Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Crosscurrents: Land, Labor, and the Port. Textile Society of America's 15th Biennial Symposium. Savannah. GA. October 19-23. 2016.


Copyright 2016 by Sumru Belger Krody.


The kilims of Anatolia are great contemplative and minimalist works of art as stated by a kilim enthusiast.1 Created by women who had a magnificent eye for design and an awesome sense of color, these textiles are prized for the purity and harmony of their color, the integrity of their powerful overall design, their masterfully controlled weave structure, and their fine texture. The kilims are large tapestry-woven textiles. The visually stunning and colorful Anatolian kilims communicate the aesthetic choices of the village and nomadic women who created them. Yet, while invested with such artistry, Anatolian kilims first and foremost were utilitarian objects. Although employed by nomadic families for a host of uses, they were primarily used for covering household items and furnishing the tent interiors. The Textile Museum collections received a gift ninety-six artistically and historically significant Anatolian flatweaves from the Estate of Murad Megalli in 2013. The practical and analytical study of these textiles is on-going in order to contribute to the expansion of knowledge of the Anatolian kilim weaving tradition. The research will address several questions that surround Anatolian kilims. But the fundamental question to be answered is “what is there to see when you look at a work of art, such as an Anatolian kilim?” Of the ninety-six flatweaves, forty-three are kilims are attributed to central and south Anatolia, thirty-eight to western and northwestern Anatolia, and fifteen to eastern Anatolia. Three of the flatweaves were woven with supplementary-weft wrapping. The other ninety-three are kilims made using slit tapestry weave technique.