What are Killim Rugs and Why are They So Popular?

Rugs are perhaps the most utilitarian element of home décor. That’s why you can find them being used in all sorts of living and commercial places these days. From doormats to area rugs to abstract wall décor, rugs can be found everywhere. Albeit, the entire kingdom of rugs is stretched across all seven continents. Each region has come up with its specific set of rugs.

kilim rugs
kilim rugs

That’s precisely why we’ve been deliberately talking about them in most of our recent articles. So, we’ve dedicated it to describe one of the most talked-about rugs in the entire world. Yes, we’re talking about the Killim rugs.

Killim rugs are perhaps the most popular of all oriental rugs. They are also known as Gillim rugs or Persian rugs in general. They formulate the famous flat-woven rugs originated from the once Persian empire.

This very attribute gives these rugs an ancient touch. Some experts even believe these rugs have existed since as early as the 13th century. In today’s world, however, these rugs are sourced primarily from Iran. A handful of kilim weavers can even be found in regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The primary nature of these rugs is Turkish, nevertheless. The term literally refers to a pile-less textile.

Killims are also known to be one of the most versatile rugs in the market these days. They’re used for floor carpeting. They’re used as decorative pieced positioned over furniture. They’re used as doormats. And they’re even used as abstract art pieces and wall-hangings.

What are Killim Rugs Made Of?

Certain ancient killims discovered during specific excavations have helped us to trace the ancient weaving patterns. The rugs retrieved from the excavations were mostly made up of animal skin and other organic materials. However, today’s killims are made up of animal hair (like wool and silk) and natural fibers like cotton, jute, and sisal.

The variation in building materials of these rugs gives them striking characteristics. Hence, the varying uses as well.

Are Killim Rugs Hand Knotted or Machine Knotted?

This is, in fact, a commonly occurring question. We’ve already established that these rugs have existed since ancient times. And, not much about their origin or making has changed in all these years. Interestingly enough, even the techniques used to create them have been retained by weavers. Here’s a list of popular techniques used to create killim rugs:

#1 Plain Weave

A lot of killim rugs are made using this technique. The weavers create a uniform space in between the heft and warp for this. Rugs made using this particular technique are relatively cheaper.

#2 Slit Weave

This is by far the most common technique used to create killim rugs. Most rugs created by this technique are reversible. In simple terms, they can be used through and from both sides. This technique primarily incorporates the weft to overlap the warp at the last column.

#3 Soumak Weave

This is a beautiful yet straightforward weave technique. The entire weave is based on using a lot of warp threads. That being said, this technique consists of precise calculations. With expertise, the weaver can blend in two Soumak Weaves to recreate a braided look for the rug. On top of that, this technique makes any rug look bulkier by adding a lot of visual volumes!

kilim rugs
kilim rugs

#4 Brocade Weave

This is a retro-modern technique that incorporates the traditional weave style. However, it also enables the weavers to add new and more wefts to the overall layout. Thus, developing a grand scope for creating intricate designs.

#5 Inter-Weave

This is the primary technique that got killim rugs designated as pile-less in the first place. Another reason why the rugs are called pile-less is that there is no space between the warp and weft. Plus, the compact weave of warp and weft threads make these rugs virtually indestructible.

How to Clean a Killim Rug?

Killim rugs are not only versatile in terms of use but maintenance. Yes, you read that right. These rugs are easy to care for and do not confine the users in terms of maintenance. Anyway, here are three significant ways to properly get a kilim rug cleaned: –

Using a Vacuum Cleaner

While we’ve already mentioned how easy it is to clean a kilim rug, there are certain specifications you must stick to. Using a vacuum cleaner is fine with these rugs. This is primarily because they’re tightly woven. However, you must never set your cleaner to the maximum capacity. In fact, we’d instead suggest that you go for a lower power setting. Plus, you must clean the rugs on both sides.

Spot Cleaning the Rugs

The most efficient way to do so is with a homogenous mixture of equal parts vinegar and cold water. Make sure to stir the solution before applying it to your rug correctly. Another thing to keep in mind while doing so is to place your rug on a sold and flat surface. You can mildly scrub the rug with a hand-held brush as well for better results. However, using extensive pressure is absolutely prohibited. And, do not forget to rinse the rug after thirty minutes of using the solution.

Using a Washing Machine

A mild wash at lower settings is fine with all kinds of killim rugs. However, much like with vacuum cleaners, you must try to avoid aggressive washing. Plus, we recommend you to use mild detergents that do not contain enzymes.


We’ve already answered most questions you might have had about killim rugs. however, there’s still one question that needs to be answered: does it make sense to buy a kilim rug? Well, we can be unhesitant about this and say a strong yes! And, that’s because of so many reasons.

For starters, killim rugs are hand-made, which makes every single one of them unique. Secondly, they’re made from natural fibers and natural dying through tight weaving. Thus, they are way more durable in nature as compared to their counterparts. And, finally, by buying one such rug, you’d be supporting an ancient artform thrive again!