INTERVIEW: KILIIM HANDCRAFTED RUGS

Egyptian area rug weaving brand, Kiliim, brings us an Ancient Egyptian heritage of beautifully designed handmade kilim rugs with cultural yet contemporary designs and colors. Includes hand woven wool rugs and hand woven cotton rugs. We interviewed the founders of this unique brand to get an insight into the brand’s creative process, inspirations, and upcoming designs!

54KIBO: WHAT’S THE SIGNIFICANCE OF REVIVING KILIM RUG-MAKING IN EGYPT?

Kiliim: The rug-weaving craft has been a part of the Egyptian heritage since the age of the Pharaohs. It's been passed from generation to generation and was the backbone of the village, Fowa, and a huge booster to its economy. Due to several factors, like weak financial compensation, the lack of innovation, and the low educational background of the craftsmen, it started dying and stopped being passed to younger generations. We felt the urge to help craftsmen innovate, develop, and get fair financial compensation to encourage them to practice the craft and ensure our heritage doesn't die out.

54KIBO: WHAT INSPIRED THE DESIGNS OF YOUR COLLECTION?

Kiliim: Every collection has its own inspiration! Our debut was inspired by the traditional patterns you find in the old kilim rugs yet they have better color coordination and a minimalist approach to suit contemporary homes. Later collections were inspired by the raw material itself (so we added a 100% Egyptian cotton line of rugs) as well as the different textures and weaving techniques to create innovative, yet trendy, designs.

Our design team researches international trends, colors, and aesthetics. Then they decide on a design that both combines innovation and trend, bearing in mind the season. For instance, we focus on wool more during fall then Cotton starting from spring.

54KIBO: CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE PROCESS OF CREATING YOUR WORK?

Kiliim: Our designers come up with new designs then they're printed out and explained to our chief technical craftsmen who with our training, divides the proportions, weaves the rug in real life, then trains the rest of the craftsmen to make them. They're later photographed and uploaded to our website where customers can order it and get it shipped to their doorstep by our logistics team.

54KIBO: FAVORITE ITEM IN YOUR COLLECTION? AND FROM 54KIBO?

 

Kiliim: the Black Cascade kilim rug, it was the first cotton design we produced and had those thick yellow tassels that gave it richness and a truly unique look. We're expanding into a new craft of home textiles, namely embroidered handwoven throws and bed covers.

[From 54kibo]..The sisal baskets! Whenever I see them, I relate to Africa, which is the main reason we joined 54kibo. We felt that the mission to combine the rich African origin crafts in one place is an amazing idea to get the different vibes of Africa and the diversity of its people.

 


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