Kilim of the month – Febuary ’12

Colourful tufts on the Cankiri kilim.

This month’s kilim of the month has always been a favourite of mine just because it’s ….well, different.  Not a particularly good, tight weave, not spectacular colour harmony like in some vintage kilims but I think I have noticed enough small peculiarities to give me the impression that this kilim was a bit of a test for the weaver.  I have visions of the matriarchal experienced weaver on the left as was the practise, watching, imparting knowledge stored deep in her subconscious, perhaps unaware of why they are weaving the motifs or palettes that they were weaving.

Antique Cankiri slit-weave kilim.

An important aspect of weaving is the consistency of the weave, which obviously becomes more problematic when you add a weaver or two.  It is a credit to the Anatolian women’s skill and comradery that it is always virtually impossible to tell on most kilims whether there was a single weaver, or 2 or 3.

Double hooks - yellow, red, white


But on this kilim it is very clear.  One side is skilful and tight, the other somewhat loose and sagging.  One side has been finished neatly with a ‘greek key’ border; the other couldn’t quite finish it that same way.

Yellow, red, yellow- whoops, white.


In the outer border, the left hand side has even spaced ‘double ram’s horns’ motifs running the length; and then about half way up on the right hand side the weaver starts with a yellow motif, only to cut it off and start again in red, continuing the colour sequence running on the left.


Precise white edging.


Additional edging beside the white on right hand side of kilim.


Almost always Anatolian kilims will have double symmetry as a design feature but this one, yet again differs, with the two ‘wolf print/mouth’ motif at the top changing from the ‘concentric hooked diamonds’ that dominated the first 2/3’s of the kilim.

There are many other reasons why this kilim speaks ‘a little louder’ to me than others but I think if I had to sum it up in one word…’handmade’.  There is absolutely no doubt that this kilim was completely woven by hand/s and all the creative personal expression that that can entail.

Çankiri slitweave kilim (#64)

111 * 217cm

Hand woven using hand spun wool on cotton warps.  Approximately 60-70 years old.

……And even after a took some new pic’s for this blog I may have found some additional support for my theory.  I read somewhere that a novice weaver will have white cotton tied onto the warps so she will better know where to start and finish motifs, like a dot-to-dot for kilim weaving I guess.  So I flipped the kilim over and………

........the back!




Gallery | This entry was posted in Kilim of the Month and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s