If we were to find an occupation greater than weaving
– we probably could not.
Our work pace is not hurried.
Through our art, we can convey the music of our souls. A tangible product emerges in our hands: something that others may find not only visually pleasing but also useful. Or even serving them for decades! Most exquisite materials pass through our hands. We do not know any other craft that brings such great peace and mindfulness at the same time. Yes, we are somewhat limited by the technique we use and the colours of the wool available (we use recycled wool only), but the creation process itself rewards all of them. Weaving a carpet or a kilim is a pure pleasure (for those with greater patience!).
But… what exactly is a kilim? How is it made? Why does it take so long…?
Kilim is a functional textile.
It can be a carpet, a decorative wall hanging or an element of a more complex object – a pillow, a toiletry bag, or an article of clothing. The characteristic feature of this textile is that one can use both sides – mirror reflections of each other. On neither of them, there are visible knots or threads sticking out. Because the fabric is very tightly woven, the ends of the weft thread (horizontal rows) are interwoven, and their knots remain unseen. It is wool that is most often used for the warp (as is the case here as well), which makes kilims thick and resilient. They will survive long years, serving as carpets, for example. Vertical rows are the warp which serves as a sort of skeleton for the fabric.
When this step is over, pure pleasure begins.
Pressing the pedals with your feet makes the loom lift half of the warp threads and allows you to weave the weft through them. Changing the pedal lifts the other half of the threads and the weft can be woven through again. This is how you weave… a few centimetres per hour. The speed of the process depends on the complexity of the pattern and the width of the textile. Imagine a white kilim with a black circle in its centre. In order to weave one row of the textile, we need to weave through some of the white weft, in the middle we have to switch to black, and then go back to white again. In this scenario we are dealing with three colours; the most complex patterns in our portfolio require using 15 different colours in a single row.
With a very simple, single-color design, we can expect to weave at a rate of about 10 cm per hour. For really complex projects – 3–5cm. Each thread has to be woven through manually and placed exactly where we want it to be. We must align the edges. Make sure that the colours are well combined. We must carefully mind the pattern. Beat up. And we are done!
Despite the general tendency to simplify and speed up any process possible, the technique of kilim weaving has not changed for centuries.
There are no workshops that would automate the weaving of kilims. Each thread is repeatedly drawn by the weaver, making their hands coarse their neck stiff…
But there is no better reward for the time, effort and care put into weaving, than the awareness of being a creator of an object virtually immortal.
The intimate atmosphere in which a kilim is made and the long time that the craftsman spends on the textile is reflected in its quality and the impression that the finished piece makes.