Archive for May, 2011

KILIM: A Flatwoven Textile

The word “Kilim” has a Turkish origin, meaning a pileless textile produced by a flat-weaving technique practiced in Turkey, North Africa, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, and China. Although these rugs are categorized as handwoven artworks, it is difficult to include them in the “Oriental Rugs” category. It would be safe to give them a category of their own, but this is seldom the case in the international glossary.

A Persian Kilim

An Old Persian Kilim

In a Kilim, the pattern is made up of various colors of weft  interwoven in order to create a harmonious design, whereas  a pile rug consists of wool knots creating a pile. When the process of tying individual knots is finished, the surface of the pile is shaved off to create a level surface, showing the pattern. A kilim, on the other hand, does not have a pile to be cut shorter afterwards. In both cases, the weft, inserted over each row of knots or each row of the flat-weave, impacts the outcome as to the durability of the final product. In a pile rug, the tighter weave (higher number of knots per square inch) results in a higher quality rug. In a Kilim, the thickness of the weft being used to create the surface determines quality. Thinner strands of wool result in higher quality. Most Kilims are reversible which means that the pattern can be seen on both sides. This is an advantage for kilims, because once your kilim gets dirty, you will simply turn it and start using the other side.

Kilims are usually made by nomads who often have much easier access to natural dyes. This is why most Kilims are woven by naturally-dyed hand-spun wool. They are often on the move during seasonal migrations, and larger pieces will be difficult to produce. Large Kilims normally consist of a few pieces sewn together.

Since Kilims are not as heavy as pile rugs, they are often used as hangings, bed covers, or for other decoration purposes. Some old pieces of Kilims can be quite valuable, and if used in the right environment, a Kilim can produce dramatic results.

Persian and Oriental Rugs

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Persian Rugs, Oriental Rugs: Products Available:

Rug Firm carries the following types and styles of Persian and Oriental rugs:

Chinese Rugs          Indian Rugs          Pakistani Rugs          Turkish Rugs

Persian Rugs:

Abadeh          Afshar          Arak          Ardebil          Azerbaijan          Bakhtiar

Balouch          Bijar          Birjand (Mood)          Gabbeh          Hamadan          Heris

Hosseinabad          Isfahan          Karaja (Gharajeh)          Kashan          Kashmar

Kerman          Lilihan          Mahal          Malayer          Mashad          Meshkin

Meymeh          Nahavand          Nain          Najafabad          Qashqai          Qum

Sanandaj          Sarab          Sarouk          Shiraz          Sirjan          Tabriz          Tafresh

Turkeman          Varamin          Yalameh          Yazd          Zanjan

Old Persian Heris Rug

Old Persian Heris Rug

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Persian Rugs, Oriental Rugs: Persian Bijar Rugs

Bijar is a small Kurdish town of Kermanshah province located in Northwestern Iran approximately 50 km from Sanandaj, sharing a border with Azerbaijan. The majority of the inhabitants of Bijar are Kurds. The complete name of the city is Bijar-e Garrus (city of

Persian Bijar

An old Persian Bijar

Garrus).

Bijar rugs are often called the Iron Rugs of Iran. These rugs are heavy, durable, and very popular in international rug markets. Bijar has a very thick foundation, and two shots of thick weft threads compacted very tightly over each row of knots. The typical pattern of Bijar rugs is the repeated Herati Mahi, with or without a medallion, in rich red, blue, and brown colors. Floral patterns are mostly seen in Bijars of recent production, some even with silk highlights. They come in all different sizes. However, due to their heavy weight, anything larger than 10 by 13 feet would be rare. They go well with all types of décor, with an average number of knots per square inch (KPSI) ranging from 200 up to 500. Newer Bijar rugs tend to be finer and thinner, more like Sarouk rugs. Most Bijar rugs are woven by Gerrus Kurds in the Bijar area while a finer copy of Bijar carpets are woven by Afshar weavers who live in the Tekab and Bukan area of Kurdistan.

Many Kurds have a semi-nomadic lifestyle, both in villages and in tribes, away from the cities where they can more easily practice their own traditions and live as their ancestors did. Some major rug-producing centers of Kurdistan include Senneh (Sanandaj), Bidjar, Tekab, Saqqez, Shahin-Dej, and Bukan. There are many grades of rugs woven in this vast area, and almost every color can be seen in Bijar rugs. All have a pile of wool, and the foundations are of cotton in recent production and wool in old pieces. The weaving quality in Kurdish rugs varies from loose to more tightly packed knotting and the Persian (asymmetrical) knot is used more often as opposed to the Turkish (symmetrical) knot. The colors come mainly from natural sources, dying the very high quality wool. In fact, it has been said that if the wool is shaved from the sheep by beginning of spring season in Kurdistan, it probably is the highest quality wool to be found. Some major centers of rug production in Iran, such as Hamadan and Lorestan show traces of Kurdish influence.

Wool Area Rugs: Persian, Oriental

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Persian Rugs, Oriental Area Rugs: Essential For Kids’ Room

Nobody will oppose the claim that an area rug adds warmth and beauty to any space in a home. However, we can all learn to live without one on our living room floor, and realize that life still goes on. On the other hand, some rug owners have them all over their home and office, and have become, through the years, so attached to them that it seems life would be hard without them. But even in such homes, the children’s room is often neglected. Why? It is possible that kids will misuse an area rug, or may be too rough on it, or spill food and drinks on the rug. At the same time, it is unlikely that kids will appreciate a piece of artwork. While that is all true, just remember that an area rug makes the kids’ room more cozy and has the same effects as in any other room.

Hand-spun wool, natural dyes

By absorbing the sound, an area wool rug turns their room into a more comfortable place for playing and watching TV. With a rug made of natural fibers, you also avoid chances of allergic reactions in your child. Dust mites can aggravate allergies and a major characteristic of wool area rugs is that they naturally resist them. In fact, wool is considered by the medical profession to be hypoallergenic. If you decide to cover the floor in your kids’ room, avoid using something with synthetic fibers. Get something with a thick pile for extra comfort. Kids appreciate more modern patterns with brighter colors. If you think your kid will be a bit careless with the rug, try to stay away from lighter colors, as a rug with darker shades will not need frequent cleaning. Have the rug washed by a professional every few years. A wool area rug is much easier to clean than a rug with synthetic fibers, and tends to stay clean much longer.

An area rug will cover the cold floor if it is tile or stone, and will protect it if it is hardwood or wall-to-wall carpeting. The fact that you can take your area rugs with you as you move to a new home makes them so much more desirable as opposed to any other type of floor covering. Get your children involved in the selection of the right rug for their room as it always reflects their unique taste and personality. With so many choices readily available, why not bring some color and life to your kids’ room. Let them grow up with their rug and learn to enjoy it for years to come.

Authentic Persian and Oriental rugs

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Persian Rugs, Oriental Rugs: How Do Merchants Select Rugs For Their Inventory?

Persian Rug

Persian Tabriz with Herati pattern

Like any other business endeavor, selecting the right combination of area rugs for inventory is a difficult task for any merchant. Although there are no set guidelines for this process, it can generally be divided as purchasing either new or old rugs. This categorization makes sense only because there is a big difference between the two. Often, a merchant will have to do both:

New Rugs: Even though selecting new rugs for inventory takes a lot of expertise and is a time-consuming process, it is not as difficult as the selection of older pieces. New pieces are not only more readily available, but also buying defective pieces is much less likely to happen. New pieces do not have a repair, low pile, or the possibility of a rotten foundation. Often, new rugs are only taken off the loom with no shearing and shaving, and definitely without having gone through a wash process. A merchant is supposed to examine each piece by looking at the backside where the pattern and colors are easier to see. The buyer is also supposed to have all the “service” work done according to his own preferences. An area rug purchased by a merchant for European markets will be washed in a completely different manner as opposed to the same piece purchased for the North American markets. Taking into consideration what part of Europe or what part of North America specifically the rug will be exported to makes the distinction even more difficult. Add to this all regions of Africa, Middle East, Australia, Far East, and South America, and the problem gets even more complex.

Old Rugs: Due to the explanation given above, old pieces are also purchased unwashed. When selecting old rugs for inventory, merchants get a bit uneasy and extra careful as their reputation is on the line. This type of selection definitely requires more expertise and focus on the part of the merchants. Older pieces can have a variety of problems, such as an unusually low pile, possible repairs not noticed on unwashed pieces, extreme color variations in the washing process, and the like. Of course, the washing process of older rugs is much different. Here, the amount of chemical solutions, the PH balance of the shampoo, as well as the temperature of the rinsing water can play major roles in the outcome. However, the expertise of the staff at the washing facility is more important than all other factors combined. Preparing old pieces for exports is much the same as raising twins; it makes you age much faster than you anticipate. A low nap can turn into a worn pile, and a rotten foundation to a large hole as though you intentionally burned it through the rug. Repairs are both expensive and time consuming and no merchant wants repaired pieces in their inventory. As a result, more than a few pieces will have to go to WASTE. The amount of this waste will eat up profits, making the selection of older pieces of Persian and Oriental rugs a risky business. However, there are more than a few rug dealers who can claim to be experts in selecting old pieces of area rugs for their inventory.

Merchants have to be extra careful selecting rugs for their inventory, as they are always looking forward to repeat business from their customers. Unhappy customers will never return, nor will they refer others to a dealer who sold them a defective piece of area rug. Anybody interested in the subject of Oriental or Persian rugs can learn a lot either online or offline. However, the truth is that if you want to get involved with it more seriously, you have no choice but to breath in the DUST.

Area Rugs: Persian – Oriental

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