The true jewel we have the honor to introduce to you is the traditional Bulgarian hand-woven kilimas of the Old Plain, which have justifiably won the proud nickname of the Pearl of the Balkans over the centuries.
We offer you the best of old kilimism. Each design of our catalogs can be made to order in size or in a color palette that best suits your conception. Kilims are double-sided; Made of natural materials – woolen yarn that weaves into a woolen or cotton warp. The wool kilim is pleasant to the touch, excellent thermal insulation, no electrostatic effects and does not hold or magnetize dust. Its light weight makes it easy to handle. Kilim colors are not subject to heat or light influences. People loving traditions will appreciate the possibility of producing a kilim of yarns dyed only with natural substances such as walnut or plum peels or mountain herbs. Kilim like this is then the perfect ecologically clean product. The classic designs of the Old Plain kilim have undergone several developmental stages over the centuries, and the models of the so-called constructive period, such as bakam or garibald, are unparalleled anywhere else in the world and are a unique example of the Bulgarian sense of aesthetics.
The kilim production has traditionally been on small home loom, and it is hard to imagine that one square meter kilim weaving will take experienced kilimakers over ten days for eight hours of work. The fascinating results of their work are tightly woven kilims with enormous durability, counting for decades. Each of the two kilim sides can withstand more than thirty years of demanding daily workloads. Kilims are not subject to aging. Contrariwise with increasing years, they are becoming more and more natural and original. We would say they mature like wine and gain value. That is why, in difficult times, along with the Rhodope hut, they have always become a means of saving and appreciation of money and a certain investment. Old Plain kilims are an invaluable work of art for their ornamental mastery and color variety rather than carpet, which can brighten any house. Bulgarians also believe that kilim can bring him happiness and abundance.
HISTORY OF KILIM WEAVING
Our kilimas come from the once flowering craft towns, situated on the steep slopes of the Old Plain – Balkan. The tradition of hand weaving of double-sided kilimes dates back to the year 1688 and is actually born from the ashes of the blood-suppressed anti-Turkish uprising, which then engulfed the western part of Old Plain. After the original sources of livelihoods in the burned-out villages were destroyed, the Bulgarians who survived the janitorial spree began to devote mostly kilimism. They began to write the history of world-renowned kilims, which had earned fame during the first decades of production, and were soon prized for their original design throughout the Ottoman Empire, the Middle East, but also in Central Europe or Italy. In the short term, they also became fierce competitors of the Persians imported from the Middle East. As for their appearance, this early period is characterized as constructive. Initially inspired by geometric shapes, Kilimarius create impressive harmony of warm and cool colors. The most used colors are yellow, brown, blue and green. Models coming from this period (black-eyed bride, garibald, bakam) and who we can offer to you today, have no analogy anywhere else in the world. Paradoxically, but not by chance, the biggest customer of the Old Plain Kilimanian families was their defector – a regular Turkish army that every year bought a huge amount of these kilims as part of their troop equipment. The old business books say that in the second half of the nineteenth century, shortly before the liberation of Bulgaria, it was buying 8,000 kilims every year. Ottoman military commanders appreciated their durability. Their low weight also played a role in the Old Plain Kilims, which proved to be their invaluable advantage in the frequent movement of soldiers. This property of kilims significantly favored the Persians and increased their popularity. Their ornamental sophistication and color harmony, in turn, made the Old-Plain Kilimas the most renowned prayer rug among the ranks of the vast Ottoman Empire. At this time, kilim weaving has already been perfected. From today's perspective, we are talking about the nineteenth century as a decorative period. Natural motifs have become the most inspiring source of experienced kilimers. So stylized trees, flowers, twigs, birds, lizards, but also various constellations began to weave into the kilim. This creates a very impressive and original composition, using an ever richer color palette. It expands to white and black, and red is the dominant underlying shade. Although the kilim industry stagnated for a short time after the liberation, due to the entrepreneurial attitude of the local kilim families, carpet production within the newly established Bulgarian Empire began to concentrate mainly on exports to Western Europe. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the major awards that kilim received came from. The kilim gold medals were won at trade shows and international fairs in Antwerp, Liège, Brussels, London or in the then important Balkan city of Plovdiv, and also went to the collections of many European museums. 890/5000
The Old Plain kilimism has survived all the shocks of the twentieth century and still astonishes with the originality of the designs, color palette, durability and genius of its creators. In the old mountain houses, the Kilims still make Bulgarian kilimaras traditionally in a small vertical state, which inherited their craft from their ancestors. Many of the original kilim patterns with poetic names such as "spring vines, autumn vines, lizards and chickens" or "bombs" can weave by heart, without any pattern. The difficulty of production is underscored by the fact that even today, the kilim family draws many of the dyes used to color wool yarn from natural sources according to family recipes – from nut, plum or onion skins, or from many types of mountain herbs. There is also the charm of kilimism: every kilim is, thanks to the uniqueness of natural shades, a unique original.
It is hand-washed in cold or lukewarm water. We recommend having the carpet cleaned only by specialists who deal with cleaning handloom Kilims and oriental rugs.