weft strands of the weave to produce a flat surface with no pile. Kilim weaves
are tapestry weaves, technically weft-faced plain weaves, that is, the
horizontal weft strands are pulled tightly downward so that they hide the
vertical warp strands.
When the end of a color boundary is reached, the weft yarn
is wound back from the boundary point. Thus, if the boundary of a field is a
straight vertical line, a vertical slit forms between the two different color
areas where they meet. For this reason, most kilims can be classed as
“slit woven” textiles. The slits are beloved by collectors, as they
produce very sharp-etched designs, emphasizing the geometry of the weave.
Weaving strategies for avoiding slit formation, such as interlocking, produce a
more blurred design image.
The weft strands, which carry the visible design and color,
are almost always wool, whereas the hidden warp strands can be either wool or
cotton. The warp strands are only visible at the ends, where they emerge as the
fringe. This fringe is usually tied in bunches, to ensure against loosening or
unraveling of the weave.
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