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KILIMS AND FLAT WEAVES 1

THIS SECTION shows a selection of flat woven rugs often called kilims.  Sometimes they are just a plain weave with different colours and designs but they also frequently are embellished with designs in knotted pile and various forms of embroidery.

In Morocco, larger pieces are known as "hanbels" and smaller ones which are used for capes are "handiras".  Flat weaves are  used extensively in dwellings as curtains, covers and bedding. Capes are used to counter the intense winter cold in the mountains. Small pieces are used as horse covers and decorations

This group of weavings is for use in daily life and also for ceremony and special occasions.

Please send any questions or enquiries to me at ldrowcroft@gmail.com

MOROCCAN ARAB KILIM. Large parts of the north west area comprising many cities and a long Atlantic coast line are inhabited by Morocco*s Arab people. They are very distinct from the more well known Berbers and this extends to their weaving. The history is well described in the excellent text book "Kilim - The Complete Guide" and a very similar piece to this one shown as plate 182. Arab kilims are often designed using full width bands of different strong colours and borders, if any, are narrow. This old example is the work of Arabs from the foothills of the Middle Atlas around the area of Boujad. The format allows for many different uses in a western home. The original decorative tassels are still present. Reference 3352. Size 221 x 138 cms., or 7ft. 3ins. x 4ft. 7ins. Euros 885.

THE TRADITIONAL COLOURS OF BOUJAD WEAVERS, both of rugs and kilims is shown in this close up. The kilim is soft and lustrous.

GABBEH KILIM - a simplistic and bold flat weave which will make a dramatic contribution to modern decor. It is in perfect condition and lies totally flat. Use it on a floor or over a bench or bed as a throw. If space permits it will make a powerful wall hanging. Reference 3322. Size 250 x 151 cms., or 8ft.3ins., by 5ft. Euros 345.

CLOSE UP showing fine, even, weave and bold colours.

OLD FARS KILIM containing the typical designs woven by rural weavers of repeated flower heads, bushes and shrubs seen from the sides and animals which are probably goats. The weaving is very fine which has resulted in sharply portrayed designs. It had a label dating from the early 1980s from the world famous, but now (sadly) defunct Oriental Carpet Manufacturers Company of London who were leading weavers and importers from around 1905 to the middle I980s. The very versatile squarish shape and will suit many decor styles and uses. Reference 3325. Size 185 x 152 cms., or 6 x 5 ft. Euros 325.

CLOSE UP of sharply defined designs of goats, or maybe deers, in the floral surroundings.

ARRAIOLOS NEEDLEWORK RUG rom the region of south eastern Portugal. The main centre for this centuries old hand stitched craft is in the the small town of Arraiolos itself but many were woven in the surrounding villages. The designs are traditionally floral, the colours soft and pastel and the materials local wools. This is an old piece but in perfect condition and its squarish shape is versatile enough to allow it to decorate several different areas. Reference 2980. Size 238 x 160 cms., or 7ft. 10ins. x 5ft. 4ins. Euros 480.

ARRAIOLOS NEEDLEWORK RUG rom the region of south eastern Portugal. The main centre for this centuries old hand stitched craft is in the the small town of Arraiolos itself but many were woven in the surrounding villages. The designs are traditionally floral, the colours soft and pastel and the materials local wools. This is an old piece but in perfect condition and its squarish shape is versatile enough to allow it to decorate several different areas. Reference 2980. Size 238 x 160 cms., or 7ft. 10ins. x 5ft. 4ins. CLOSE UP.

KURDISH KILIM FROM THE REGION OF QUCHAN which lies between the city of Meshed and extends north to the Persian border with Turkmenistan. It is a fine old piece with dozens of exquisite narrow rows of plan weave interspersed with embroidered sections. The major border on all four sides has a band of a very different technique. Powerful but subtle and pleasing at the same time. Reference 3327. Size 220 x 148 cms., or 7ft. 3ins. x 4ft. 8ins. Euros 965.

CLOSE UP OF TOP LEFT HAND CORNER shows the fringes, end band, overcasting, major border and different bands of designs in the field.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS FLAT WEAVE. A huge magnificent old Hanbel from the Beni Mtir group of Berbers in the northern Middle Atlas near Meknes. It was probably used as the communal sleeping cover for a Berber family. Reference 2136. Size 429 x 145 cms, 14ft 1ins x 4ft 8ins, Euros 1250.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS FLAT WEAVE. A huge magnificent old Hanbel from the Beni Mtir group of Berbers in the northern Middle Atlas near Meknes. It was probably used as the communal sleeping cover for a Berber family. Reference 2136. Size 429x145 cms, 14ft 1ins x 4ft 8ins, Euros 1450 CLOSE UP..

FINEST MOROCCAN BERBER KILIM FROM ZEMMOUR. I have been to the early morning Tuesday kilim market in Khemisset, main town in Zemmour Province in the Western Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco many times. The kilims are all much of the same size and made to function as daily houshold textiles such as mats, blankets, curtains and food cloths, and all of a basic simplicity and quality. This is a market for the local people. Rarely will any visitor find a kilim of such fine weave and intricate design as this one. It is comparable with the top examples found in text books such as "Carpets and Textiles of Morocco" published by the Washington Textile Museum, plate 96, and "Kilims - The Complete Guide" by Jose Luczyc-Wyhowska and Alaistar Hull, plate 164. This is worthy of a place in a serious collection. Reference 3353. Size 257 x 151 cms., or 8ft. 3ins. by 5ft. Euros 985.

CLOSE UP on the most intricate designs used.

SOMETIMES I find interesting flat weaves and kilims in the Medinas such as this one in Marrakech.

WEEKLY street markets such as this one in the Middle Atlas region of Zemmoor are a great source of kilims and other textiles.

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS KILIM - This extraordinary flat weave is woven from soft, silky, undyed hand spun Berber wools. It is a very long piece which probably owes its excellent condition to its limited use for ceremony or special occasions. The kilim is from the Ait Youssi Berber group in the western Middle Atlas. Ref. 2153. Size 400 x 126 cms, 13ft 2ins x 4ft 2ins, Euros 475.

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS KILIM - This extraordinary flat weave is woven from soft, silky, undyed hand spun Berber wools. It is a very long piece which probably owes its excellent condition to its limited use for ceremony or special occasions. The kilim is from the Ait Youssi Berber group in the western Middle Atlas. Ref. 2153. Size 400 x 126 cms, 13ft 2ins x 4ft 2ins.

MOROCCAN ARAB KILIM. A huge piece which would have been used as a communal blanket for sleeping at night and probably a curtain dividing the tent or dwelling during the day. It is the work of Moroccan Arab weavers who inhabit the north west corner of the country which includes several major cities, a long Atlantic coast line and extends to the foothills of the Middle Atlas Mountains inland. The stromg colours and striped designs are typical of the work of the Boujad area. Good information about this type of weaving is to be found in "Kilims - The Complete Guide" by experts Jose Luczyc - Wyhowska and Alistair Hull. Reference 3351. Size 393 x 184 cms., or 13 x 6 ft. Euros 1150.

CLOSE UP of the strong linear design which accentuates the size and powerful presence of the piece.

MOROCCAN MIXED TECHNIQUE FLAT WEAVE/KILIM OR "HANBEL". This rare, old hanbel or cover is from the region of Rehamna in the plains of Marrakech. This land lies between that city and extends westwards to the Atlantic Ocean. The weavers are not Berbers but Moroccan Arabs. The foundation is a long hand woven kilim of several shades. As the weaver progressed she wove several bands of knotted pile across the field and this is known as mixed technique. Along each side the carpet has the repeated triangular design which is the traditional finish of much of the Rehamna weaving. Hanbels are used in tents or dwellings as multi-purpose covers or curtains as well as floor coverings. Two long pieces with similar colourings and designs are shown as plate 62 and 63 in the text book "Maroc - Tapis de Tribus". Reference 2718. Size 340 x 180 cms., or 11ft. 2ins. x 5ft. 3ins. Euros 1250.

MOROCCAN MIXED TECHNIQUE FLAT WEAVE/KILIM OR "HANBEL". This rare, old hanbel or cover is from the region of Rehamna in the plains of Marrakech. This land lies between that city and extends westwards to the Atlantic Ocean. The weavers are not Berbers but Moroccan Arabs. The foundation is a long hand woven kilim of several shades. As the weaver progressed she wove several bands of knotted pile across the field and this is known as mixed technique. Along each side the carpet has the repeated triangular design which is the traditional finish of much of the Rehamna weaving. Hanbels are used in tents or dwellings as multi-purpose covers or curtains as well as floor coverings. Two long pieces with similar colourings and designs are shown as plate 62 and 63 in the text book "Maroc - Tapis de Tribus". Reference 2718. Size 340 x 180 cms., or 11ft. 2ins. x 5ft. 3ins. CLOSE UP.

MOROCCAN BERBER EMBROIDERED KILIM, the colours and weave of which indicate that it was woven by the Beni M·guild Berbers in the Middle Atlas. It is old and very fine and was probably a dowry weaving before being folded in half, stitched and filled with stuffing, and spending its working life as a day time cushion and night time pillow. It will make a fascinating wall hanging or table cover. Reference 3037. Size 88 x 47 cms., or 33 x 19 inches. Euros 90.

CLOSE UP showing the weave and one of the four very fine bands of embroidered design which are spaced across the whole width.

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS BERBER FLAT WEAVE / KILIM. The Ait Arfur Berber group weave distinctive patterns embellished with white cotton on many of their kilims, capes and bags. This is a good example of a large hanbel, or cover, and it was probably used for warmth in the cold mountain winters. It is an old piece in impeccable condition. Ref. 2236. Size 340 x 150cms, 10ft x 5ft, Euros 1185.

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS BERBER FLAT WEAVE / KILIM. The Ait Arfur Berber group weave distinctive patterns embellished with white cotton on many of their kilims, capes and bags. This is a good example of a large hanbel, or cover, and it was probably used for warmth in the cold mountain winters. It is an old piece in impeccable condition. Ref. 2236. Size 340 x 150cms, 10ft x 5ft. CLOSE UP.

KURDISH KILIM FROM THE KURDS OF QUCHAN which lies north of Meshed. Although Quchan is the main gathering point for the Kurdish rugs, bags, trappings and kilims few are woven in the town itself and most are brought to the bazaar from the hundreds of surrounding villages. The area has from the early 1600s been home to some Afshar and Balouch people and today the intermarriages between all groups means that identification of some weavings is very difficult. Shorter runner formats, called "Soffrehs" are spread on the ground in tents or dwellings for the service of communal bowls of food at family mealtimes. The number of longer runners like this is very few. A kilim with rich yet pastel shades similar to this one is shown as plate 135 in the excellent book "KORDI" by Wilfried Stanzer and is attributed to the Kurds of the region of Lain, Reference 3332. Size 336 x 85 cms., or 11ft. x 2ft. 10ins. Euros 535.

CLOSE UP OF THE FINE DESIGNS using the weft wrapping technique for many colors.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS FLAT WEAVE/KILIM. An old beautifully embroidered `hanbel`or cover from the Ait Arfur Berber group in the Middle Atlas. The intricate white designs are created by the use of cotton. The condition is excellent. Ref. 2233. Size 291 x 120 cms, 9ft 6ins x 4ft, Euros 865.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS FLAT WEAVE/KILIM. An old beautifully embroidered `hanbel`or cover from the Ait Arfur Berber group in the Middle Atlas. The intricate white designs are created by the use of cotton. The condition is excellent. Ref. 2233. Size 291 x 120 cms, 9ft 6ins x 4ft. CLOSE UP.

CLOSE UP OF THE DESIGNS USING THE WEFT WRAPPING TECHNIQUE.

OLD KURDISH KILIM FROM THE QUCHAN REGION BETWEEN MASHAD AND THE TURKMENISTAN BORDER. The area is predomidately a Kurdish enclave but has had small amounts of Afshar and Belouch settlers since the early 1600s. The Kurds weave pile rugs, versatile kilims, storage bags and animal trappings in bold, spontaneous designs and colors. A kilim of this shape would have been multi-functional floor cover and a night time curtain. A kilim of similar size, shape, designs, borders and colors is shown as plate 118 in the excellent book "KORDI" by Wilfried Stanzer. The English expert, P J R (Jim) Ford who has also travelled the area extensively shows a similar piece but places the origin a little further north. Reference 3333. Size 200 x 146 cms., or 6ft. 6ins. x 4ft. 9ins. Euros 350.

OLD AND VERY FINE MOROCCAN BERBER TENT BAG from the region of Khemisset in the western Middle Atlas. This was probably owned by one person in the family to store precious items and may have started life as a dowry piece. It is very fine work and still in impeccable condition. Reference 3337. Size 82 x 42 cms., or 32 x 17 ins. Euros 390.

MOROCCAN BERBER SEAT OR TABLE COVER of the type found in many Berber houses or dwellings. Around the central carpet in the main room cushions are arranged and an intricate kilim such as this would be used as a covering. Sometimes a similar piece would also be used as a table cloth in the centre of the carpet and tea and the famous Moroccan cookies served. Reference 3346. Size 109 x 35 cms., or 45 x 14 ins. Euros 240.

CLOSE UP showing exceptionally fine embroidery in the outer border.

ON THE HUNT .... hundreds of kilims already seen and nothing bought yet. Found this wonderful piece close to the end of the day and had the feeling it had been hidden away just to see if I would settle for a lesser piece. A common move by sellers in the bazaars to test the tenacity of the buyer.

MOROCCAN BERBER FLAT WEAVE/KILIM. The rich shades of purple, henna, tan, madder and indigo identify the fine old kilim as the work of the Beni M·guild Berbers of the southern part of the Middle Atlas. The bands of flat weave are mixed with strips of intricate designs which combine to make this old piece very attractive. Reference 2196. Size 329 x 142 cms., or 11ft 5ins. x 4ft. 8ins. CLOSE UP.

MOROCCAN BERBER FLAT WEAVE/KILIM. The rich shades of purple, henna, tan, madder and indigo identify the fine old kilim as the work of the Beni M·guild Berbers of the southern part of the Middle Atlas. The bands of flat weave are mixed with strips of intricate designs which combine to make this old piece very attractive. Reference 2196. Size 329 x 142 cms., or 11ft 5ins. x 4ft. 8ins. Euros 1180.

BALUCH / BELOUCH KILIM FROM NORTH WEST AFGHANISTAN known as a "Ru Korsi" and used sometimes as a cloth placed on the floor for the service of bowls of food, and also on other occasions to cover the feet for warmth near a fire. These pieces are often woven in two separate halves, joined together to form a square. The inclusion of a knotted pile border is unusual. Ru - Korsis by the nature of their use in tents or primitive dwellings often have small snags. They make very stylish wall hangings, table covers and throws over benches. Reference 3092. Size 146 x 150 cms., or almost 5ft. square. Euros 175.