Message In A Kilim | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer to my personal A to Z Challenge on the subject of Home. The goal, in a year time, is to elaborate and dissect topics regarding the Home not as containers of stuff, but as a cocoon for the soul, mind and heart. I will touch on decorations, style, trends, history of home and sometimes technical information.
On Jan. 14, 2014, my challenge will be over. Will I make it covering the subject of HOME with all the letters of the alphabet? The beat is on.

Anatolia, a peninsula that makes up most of Turkey is supposedly the area where kilim rugs originated among nomad tribes. Although historians for lack of firm evidence have had a difficult task establishing kilim’s dates and places of origins. The making of kilim rugs started as utilitarian coverings and much less as decorative coverings, made with elementary weaving looms, when weaving surpassed the practice of primitive people to cover their body with animal skins. With the weaving loom, early population of the Middle East felt the need to add colors to suit their soul and express feelings or thoughts. This prehistoric textile seems to have entered Egypt in the middle of the second millennia B.C. via Turkey and the Middle Eastern countries.

The knowledge of textiles Sumerians had (people of Mesopotamia, modern Iraq)  was directly related to the knowledge of farming the right kind of sheep, goats and lambs whose pelt was suitable for spinning, coloring and waving. With various colors and designs each kilim has its own language or message, which varies from weaver to weaver. A married weaver might add into the kilim symbols of her discontent with husband or mother in law, but a message from a girl’s weaver might be love, hope, desire for a strong man and good fortune.

The design of each kilim is not casual, ancient tribals weaved their beliefs into the threads in form of symbols, such as stars, dragons, eyes, combs, running water, or fertility. Today modern people respond well to this primitive art, because they are colorful and very versatile for any décor, but also because most human races have affinity in the same beliefs of life and death, fortune and misfortune, cycles of the moon and sun, water and drought, family and friends, spiritual and unnatural.

Decorating with kilim rug is not just enough to match colors to the interior décor, one must take in consideration the meaning of certain symbols. Ancient tribes thought birds as raven, eagle and owls bring bad luck or attack human beings, while doves, nightingales and pigeons symbolize good luck and bring love. Knowing symbols will help bring in the house an all-round harmony. Kilim rugs are versatile enough to use in modern and traditional interiors. Their designs are well used for covering chairs, making draperies, bedding and pillows, or are as beautiful as wall hangings.
Fashionable kilim shoes and bags are timeless. I had the most exquisite kilim sabot pair of shoes for more than ten years that I ran to the ground, worn them with jeans, leather pants, shirt and oversize sweaters. I wondered often where the fabric of my shoes came from. Kilim bags and shoes are made from the best parts of old hand-woven, which were used as floor coverings, tent pieces, wall hangings, curtains, or blankets.

I am here ready to help, if you like to find a kilim rug. Ciao,

Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

ValOperaStampValentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer working in the USA and Europe since 1990, specializing in kitchen, bath, wine cellar, and outdoor kitchen designs. Often people describe her as “the colorist” as she loves to color her clients’ world and loves to create the unusual. “Vogue” magazine and many prominent publications in California featured Valentina’s work. She also has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15. Author of three published books, the latest ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors is on the subject of colors.


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