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February 24, 2016

Having a look through this month’s Real Living Magazine, I spotted a beautiful Moldova Rose Kilim.

I’ve never seen any type of kilim clearly divide people as much as Moldova rose kilims do. It seems people either love them or hate them. There's no ‘I could learn to live with it’ or in-betweens. Indeed, I can recall first seeing these kilims whilst my father-in-law was packing for an exhibition in Norway (the Norwegians being squarely in the 'love love love it' corner), and being totally turned off. Not for me, I thought. Almost a decade later and I have severely changed my tune! I now have a soft spot for these wonderfully imperfect geometric floral displays.

Karabakh Rose Kilim
These kilims share some basic similarities.

– 100% hand spun wool

– Woven in the flat weave technique with interlocking warps. This gives the effect of ‘blurriness’ or blending throughout the motifs.

– Floral elements predominantly roses but also leaves, grapes, blossoms, lilies.

– Hand woven around 1940-1960’s

Also known as Karabakh/Karabagh Kilims. Karabagh, located in the south central Caucasus, was a famed rug production centre in the 1890’s. Peter Stone, in his book, ‘Tribal and Village Rugs,’ notes the following: “The 19th Century Russian court adopted French tastes and fashions, including furnishings. Commissions for rugs in the French style were given to the Karabagh weavers. Russian officers involved in the pacification of the Caucasus may also have ordered rugs in rough imitation of Aubussons, Gobelins and Savonneries. So, the cabbage rose came to the Caucasus.”

Here are some pictures of the rugs mentioned above and there are clear similarities.

Karabakh Kilim RugKarabakh Kilim RugKarabakh Kilim Rug

Due to their construction of interlocking warps, these kilims appear to be reversible and can be used both sides.

I think you can appreciate these kilims most from a distance. They give the impression of a beautiful painted work and indeed it was very popular to use these kilims as wall hangings.

We have a large range of Moldova kilims available to see here and in our next shipment I am please to announce we have a few more coming.