Kilim of the month – May ’12

Cal kilim #0035

#0035 Cal , Western Anatolia, Turkey

Hand spun wool on cotton warps

Woven in the slit-weave technique

Mixture of natural and synthetic dyes.

I remember quite clearly disliking this kilim as soon as we got it.  I couldn’t put my finger on it but there was just something I didn’t like.  4 months on and I have done a complete 180!  It’s funny how kilims can do that to a person I think.  I’ve heard it many times in the shop, people who fell in love with a piece, used it everyday for 15 years and then suddenly, ‘I don’t like it.’  I suppose at least we can be thankful that it generally takes considerably longer to fall out of love with a kilim than say, the latest fashion purchase.

So I have gone from not giving 2 hoots about it to falling in love with it.  If I had nursery or child’s room to decorate it would be my first choice.  Baby blue for a boy, pink for a girl and everything else in between.

Some of the specifics that i love about it….

  • The changes in scale where normally the Anatolian weaver is quite strict regarding symmetry.   Here the ‘wolf mouth/print’ motif is repeated twice but with obvious differences in size.   
  • The random scattered motifs most likely serving as what they call ‘memory’ motifs.  Reminding the weaver of who was with her, weaving by her side,  like an ancient ‘ez was here’ scratched into the tree 😉

    Scattered memory motifs

    We see it again in the last ‘finger’ in the purple motif coloured red.

    The last ‘finger’ of the purple ‘hand’ coloured differently

  • If you compare the ends of the kilim, one end has ‘x’ motifs inside the ‘fetter’ motifs and outside of them.  Then the other end the ‘x’ is only inside the ‘fetter’ motifs and the actually ‘fetter’ motif is also smaller in scale in that end.

    End 2.

    End 1.

  • The more you look the more nuances you find.  I often why the weaver/s did certain things. Like the middle motif here in green.  Why is the end like that when all the other ones look like the one on the right?  We’ll never know.

    Different end on the ‘hand’ motif…or is it a bird?

  • Then we have three identical ‘comb’ motifs in the centre of the kilim but the last one is highlighted with green and purple instead of the red and white.


So what do you think…is this kilim in the ‘loving it’ pile or ‘pass’ pile?



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