50 shades of bohemian kilim rugs

In this post I am not writing about whips and latex suits, but about decoration, which is also a form of pleasure. With this article, I would like to introduce you to bohemian kilim rugs made all over the world.

When you think of a kilim rug, you visualise a hand-woven rug with exotic patterns and original colours, produced for personal use. These kilim rugs take you on a journey and bring a touch of originality to your interior. But, do you know the different “varieties” of bohemian kilim rugs?

We all know Persian carpets, Berber carpets, Turkish kilim rugs, but not the others, because there are a multitude of other bohemian kilim rugs with specific styles and colours.

Follow me on a world tour of bohemian kilim rugs. 

Let’s start with the Persian carpet, the king of carpets and the carpet of kings. Persian carpets have fascinated consumers for centuries and have long been a luxury product that only the very rich could afford. They arrived on the European market in the early Middle Ages. Made of silk or wool and extremely expensive, only the ultra-rich owned them and used them as … wall decoration, as they were much too expensive to be put on the ground. Persian carpets are at the origin of the appearance of tapestry workshops in France and in other parts of Europe. le tapis bohème These bohemian carpets were in great demand, very expensive and imported.  The public authorities encouraged the creation of carpet weaving workshops locally. La Savonnerie and other workshops were thus born. The first carpets made in Europe copied the technique of the Iranian carpets and the Dutch floral motifs that were very fashionable at the time.

In the family of the bohemian kilim rugs you also know the Berber carpets which in turn come in “varieties” according to the region where they were woven.
tapis berbères

The most emblematic are the beni ouarain, with dark geometric patterns on a cream background. They are woven from untreated and unpainted sheep’s wool. The dark patterns are made from dark-haired sheep’s wool and the cream background from light-haired sheep’s wool. The minimalism of these beautiful rugs inspired Le Corbusier and Matisse. They have become very fashionable in recent years. These Berber bohemian rugs are perfect if you are looking for a minimalist and monochrome decoration. You can find them on Etsy, where you have a wide range of choice. Do not forget the azilal, boucherouite, and beni mguild bohemian rugs which are also superb and rich in colour.

In the bohemian kilim rug category, people are familiar with Turkish kilims with their ochre colours and abstract patterns. Each pattern has its meaning, the weavers used them to tell the story of their concerns and aspirations through the carpet.

You may be less familiar with other categories of bohemian kilim rugs, such as Moldavian floral rugs. This is a very colourful kilim rugs with large floral patterns in comparison to Persian carpets. The floral patterns on these kilim rugs are very rich and varied, you can find literally all the flowers that grow in Moldova: pansies, chamomile, camellias, bells, blues, tulips, sunflowers, lilies of the valley, lilacs and especially roses. These floral motifs are assembled in the form of one or more central bouquets and always surrounded by a floral frieze. tapis moldaves

The distinctive feature of Moldavian kilim rugs is the black background which highlights the other colours of the carpet. Moldavian carpets are kilims, i.e. flat woven carpets. Sometimes both sides of the carpet are identical and can be used. You can buy Moldavian carpets here or on Etsy.

In the category of bohemian kilim rugs, there are Afghan carpets. For a few decades Afghan carpets have been adorned with special motifs, helicopters, tapis afghans fighter planes, grenades, and kalashnikovs depicting battle scenes that reflect the dramatic situation and the surrounding instability. These carpets are called war rugs.    

Traditional Chinese carpets made of silk are also not very well known. The motifs used on these carpets are Taoist or Buddhist motifs, dragons, motifs that are also present on Chinese porcelain. Chinese kilim rugs are traditionally produced in some regions. The distinctive feature of traditional Chinese carpets is their dark blue colour. All the patterns are woven on a dark blue background. Nowadays the local carpet industry adapts to the taste of the international market and produces carpets in other colours than the traditional dark blue. The art of weaving traditional Chinese carpets is gradually being lost as carpet prices have risen following the end of state subsidies. The very high prices of these bohemian carpets diverted local buyers to other decoration products.

In the family of bohemian kilim rugs the Mexican carpet is probably the least known here in Europe. Tourists who have visited Mexico have probably brought some back in their suitcases, but for those who have not had the chance to travel there I will provide a brief presentation. They are hand woven kilims by families of craftsmen, with geometric patterns and bright colours. Many families still use natural dyes to perpetuate the ancestral know-how of wool dyeing. You can find them for sale on Etsy.

The Tibetan carpet is also part of the big family of bohemian kilim rugs. They are hand knotted carpets like Persian carpets, they are small. They are made in Tibet and Nepal by Tibetan exiles. You can find them for sale on Etsy.

I hope you enjoyed this bohemian carpet tour, and I hope it was thorough.

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