Textiles often carry messages down the threads of time. For example, for thousands of years the women of Cappadocia, in Central Turkey, have woven kilim rugs that were far more than floor coverings. Before writing and photos were available, village women used their own designs and symbols to weave the stories of their lives into the kilims, a message to the generations to follow. Each family had its language of patterns and colors, handing down natural dye recipes and secrets from mothers to daughters.


According to Wikipedia, the earliest known kilim is a fragment found in an ancient settlement in Eastern Turkestan, buried by sand drifts about the fourth or fifth century CE. The weave is almost identical with that of modern kilims. Over the centuries, kilims have been used as cradles for babies, as the most precious part of the trousseau of a young girl, as floor coverings, wall hangings, and sometimes as a sack to store grain or clothes in. The roof and the walls of a nomad home are made of kilims. But kilim weaving is a living tradition, as evidenced by this video of works by modern art kilim weaver Belkis Balpinar. (The video quality is so-so, but the kilims are stunning.)

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