A new online store from Dubai artist Clare Napper shines a spotlight on Georgian kilims
Meet the team bringing Georgian rugs to Dubai
Clare Napper and business partner Sam Kientsch’s new rugs are more statement pieces than sound-absorbers. Besides a range of eye-catching designs, Kilimist’s first collection includes bold, bright statement tapestries often including stags, lions and tigers. Suddenly our IKEA rug seems so… bland.
The collection has been carefully curated by the duo to present an exciting launch of home décor steeped in Georgian heritage from the last century. Each rug has been painstakingly hand woven, mostly by women, as an indispensable part of a dowry for Georgian brides-to-be. According to local custom, a girl could not marry if she was unable to weave. Many of the pieces sourced by Clare and Sam are from Georgian families who still have the kilims their grandmothers and great grandmothers made in preparation for marriage. Sadly, in present day Georgia, traditional kilim weaving is a dying art form making every piece one of the last of its kind.
What’s On caught up with Sam and Clare to learn more about these unique kilims.
Tell us a bit about your first collection for Kilimist
There are different types of kilim designs from Georgia, but the most popular are traditional geometric patterned rugs with muted colours – sensible rugs. We pick out the opposite. Kilimist is about loud, bold and bright statement pieces. We want our rugs to be talking points and a main focus of your room.
How did you pick these rugs in particular?
Honestly, we went with our gut. We want to bring these to a young, stylish audience that will appreciate the uniqueness of the provincial designs.
Do you have a particular favourite piece?
We have one piece named Century Rose, which is a very rare design. It has a rose pattern that looks pixelated – something the traditional weavers in the Kakheti region could not have anticipated would be so relevant 100 years later. It is our most treasured antique – we will be sad to sell it.
How easy are these rugs to maintain?
As most of our rugs are more than 60 years old, they clearly stand the test of time.
Any advice on picking the right rug?
Certain kilims work better in different rooms. For example, some of the geometric designs look great in a minimal room with lighter woods and more space. The kilims with animals and figures may suit a busier room. Ultimately, you should feel a real affinity towards the design and appreciate the history. Each rug comes with a special card stating its origin, date and information on kilim traditions. We offer a 48-hour trial period, where you can take a rug home and see if it works before making a decicion.
Any plans to design your own kilims?
Right now we just want to learn as much as we can. Then in the New Year we hope to start to designing our own collections, influenced by the traditional designs we have come across, with our own modern spin. Visit Kilimist at the Saturday Ripe Market at Umm Suqeim Police Academy throughout December.