Kilim: the complete guide : history, pattern, technique, identification

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Chronicle Books, 1993 - Art - 352 pages
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Bold, distinctive patterns; brilliant colors; astonishingly diverse decoration; affordability - these are some of the characteristics that explain the popularity of the marvelous flatwoven textiles from the Near and Far East known in the West as kilims. In recent years, demand for them has reached unprecedented levels, fueled by a new recognition of the special qualities of handmade ethnic crafts. The most comprehensive and beautifully illustrated survey to date, Kilim: The Complete Guide corrects many misconceptions in its examination of the origins and history of these unique cloths and of the people who weave them. Hundreds of color illustrations, many taken especially for this volume, offer a remarkable blend of information and dazzling visual allure. A detailed account of techniques - materials, dyes and dying, tools, kilim structures, and weaving - is followed by a systematic analysis of motifs and symbolism. Here, the complex relationship between Islam and the animistic or shamanistic traditions that preceded it is explored, as is the equally important lore of the bazaar and the marketplace. Four major sections, devoted to the specific characteristics of each region, tribe, and kilim type, present the fruits of much original research and fully inform readers about any kilim they are likely to encounter: those from the North African countries of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia; the enormously important kilims of Anatolia; the riches of Persia and the Caucasus; and - for some, the most attractive of all - the creations of the Afghanistani and Central Asian nomads. Chapters on new kilims and the uses of kilims - as bags and wall hangings as well as rugs - together with a directory tointernational kilim auction houses; a listing of dealers, sources and services; and a reference guide to the collecting, care, and further study of kilims conclude what will swiftly become the standard work on a widely appealing subject.

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Kilim: the complete guide: history, pattern, technique, identification

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Some books are classics in their field and deserve to be described as "essential'' reference tools. This is one such book. It is informative but, even more important, comprehensive, well written, and ... Read full review

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Chapter Two
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About the author (1993)

Alastair Hull has traveled extensively in Afghanistan and Iran, collecting and studying kilims. He is a resident of Cambridgeshire, England.

Jose Luczyc-Wyhowska has studied the weaving arts, cultures, and lifestyles of many countries and has traveled to remote parts of North Africa and Asia in pursuit of fine kilims. She lives in London.

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