One of the accessories that can really bring a room to life is a traditional Persian rug or kilim. Whether the rug is on the floor or hanging on the wall as a focal point, rugs are something that can transform a room immediately.
Rugs have been made since the 5th century and have evolved considerably over the years in terms of design, construction, and technique of the carpet makers. Traditional rugs and kilims were handmade with some of the finest examples made from silk. The Middle East and Turkey are the main places where these kinds of rugs are made. Even today, the artisanship is outstanding and in a traditional Persian rug, there will always be a small error in a hand woven rug because only God (Allah) is perfect.
Nothing looks more stunning than a traditional kilim hung against a plain wall. The colours are not bold but they are vibrant. Depending on the intricacies of the pattern, there may be many colours against a base colour woven in cotton, wool, or silk. Fine rugs are always made with natural materials, cotton, and wool and silk are the most common; silk being the most expensive and the most highly prized. The popularity of wool as the prime material used to make a traditional rug or kilim lies in its inherent properties. Wool is flexible, durable, readily takes on dyes and easy to handle when it is spun or woven. Wool is also a readily available product in the regions where Persian rugs and kilims are made due to the nomadic life of the peoples in these regions.
Cotton is used for warps because its high strength makes it keep its shape. Cotton also retains natural whiteness through time and can be spun into thin strands. Animal hair (goat, horse, or camel) is sometimes used in the making of Persian or kilim rugs to create certain effects. Camel hair is used to give extra strength to a woollen rug. Horsehair is used to provide fringes or tassels and fine goat hair mixed with wool gives a silky sheen. Silk rugs are rare but still produced. As part of a bride’s dowry, a silk rug or kilim is treasured as a status symbol and protected as family wealth.
Another fascinating aspect of Persian rugs is they can be read. Each symbol has a meaning, as do the colours. Every weaver has a story to tell in the rug and you will find the tree of life, lotus flower, lily, animals, water jugs, hands combs, and many more intriguing symbols, which you can interpret. Colour wise red is for wealth , yellow is for the sun and beauty of life but green is used sparingly and not in areas it will be walked upon because this represents the holy colour of Mohammed and hope, renewal, life and spring.
Your wall hanging kilim will be a definite talking point and you will be fascinated by the quality artisanship and the story your rug is telling you. Picking out the colours of the rug to accessorise your room also works beautifully.