I really wish you knew my friend, Kristie. She’s to blame for getting me started in the upholstery business in the first place. To her credit, she can be hilarious (everybody needs a friend like that), she has impeccable taste, and she is fiercely loyal when the chips are down. Now, she may set me straight on some day-to-day craziness, but when you have one of those times when somebody takes a cheap shot, , she’s the first one there to defend me, no matter what. I rather like keeping a small group of really close friends. Being a loner and all, I’m not the type that has to have a friend along to grab lunch or even to go see a movie.
PhotoImage: FelixForest via DesignFiles.net
I’m getting way off track here. The reason I mentioned Kristie is because when I first met her, she had a beautiful new home (ahem, my older brother was her builder), with hardwoods on her entire spacious main level. In fact, the first day I saw her house, the floors had just been stained and sealed. A few weeks later, after they moved in, I dropped in for a visit (needed to go snoop around). Her hardwoods were covered with beautiful Oriental rugs, as well as kilims tucked in hallways and powder rooms. For crying out loud! How did a young couple have so much time and resources to have acquired such an impressive collection? Since I barely knew her, I didn’t let her see my jealous little face.
What does this have to do with using kilim rugs for upholstering? I’m not really sure, other than the fact that I wonder what she did with all of those 4′ x 6′ ish kilims. They would’ve been perfect to cut up and make some natty little poufs or floor pillows. She may have entertained the idea, but her husband would not have let that happen. On the other hand, a few, sharp looking rug covered poufs would look pretty spectacular in her spectacular, party friendly house. BTW-she’s moved on up since that first brick mini mansion.
If you’re like me, I didn’t really know the difference between a kilim rug and an Oriental rug. Here’s what I learned from Kilim.com
Before we begin to address the subject of kilim nomenclature there is one point to be clarified, mainly for those first entering the realm of the kilim. Although at times you may find kilim rugs included in the general genre of “oriental rugs”, in more accepted practice kilim rugs are in a class of their own, and it is then generally understood that the term “oriental rug” refers to pile rugs, a category which includes carpets.
The difference between a kilim area rug and a carpet or a pile rug is that whereas the design visible on the kilim is made by interweaving the variously colored wefts and warps, thus creating what is known as a flatweave, in a pile rug individual short strands of different color, usually of wool, are knotted onto the warps and held together by pressing the wefts tightly against each other. In this case the whole design is made by these separately knotted strands which form the pile, and the patterns become clearly visible after any excessive lengths of the knotted materials are shorn off to create a level surface.
In my world of furnishing and upholstery, the question becomes, how difficult is it to cut up, make patterns from, and restitch kilim rugs? If I had one, I’d show you in a long and beautiful tutorial, but I’m going to have to take it from some internet comments that it’s not that difficult to stitch kilim pieces together. It’s basically a tapestry and my industrial machines don’t even break a sweat when stitching THICK tapestry fabric. The problem with a home machine, even a good old workhorse with all metal parts, would be that the presser foot may not lift high enough to get two thicknesses under and through the needle with even stitching. It would certainly be an experiment if anybody feels like slicing up an old kilim rug. (Yikes! That sounds heartless!) If you were simply making pillow covers, you could probably manage to get them stitched on a strong home machine. But, if you’re trying to stitch big, multi-faceted poufs or cubes, you may come to corners where there are three layers and that will be the rub. Two layers with lots of fabric is hard, three layers would be almost impossible. That’s on a home machine though.
As for upholstering a chair, I think using kilims as upholstery fabric would work fine. The one problem I could foresee is bulkiness at edges. You’d just have to plan ahead and cut out lots of excess bulkiness at corners like I’ve shown you many times. Let’s say you’re up for it; eBay has over 5000 kilim rugs to choose from. It looks like the going rate for a mid sized rug (ottoman covering size) is between $200.00 and $300.00. If you do think it would be worth your money, I think the unique prints add something special to a room. But, remember, a little kilim goes a long way.
This would be enough for me.
You’ve heard me gasp at inside curves. Somebody did a really good job of this, although the pattern is a tad bit askew on the inside back. We can cut this upholsterer some slack (Ha! Get it?) since he/she got the inside back pulled so nice and tight.
Nice juxtaposition of styles. Mod legs combined with traditional kilim print. Love it!
Toned down navy overdyed kilim chair. Ahhhhh! Very nice.
Wow! Too much for me, but in the right space it could be a showpiece, especially if you upholstered it.
This is my favorite. Even though the sofa and chair match, the green and brown are nice. Not sure about those vases on the coffee table. (???)
Here’s my plan. I won’t be spending close to $300.00 on a rug to cut it up and use it as upholstery fabric, but I will be on the lookout for floor mats or rugs with the same thickness and feel. I can do a run through on a cheapy and then if I find one at an auction or something, I’ll be ready.
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