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All Kilims can be ordered on approval for 7 days. That means that if you can put it in place for up to 7 days and if you don’t want it, then you can return it at our expense.

More information below…

Kilim Rugs and Carpets

DOBAG Project Kilim 11 – sku:PK11

1 in stock

DOBAG is the project for the revival of the natural dyeing techniques in parts of western Anatolia.

This project was started in 1981 by a Chemist from Germany called Dr Harald Boehmer. He could see that the knowledge of natural dyes was fast being lost and decided to do something about it.

There are two co-operatives in the DOBAG project: one in the Ayvacik region of Canakkale province and the other in the Yuntdag region of Manisa province. Both are self funding and owned and run by the weavers and their families.

Here, you can buy some of the finest examples available in the UK.

There is some interesting information at the bottom of this page about the manufacturing processes , the techniques and the DOBAG project.

All the kilims above are made as part of the DOBAG project in Turkey.

This project started back in 1981 after Dr Harold Boehmer , a German Chemist, decided to do something about the fast disappearing knowledge of making natural dyes.

Not only did the formation of DOBAG rescue the knowledge, it also brought some prosperity to impoverished villagers and empowered women.

DOBAG stands for "Dogal Boya Arastirma ve Gelistirme Projesi" - which in English means "Natural Dye Research and Development Project"

The results of Dr Boehmers test on antique and old kilims and carpets held in museums has provided much of the information neccessary to recover lost dyeing skills.

Dr Haraold Boehmer
The great thing about natural dyes as opposed to sythetic dyes is that they are naturally in harmony with each other. Look at the wool that the ladies in the picture on the right are holding, and how the basic colours just seem to complement each other. This is why kilims made with natural dyes look better.

Not only that , but the traditional designs were made with these natural colours in mind. When the synthetic dyes first arrived people kept the same patterns but made them in all sorts of disgusting and un-harmonius colours!

Along with the rediscovery of the dyeing techniques has come theconcentration on perfecting the old techniques using the best raw materials. The result is had made kilims and carpets of a higher standard than ever before.

Naturally Dyeing the wool for kilims in Suleymankoy weaving a Kilim

Making a Kilim/Carpet The entire village has a part to play in each kilim and the whole process can take months, depending on the complexity and size of the design.

The men have to look after their sheep , always looking for fresh grazing land. This is a constant task and in winter this involve sleeping out in the cold with the sheep. To cope with this they make a kepenek, which is a woolen cape that also is useful as a sleeping:

The turkish sheep have extra fat tails. They store fat there for the hard times. They also produce excellent quality wool - perfect for making carpets and kilims that will last a lifetime. Turkish Sheep ! the raw material of a carpet or kilim

A turkish man shearing a sheep

The men get the task of shearing the sheep. The sheep are not harmed by this and will grow a new thick cost of wool. The sheep can be sheared twice a year, but the winter coat (sheared in the spring) is considered the best quality and is usually reserved for carpet and kilim making.

The characteristics of the winter wool is that it has a long staple and can be boiled without matting. This makes it very suitable for dyeing. You need around ten sheep to produce enough wool for 1 square meter of carpet.

Once the wool is washed in running water, it is then combed by the women to make it suitable for spinning. This is usually done by the older women who still use the drop spindle and the realtively newer wheel. Drop spinning is one of mans oldest technologies. It is still extremely effective and has hardly been improved on. The women spining the wool can judges the thickness of the yarn she is making, and studies have shown that experienced spinners are accurate to within a few microns.

The orther benefit of drop spinning is it's portability , which is perfect for a nomadic lifestyle.

Spinning wool for a Kilim

Carpets and Kilims Spinning with a wheel.

Making a rug and looking after the grandchildren at the same time ! a carpet loom in the house

Dyeing with onion Skins Some people dye the wool in their own home and others take it to a master dyer in the village.

Nearly all of the natural materials required to make the dyes are collected locally. For example, the red colour comes from a plant called "Madder". This is a wild plant that grows amongst cotton plants. Local cotton farmers are very happy to have their fields weeded each summer.

The one exception is the blue which is contained in Indigo , and has to be imported from India (as it has been for many hundreds of years).

This is important because the blue is needed to make green and purple ! Fortunately, indigo is a compact and strong dye , so a large volume is not needed to make excellent blues.

The red colour comes from a plant called "Madder". This is a wild plant that grows amongst cotton plants. Local cotton farmers are very happy to have their fields weeded each summer.

Rich Yellow Wool For Carpets and Kilims

Once the wools are dyed ready, then the loom can be set up.

Most looms in the DOBAG project are in the weavers own home.

The warp threads which are the basis of the carpet are stretched across the loom. These are usually cotton, but can be wool or even silk.

making kilims keeping it tight ! Individual knots are tied and squashed together until the carpet is complete. This tool is called a beating comb. the process is the same with kilims but with different knots.

The designs are usually made from memory.

Once the weaving is finished (which takes ages!) , the carpet is washed with soap and water and left to dry.

All Kilims can be ordered on approval for 7 days. That means that if you can put it in place for up to 7 days and if you don't want it, then you can return it at our expense.

Each Kilim is unique. There is only one available in each style. We have personally selected the kilims in the range - which is why they are all so outstandingly beautiful. Some are flat weave kilims and some are kilim carpets.

All of our kilims are 100% hand made (through the whole process , please read below to find out more). They are all made from pure wool. No-one else has this quality in stock in the UK.

This kilims should and will last a lifetime. They will become softer, shinier and more beautiful with time and use. Look out for the older kilims below.

COLOURS: Natural colours are the best meditation. After all day working you are so tired you can come to your home and relax. The red give you energy yellow and orange is appetite. Purple is inspire and make you think over the line. Blue is hapines.

To make a real kilim carpet (which is %100 hand made, like all of ours) ...
1) She cut the wool from the sheep. She has to clean the wool.
2) She has to spin the wool by hand,to make a thread.
3) She has to dye the material with natural colours (vegetable dyes).
4) She has to dry them under the sun.
5) She has to hang up the wool on the loom.
6) She has to think (dream of the design)and (to be inspired) and then she can start to make a kilim carpet with a patience.
So if they do all this together this means the kilim carpet is %100 hand made.

But this is not always like that. All hand knotted kilim carpets are not %100 hand made ! Because they are using machine spun material (they don't spend time for a hand spin) and they don't do natural colours (it is not easy to find natural dyes,and it is becoming missing culture) and the design are ready (by computer) she has to count of number of the knots, like 2 time's red 5 time's blue. She work like a robot. She is only doing hand knot.not the another work.

In Turkey in other country also mostly kilim carpets are made in this way.

How to make a kilim carpet

The weaving is started from the bottom of the loom. First the kilim part (flat woven part) is woven at the lower edge. The weaver then takes a piece of wool which corresponds with the pattern and forms a knot on two warps. Then she cuts the surplus wool with a knife. After one row of knotting is completed, she then passes a weft thread in between the front and back warps. The weft threads are used to strengthen the weaves of the kilim carpet.

Then she will take the ''kirkit'' (a heavy comb like a tool) and vigorously beat down the row of the kilim carpet of knots and weft in order to obtain the desired tightness and to make the knots and weft compact. Following this step, with a pair of adjustable scissors she cuts the surplus colored threads to obtain a uniform level of pile thickness. The process in continued until the kilim carpet is complete.

The turkish kilim carpet's are double knot. Turkish knot is wrapped around two warps, persian knot around a single warp. So it makes the kilim carpet stronger, firmer and more durable. In this form of knotting, each end of the pile thread is wrapped all the way around the two warps, pulled down and cut. More info is on the way.

The best material to make a carpet is the wool. because wool is durable.only wool is absorbing the natural colour.(wool has the lanolin inside natural oil of the wool but it must be hand spun. If it is machine spun, wool is losing the oil ! The wool gets better and better as time passes, they get softer and start to have a shine This is useful, and by the time after use they get much more valuable. Ok.

Why silk carpets are expensive? Because they use expensive material to make. But after using wool carpets they get much more expensive then silk carpet. The technique and motif has has been passed from generation to generation, from mother to daughter , Turkey is only country in the world that has preserved all different techniques. Carpet, kilim ,cicim, sumak, zili.

All design has meaning like ; tree of life symbolizing long life and re-birth and generation. The horns of animals symbolize;power,pride. Hand on hips symbolize; female fertility and the mother of god. Hanging candle symbolize; the holy (eternal) light. Running water symbolizes; fertile, richness. Medallion symbolize; their tribe. Peacock symbolize; paradise. Star symbolize; eternity.

Also there are some motifs like a leaf, vase, footprint of animals, rose, tulip, flower motifs are on the carpets. All these designs have been used since 2000 years ago (at this time Turkish people were not muslim).

All kilim carpets they look different colour from two different end. so one side is dark colour if you look from other side the colour is light. because when they make it,pile on the carpet dosent stand perpendicular, pile is leaning to one side. Meaning of this from one side light is going in side to the pile and it is look like dark colour. from other side light has reflection.