. In the lower left corner, a unique and mysterious motif has been woven, unlike all the others in the central field. This sofreh has beautiful color changes, mainly in the upper area, called “abrash” in Turkish or “bi rang” in Farsi.
Material: 100% hand-spun sheep wool
Size: 143×143 cms
Origin: Qashqai tribe, Iran
Date of weaving: 1950s