The Process


A hand-woven rug has the power to define and transform a space.

The question the two founders of Keleem asked themselves was how to harness that power. “Harness,” they quickly realised, does not mean control. No matter what’s on the drawing board, there is always that something unexpected and mysterious about the end result.

Keleem rugs use 100% organic handspun wool. The sheep graze freely, under the shepherd’s eye. The yarn is dyed, spun and woven into fabric in villages where this is part of a way of life. This new manufacture, thus helps to sustain rural communities who are the natural custodians of the country side.

Though Keleem colours are never uniform, they are unvaryingly rich in colour and tone. The differences and irregularities that occur as a result of natural dyes and the handweaving process are an essential part of the design.

Once the rug tiles are woven, they are sent to the Istanbul atelier. First the tiles go through a process of burning, spinning and washing in order to ensure the final texture of the rug. The edges are then folded and stitched to secure the weave and rationalise the tile dimension. The tiles are now ready to assemble.

Arranging each tile and finding the underlying pattern is a continuation of the creative process. Once assembled, the back is then lined with linen for a clean finish and added durability.

The tiling method is an integral part of Keleem's identity. The modular use of simple patterns enables the creation of a vast array of compositions, making each rug unique both in its design and in itself. The undulation that results from this folding and stitching process and the alternating weaving direction of the tiles create a tactile and visual experience found only in Keleem rugs.

The Keleem process is a mix of ancient Anatolian and contemporary techniques. It is a subtle balance apparent at the first glance and a complexity which deepens over time.