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SB. Sarah Bartholomew & King’s House collaborate – Hitting refresh on the traditional Kelim: Sarah Bartholomew Kelim x King’s House

Posted in: All Rugs Interior Design & Installations Kelims rugs SB. Sarah Bartholomew x King's House Rugs SB. Sarah Bartholomew x King's House Rugs

Reimagining the Kelim: Sarah Bartholomew Kelim x King’s House: The kelim, known historically for its versatility and its effortless chic appeal, is refreshed in our collaboration with Sarah Bartholomew.

The best ideas are born out of necessity, Sarah realized a deficit in the current offering of handwoven kelims and through our collaboration, we sought to fill that need. Sarah Bartholomew has been nationally recognized for her signature, fresh take on classic sensibility. Known for her interiors that balance beauty and function, layer color and pattern and embody both elegance and practicality, she creates timeless, livable spaces. Sarah came to us with her beautiful aesthetic and vision for refreshing this handwoven textile in such a way to fit the needs of modern lifestyles and elegant interiors.

Sarah had a strong sense of what she wanted this collection to be and of the story she wanted it to tell. She came to us not only to bring in master artisans capable of the most exquisite craftsmanship to carry out her designs for the collection, but also to tell their stories, essentially what became our collective story of a collaboration spanning multiple continents, cultures, and barriers to bring a time-honored and traditional craft to modern, sophisticated interiors.

“Jacks” in Neutral at home in Sarah’s Nashville interiors shop, SB.Sarah Bartholomew, which specializes in antiques, textiles, and accessories from artisans and small makers all over the world.

Sarah’s vision for this collaboration inspired us to search out weavers experienced in making hand-woven kelims with exacting precision. The weavers we employ to make beautiful Oushaks are not skilled in the kelim flatweave technique. The processes are not as similar you might think. The kelim weave is more of a wrap where the Oushak requires skills in tying square Turkish (symmetrical knots) to a specific tension and density. Most often following a cartoon rendering. Weavers skilled in the flatweave technique do not work from cartoons. They are skilled in banking the nuances of the design to memory and weaving in more of a freeform method. We sought weavers capable of executing our desired overall crisp and fresh feeling of the collection while offering unparalleled durability and low maintenance.

Our search led us to a remote, tiny mountain top village in Central Turkey renowned for its ancient and impressive history of kelim weavings dating back to the 17th century and passed down through the generations.

Meet our master weaver, Dudu.

Master Weaver- Dudu

She made this kelim entirely by hand in a technique taught to her by her mother and one that she has perfected over time. Her loom pictured here is situated on the front porch of her home comfortably creating a space for her family to gather while she weaves. Her technique honed to precision over the course of many years (too many to count she assures me) requires her to visually map the pattern by sight. Yes, that’s right. She commits the pattern in detailed accuracy carefully to memory allowing her hands to move with lightening speed and the exacting precision this design requires.

The Turkish people are so hospitable and generous, Dudu is no exception.  In preparation for our arrival and knowing we traveled all day and so incredibly far off the beaten path, she prepared a meal of stuffed grape leaves she made from the grape vines that grow in her garden.

Completely stunned by her process and efficiency, I asked her how long she had been weaving kelims, and her answer, as she laughed heartily, was she has been alongside friends and family weaving in this traditional method for long as she could remember. Her capability shows in the luxurious handle of her work. Making perfect sense to me now as I remembered the first samples I saw of her weaving and how it perfectly fell to the floor in one beautiful drape. It was the perfect thickness, density, and tension. The handle, I described in this kelim sample for our collection of Sarah Bartholomew Kelim, may not sound significant, but it is one of the most important aspects to buying a hand made rug or kelim of lasting value. The handle tells us about the quality of the construction and materials used in the production of our Sarah Bartholomew Kelims.

High-quality weaving, knotting, and wool all translate to an added longevity of the kelim and its ability to withstand the tough traffic of modern lifestyles. These characteristics comprise the kelim’s ability to clean well, wear well, and have lasting value as a modern heirloom. (For cleaning tips – click here.)

Rug Details

ORIGIN: Central Anatolia, Turkey


MATERIALS: Entirely handwoven in our hand-spun Turkish wool for maximum quality and practicality.

COST: $3,600

AVAILABILITY: Please inquire for specific availability and details on our custom-commission process.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Standard sizes for this collection: 3x10, $1,350 8x10, $3,600 9x12, $4,900 10x14, $6,300 12x15, $8,100 Custom-Commission orders accepted! Please inquire for details and pricing.

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