We are showcasing three stunning kilim designs which are part of a new collaboration between ISHKAR and the Norwegian Refugee Council. Each is handmade individually in an ancient and traditional way, but the finished design has a fresh, contemporary aesthetic.
Size: 140cm x 200cm
This kilim was exclusively designed for ISHKAR by Lapis Communications. The design was inspired by the formation of soundwaves created by the Afghan national anthem, called the Milli Surood. The idea was to create a kilim that could be a symbol of unity in Afghanistan at a time when the country faces increasing division. The layout of the soundwaves has been translated as this sketchy, linear, multicoloured design.
Our values and this specific product:
- Natural materials
- Minimal waste, pollutants and emissions
- Conserving traditions
- Community engagement
Part of what makes Afghanistan’s kilims so special is the Ghazni wool from which they are made. Each strand is individually spun by hand, giving the kilims great character. This type of wool is also famously hardwearing, meaning Afghan carpets can survive for centuries.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) employed 20 people who had been forced to flee to camps in Herat and Qala-e-Naw because of severe drought in their villages. Although there is an existing, rich tradition of kilim weaving in Badghis, these women were specifically trained to weave these modern designs. The income provided from the kilims has two main aims: to provide weavers with money to return home and to help to diversify their income away from agricultural livelihoods which are becoming increasingly at risk due to climate insecurity.
Composition: 100% wool. The type of wool is named for the Afghan province of Ghazni which is known for its lush green pastures. Grazing on this rich food source gives the sheep's wool its softness. It's also naturally a very pure shade of white, making it easy to create vibrant colours from natural dyes, and the sheep create a long fleece which gives a longer wool fibre, creating a yarn that is considered one of the world's finest for rugs and carpets.
Please note that no two kilims are ever identical, they are characterised by slight irregularities that are typical of handmade pieces.