Originally, the roots of the kellim rugs go back to the nomadic people of the Middle East. They served and still serve the nomads not necessarily as rugs, but rather as blankets, saddle blankets, seat mats or wall decorations.
It is believed that the first carpets in history, several hundred years before Christ, corresponded in many ways to today’s kellim carpets.
Since the original kellims are hand-woven, they also have a very important difference to knotted carpets. Knotting techniques have presumably only evolved from weaving techniques. Nowadays, kellims mostly originate from southern Iran or Afghanistan and India.
Kellims are so-called “flatweaves” and look almost identical from the top and bottom. They can thus be used on both sides, which is a great advantage over other types of carpets.
They also have very distinctive patterns and designs.
Thanks to the weaving technique with warp and weft, the patterns are linear and geometric. When the design elements are pulled apart, small holes are visible between them, which also result from the weaving technique.
Typical are strong colours that are extracted from plants and minerals like Persian carpets. Thus, original kellims from the Middle East are 100% natural products.
Although at times you may find kellim rugs included in the general genre of "oriental rugs", in more accepted practice, kellims (also written as kelim, gelim or killim) are in a class of their own.
The major difference between a Kellim area rug and a Carpet or a pile rug is that whereas the design visible on a pile rug is made by individual, short strands of different color being knotted onto the warps and held together by pressing the wefts tightly.
Kellim designs are made by interweaving the variously colored wefts and warps, thus creating what is known as a flat-weave.This is the most common weaving technique used to create geometric and diagonal patterned kilims.