Glad to comment the fantastic mosaic flooring called KELIMS!
Kelims are traditional carpets of Tunisia, in the shape of architectural and
very decorative Arabesque style colorful ceramic.
The Kelims design is artistically lined with borders in harmony with the central motif composed of curves, diamonds, flowers or stars, according to various models. They bring life, cheerfulness and even “spring” to your home whether it be in hallways, in front of your chimneys, at the entrance, or in fact, in any other place of your choice!
Origin of the Kelims
They are ground tapestries, characterized by the combination of two simple geometrical patterns, the lozenge (or diamond shape) and the triangle. They belong to the millennium old art of North Africa’s first inhabitants, the “Berbers” and remind us of their jewelry, their pottery and even their tattoos.
The “Kairouan klim” type, which inherited the name of the city (center of Tunisia) where it was originally produced, is the ascendant of a variety of present day Tunisian carpets. It is rustic, made of natural or dyed long wool. Its pattern includes a large and generally hexagonal central space, corner pieces with stylized patterns and large border strips with geometric or floral designs.
This carpet was introduced in various Tunisian cities, resulting in a myriad of varieties, each characterized by regional artistic influences, religious beliefs, prophylactic symbols as well as inputs from ceramic decoration and embroideries.
The Kairouan Kelim with vivacious color schemes was increasingly adopted in function of the Artisans’ imagination…a graduation of blue, green, black or white with an influx of shades and lights usually settled on a desert yellow, where dunes are always moving.
This is exactly the design that can bring to your homes, a millenium-old art full of history, culture and exotic nature!
In fact, as Tunisia is at the crossroad of various civilizations, it has always been well known for its weaving cultural tradition. The ancient Greeks already famed the carpets and tapestries of Carthage, five centuries before JC. During the first century of Islam, the “Aghlabides” emirate of Kairouan paid its tribute to the calife of Baghdad partly in carpets and tapestries. Later, travelers reported the usage of various forms of weaving in palaces, homes and by the tribes: floor carpets, saddle carpets, etc. Anchored in the traditions, but also open to external contributions, this know-how was at the origin of typically Tunisian weaving inspired by the oriental carpets, but also following regional and ethnic traditions, whilst filling out daily needs and having sometimes several functions.
A tapestry is a decorative textile work, adorning a wall or covering a piece of furniture or the ground, manually woven on a horizontal or vertical loom, the pattern being made of dyed threads of wool or silk which are packed so as to hide the master strings. Examples are most wall carpets, but also the “Mergoum” and the “Kelim of Kelim”. An example is the “Kairouan”. Legend attributes to “Kamla”, the daughter of a Turkish governor of Kairouan (center-east of Tunisia), the introduction in 1830 of the “Ghiords” (ghorza) knot, of Anatolian (Turkish) conception.