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KILIMS AND FLAT WEAVES Page 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

VERY RARE TUNISIAN WEDDING CAPE known locally as a "Bakhnuq" and given as a gift by the groom to his bride. Although bought in Tunis in 1981 these fine capes are woven in the small towns of Cabes and Tataouine in the south east of Tunisia. They are always woven with red, blue or black fine wool and embroidered in cotton with designs which symbolise the bride's jewellery. Because of their importance to the family they seldom appear on the market but a very similar piece belonging to the world famous collector of kilims and flat weaves, Alistair McAlpine, appeared at Sotheby in London in 7th June, 2006, Lot 117, and sold for GP Pounds 720. It was classified as mid 20th century (photo available). This piece is older and has a more detailed design and tassels. It is in good condition. There are a few snags to the background cloth commensurate with its serious age. There is good information in the excellent book "North African Textiles" by Spring and Hudson with a map and on pages 34, 48, and 65. Reference 2828. Size 152 x 117cms. 5ft. x 3ft.10ins. Euros 490.

VERY RARE TUNISIAN WEDDING CAPE known locally as a "Bakhnuq" and given as a gift by the groom to his bride. Although bought in Tunis in 1981, these fine capes are woven in the small towns of Cabes and Tataouine in the south east of Tunisia. They are always woven with red, blue or black fine wool and embroidered in cotton with designs which symbolise the bride's jewellery. Because of their importance to the family they seldom appear on the market but a very similar piece belonging to the world famous collector of kilims and flat weaves, Alistair McAlpine, appeared at Sotheby in London in 7th June, 2006, Lot 117, and sold for GP Pounds 720. It was classified as mid 20th century (photo available). This piece is older and has a more detailed design and tassels. It is in good condition. There are a few snags to the background cloth commensurate with its serious age. There is good information in the excellent book "North African Textiles" by Spring and Hudson with a map and on pages 34, 48, and 65. Reference 2828. Size 152 z 117cms. 5ft. x 3ft.10ins. CLOSE UP.

MOROCCAN BERBER CAPE or handira. This is exceptionally fine and is the type of cape worn by girls and women seeking husbands at the annual wedding fair and celebrations in the Middle Atlas mountain village of Imichil every September. The capes are woven to be slightly wider in the centre which means that they fit comfortably around the shoulders. This piece has the original fastening ropes. A similar piece is featured in the text book "Marokko" on page 157. Reference 2685. Size 106 x 88 cms., or 3ft. 6ins. x 3 ft. Euros 175.

Annual wedding fair in the Middle Atlas village of Imichil

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.

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 1450.

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..

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS CAPE. A finely woven example from the region of the village of Imilchil. These capes, or "handiras", are worn by women, especially during the annual wedding festival which takes place in September. Authentic capes are partly oval in shape.. Reference 2147. Size approx.176 x 135cms. 5ft.9in. x 4ft.5in. Euros 190.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS CAPE. A finely woven example from the region of the village of Imilchil. These capes, or "handiras", are worn by women, especially during the annual wedding festival which takes place in September. Authentic capes are partly oval in shape.. Reference 2147. Size approx.176 x 135cms. 5ft.9in. x 4ft.5in. CLOSE UP

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 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 1580.

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.

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.

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.

KILIM / FLAT WEAVE called "Kpoke" and woven by the Mende people in Sierra Leone in West Africa. The women of this group spin the fine cotton required for these kilims but the actual weaving is done by men. Width is achieved by joining together the long strips of cloth and depends on the use the piece is woven for. The colors are wonderful and bright. It will make a versatile throw, sofa or table cover or wall decoration. Reference 2741. Size 287 x 125 cms., or 9ft. 5ins. x 4ft. 2ins. Euros 125. Shipping depends on destination.