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The Ancient Art Of Kilim

Kilims are unique woven textiles, hand made in the Middle East from the Balkans through to Pakistan.

George Smith Kilim

    In 2024, George Smith Kilims hit the red carpet at The Vanity Fair Oscar Party! The Kilim furniture was hand-selected by the party’s design team, designer Will Cooper and architect Basil Walter.

    Kilims have always been an important part of our work at George Smith, and over the years we have built a reputation for our expertise in upholstering our furniture in Kilim. Working with Kilim is extremely challenging, owing to the thickness of the weave and the intricate patterns, but years of practice and a strong sense of artistry mean that our craftspeople continue to produce stunning, unique Kilim covered furniture for a wide variety of projects.

    The real skill lies in assessing how best to place the Kilim design on the furniture; cutting, pattern-matching and sewing are all part of our upholstery team’s perfected skills. We hand pick our authentic kilims, choosing the most striking designs and the most interesting shapes in a wide variety of colours to suit any George Smith piece.

History Of The Kilim

    Today Kilims are used to make floor coverings, cushions, tent decorations, saddlebags and many other practical, useful pieces.Each Kilim is diligently woven by hand using wool that has been dyed with natural pigment; due to the nature of the materials and techniques, no two Kilims are the same. The geometric motifs in these antique tribal rugs and weavings evolved directly on the loom. Traditional designs, whether religious, talismanic or totemic, were passed from one generation to the next, with each weaver creating subtle variations that reflected their own artistic personality and interest.

Facts About Kilim

  1. The word Kilim is of Turkish origin, and refers to a versatile, pileless textile produced using various flat weaving techniques that have been practiced in the Middle East and neighbouring countries for thousands of years. Kilim rugs are often characterised by bright, bold geometric designs.
  2. Kilim rugs are more durable than traditional rugs as they are made using natural fibers and dyes.The weavers tightly weft the threads together using diagonal patterns to avoid any weakness in the weaving.
  3. Kilim is a flat tapestry-woven rug. As compared to other traditional rugs, Kilim has no pile (the soft furry surface of the wool fibers), hence a flat tapestry.Artisans create the designs on a kilim rug by interweaving weft (horizontal) and warp (vertical) threads on a loom. This process creates a reversible rug with the design visible on either side. Kilim rugs are also low-density—much flatter and thinner than most pile rugs.
  4. Kilim rugs are made by flat weaving using two sets of wool ropes. A rope is passed over the same path repeatedly, while decorative images known as ‘motifs’ are formed by using multiple groups of ropes all dyed different colours.

George Smith Examples

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Signature Sofa
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Soho Baby One Button Drum
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Turkish Pillow Stack
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Signature Stool
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Signature Chair

Top Tips For Picking A Kilim Design

  1. When selecting your two Kilims for a sofa, look for common colours and themes so one can flow into the other organically.
    At George Smith we present Kilim rugs in pairs already pre-matched and perfect for a sofa or a pair of arm chairs.
  2. Pick what you love – Coup de Foudre! Like a piece of artwork, your choice of Kilim should be guided by how it makes you feel.
  3. Structured and sturdy in nature, Kilim furniture is both durable and beautiful, making it the perfect choice for a busy family home or as a statement piece in a public area.
  4. Pair your Kilim with one of our leather collections for a rustic look or with Mohair for a luxurious, glamorous feel.
  5. Hunt the Symbol! If you would like to know what your furniture is saying to you, ask our Sales Team. They will be happy to guide you through the historical and spiritual meaning of the various motifs.
Contact Our Sales Team

George Smith Kilim

Discover more of our beautiful designs on our Kilim page.


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