Modern flatweaves - rugs go back to their roots

During the summer, many people look for lighter and brighter fabrics to freshen up the home. For the floor, natural rugs such as jute or sisal items see an increase in demand, especially for conservatories. But these are usually in a single beige, brown or other earth tone, with a stiff, hardy texture. On the other hand, kilims (sometimes spelt kelims) and other flatweave rugs can provide a slim, light floor covering with bags of character and colour.


A flatweave rug is made by interlocking a horizontal thread, or “weft”, across a vertical thread, or “warp”. The warp can be cotton, linen, wool or other materials. The weft is most commonly in wool, and it is this weft that creates the pattern and colour on the rug. The warp strands can appear at each end of the rug, and be tied to create a fringe.

In effect, the rug is a type of woven textile, and so doesn't have the pile of other types of rug (the pile is the vertical tufts that give other rugs their thickness). Flat woven rugs are therefore much thinner and more flexible. Examples of flatweave rugs include kilims, dhurries, soumaks and tapestry rugs. In fact, many flatweaves also make excellent tapestry-style wall hangings.

Production can be the traditional handmade way, or on machine looms for faster, higher volume production. Incidentally, due to the way they are made, flatweave rugs are often usable on both sides - which can be a handy extra.

Modern Ethnic Chic

Similarly, the final product can stay true to traditional colours and patterns, and give a period style room a classic look. Or a more modern room can use them to create a “shabby chic” look, especially if the rugs are old and a little worn.

It's also possible to buy flatweave rugs with the texture and feel of a traditional flatweave, but in modern designs and colour combinations. These modern versions can create either bright, colourful flooring ideas or subtler, softer-toned interpretations.

A wide range of modern flatweave ideas are now appearing. TV personality and designer Jeff Banks, for example, has launched a range of modern kilims in his latest Ports of Call Collection. Some popular contemporary kilims are shown opposite.

Or see all of our current kilims and other flatweave rugs via the following link:


Bright Kilim Rug
A bright, colourful kilim from the Caucasion Kilim Collection. A rug like this can be used to add a lively, hippy-chic look to a room.

Modern Jeff Banks kilim
A cool, contemporary kilim in gold and cream tones, from designer Jeff Banks' Ports of Call Range. A subtle pattern, lovely soft colours and a classic slim kilim construction with fringes.

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