Persian Rugs and Carpets

Persian Rugs and Carpets

Persian Rugs and Carpets

Gelim or Kilim


Gelim or Kelim is a flat tapestry-woven carpet or rug with many uses which are produced through one of the several common Flat-weaving techniques. Being products of various part of Iran, they can be purely decorative or can function as prayer rugs. In ancient times, Gelims were also produced along with pile carpets. As Gelims are much less durable than rugs (which have a pile to protect the warp and weft), it is not surprising that few of great age have remained. The oldest Gelim in Iran belongs to the Parthian Period.

Of important models one may refer to the Verni Gelim in Azarbaijan, Gelimcheh (small Gelim) of Bijar and Sanandaj, Baluch Gelim, Shiriki Pich – which resembles carpet in shape and knots, Pelas in central regions, Masnad in Naeen districts of Ardabil and Ziloo around Tehran. In simple words, Gelim is a simple carpet with a flat weave: a carpet without pile. The technique consists of

weaving strands of animal wool or vegetable fibers interwoven tougher which might have been created according to the basic needs of the early civilizations for covering, shelter or storage as well as creating simple means of life such as floor mats for tents, bags, saddle-bags (satchels), folding bed-clothes, horse-cloth and adornment of the walls in tents.



Gelim or Kilim Patterns

Persian Kilim Patterns
                     Persian Kilim Patterns


According to historical accounts, the type of Gelims’ patterns along with jewelry, clothes, tent furnishings, and animal trappings were specific to each village tribe and tribal Bedouins. The art of Gelim weaving was prevalent during the pre-Islamic period, but after that, the talent of tribal Bedouins, villagers, and natives of different lands surprisingly affected this art and resulted in its artistic innovation and technical growth.

Gelim Materials

Persian Rug and Caerpets
Persian Rug and Carpets

Today, the materials used for Gelim weaving include sheep and goat wool as well as cotton. Gelim weaving looms are mostly erected vertically on the ground, and its warp resembles that of carpets. The wrinkles are typically made of white cotton, and the woofs are woolen and colorful. Different images with colorful wefts are used on Gelims, and one can often identify the locality of the Gelim from the motifs and knots used on the mat. Glims is woven whether horizontal (portable) and the permanent or vertical one (non-portable, used in cities and villages).



Types of Gelim

Harsin Gelim: of Kermanshah, Doll Design

Ordinary Gelim: woven with hemp, cotton   and also wool threads

Gunny Gelim has woven with several colored pieces of cloth.

Suzani Gelim embroidered with raised figures after the ordinary Gelim is woven.

Needlework Gelim is woven with cotton threads to be hung on the wall.

Jol: a surface-embroidered Gelim with decorative designs, used as horse saddles.

Pelas: a type of Gelim in which each color is used for weaving several rows; it does not have a pile. Palas is also the name used for the coarse woolen robes dervish wear.

Jajim or chador-shab: this is a kind of striped carpet woven with colored threads and thinner than Palas.

Ziloo: this is a kind of Gelim woven with cotton threads and simple designs quite in harmony with rural life. It has a cotton warp and weft.

Rakht-e-khab pich (bed-packing Gelims): this type of Gelim is used by migrating tribes.

Charkhi-baf Gelim: this is a sturdy and thick Gelim only one side of which can be used.

Khorjin (saddle-bags) and Juwals: used for carrying goods.

Gelimcheh (small Gelims): woven like Gelims but these could be tiny.

Masnads: sturdy and fine-woven decorative Gelimeches.

Navar-chador (tent-band): this type of Gelim is decorative.

Sajadeh (prayer Gelims): these are woven with altar designs and are used for praying.

Ghigh: this Gelim is used for the walls of tents; both of its sides is the same and can be used alike.

Rah Rah: knitted mostly in the Sirjan region and are also called khatti design Gelims. Ardebil and Moghan knit the same design but in lower qualities.

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