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Kilims often get lumped in with their Oriental and Persian cousins, but they have a distinct history and style of their own. In technical terms, the main difference is the weaving method: Carpets have separately knotted strands bound by wefts to form the pile, while kilims are crafted by interweaving warps and wefts on an upright loom to create a flat, often reversible design with no pile.
Most kilims feature a geometric pattern, sometimes simple, sometimes complex. That's one reason they transition so easily from traditional interiors to more contemporary ones: They blend a surprisingly modern sensibility with an old-world mien.
Medallions, diamond shapes and octagons appear in many versions. Antique kilim patterns often have special meaning or symbolism, depending on the rug's country of origin.