You can easily transform the look and feel of your home with a beautiful rug. As a result, vintage kilim rugs have quickly become the go-to decor item as they add instant warmth and character to the space. Kilim rugs originated in the Middle East and Asia centuries ago and are a flat weave that is usually hand woven and colored using natural dyes. Kilims are usually unique as each rug tells a story and the personality of the artisan.
If you’re looking to integrate a unique and heirloom quality piece in your home, then a kilim rug is by far the best choice. As mentioned above, kilims are unique and you’ll be including an artisan, high-quality piece into your home. With age comes wear and tear, so when you’re shopping be aware of fading or natural wear in the rug. Kilims are passed down generation from generation so these beautiful decor items see a lot of action; however, you can find pieces that have been immaculately used and can be used for decades to come. As you research, you’ll notice differences in era and origin from Turkey to Iran to Central Asia, which is the fun part of shopping for kilims (at least for me it is!).
Here are 3 tips for shopping for kilim rugs:
- Budget. If you’re on a tight budget (under $500), you’ll likely need to refine your search for kilims under 5×8. You’ll get more options, but you’re looking at a small rug. On the other hand, if you’re willing to make an investment (at least $1,000) then you’ll find kilims that are 8×10 and above, but note there is limited quantities in these larger sizes.
- Hand vs Machine. The best way to confirm that the kilim is hand woven and in fact vintage is to look at the back of the rug. The knots of a hand knotted rug will be slightly uneven and different sizes while a machine made rug will look very uniform and perfectly even with machine made stitching.
- Verify Authenticity. We’re lucky to live in a world with mobile technology and you should use it to your benefit. If you’re at the flea market and the seller promises the rug is 19th Century Anatolian Kilim, but you’re not sure? Do a quick google search to verify the technique, design, and details.
I have found many great quality vintage kilims at the flea market, but also on One Kings Lane and Etsy. When shopping online, ask for detailed images and ask about any wear and tear.