[Arab. kilim, klim; Pers. gilim; Turk. kilim]
Flat-woven covering or hanging, usually a weft-faced tapestry-woven rug, produced in the Islamic lands of western Central Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans and North Africa. These non-pile fabrics are often divided into groups known by such terms as jijim (cicim, djidjim, jimjim), zilu (sileh, silé, zilé, sille) and verneh (verné), but these terms may represent various techniques or combinations including tapestry, compound-weaving, brocading and embroidery, or may have limited geographical currency. The divergence between terminology (whether in European or local languages) of the deduced techniques of manufacture (e.g. ‘sumak brocading’) and the observed description of structure (e.g. weft wrapping) has led to widespread confusion in nomenclature. Scholars and dealers have also divided these pieces into such regional groups as Turkish, Caucasian and Persian, and these have been further subdivided by locality or tribe.
Flat-woven fabrics were used for animal trappings (including saddle-bags and covers), sacks, floor coverings, furnishings (including tent fittings, door covers, blankets, and covers for bolsters, pillows and hearth cushions), as well as belts, shawls and funeral shrouds. Most were produced in nomadic or village settings on horizontal or vertical looms. The fabrics range from 2 to 5 m in length and from 1 to 2 m in width. Some are composed of two narrow strips woven in mirror image and sewn together lengthwise. In comparison to pile carpets, which have long been appreciated in the West (...