“Simple” never means “ordinary” in the way we look at handmade rugs.
It’s a simple but powerful idea, and it inspires both the way we create rugs and guides how curate classics. The Persian paneled Kilim exemplifies this principle, and its ‘simple’ beauty hides a rich history. We admire both, and trust our colleagues will too, as we teach them the intricacies of this archaic flat weave style.
There are several styles, but the Persian Mazandaran Kilim appears to be the oldest panel-weaving flat weave styles. These Persian Kilims date so far back that it’s no wonder they’ve migrated so far, and touched countless rug, textile and art forms over time.
“Mazandaran” refers to the Iranian weavers of the same province, whose ‘simple’ technique is more a labor of love than meets the eye. Their looms were narrow, so they wove 2-3 foot columns (aka “panels”) and stitched them together to create larger Kilims. This same technique classifies them as “textiles” as much as Kilim rugs. These thick-wool Kilims were once used in a wide array of ways. Warmth in rural homes, dining, coverings for pile rugs and even drying barley were just some of their uses in tribal culture.
It’s a painstaking process that achieves a distinct, gorgeous minimalist look. The vibe was ahead of its time from its birth, and is still celebrated by connoisseurs today.
The paneled Kilim style traveled far and wide long before it reached the United States circa 1980. It’s hard to speculate how many variations exist given how old the style is, and how far it’s traveled through the ages.
Oversized antique and vintage paneled Kilims are a rare find, even in modern-day Iran and Turkey. 8×10, 9×12 and 10×14 are uncommon, but palace-sized Kilims are few and far between. Small-size and mid-size paneled Kilims are more abundant, and it’s easier to find more colorful, intricate pieces therein.
Rug & Kilim Principal Josh Nazmiyal says he’s blessed with a good eye, and his classic Kilim acquisitions certainly attest. This year, Josh is equally excited, though, to share our new collections and custom works that reinvent the style.
On the modern end, our new “Rez Kilim” construction may be our most exciting new offering that this style has inspired. The technique draws on the panel-weaving technique, but employs a heavy, loop-like texture and the most refreshing modern colors.
Best of all? Modern construction means limitless possibilities in size and color. The only thing we love as much as curating rare oversized Kilims is creating them, after all. Like many of our collections, this is a contribution to a style that recaptures it in ways you’d never, see, and the reception is promising so far. If our best modern work comes when one masters classics, as Josh says, then “Rez Kilim” may exemplify that principle.