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How to Make a Coat from Two Kilim Carpets

Aug 19, 2013
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I recently held a sit and sew workshop with Susan Khalje in Baltimore, Maryland. We held it in her husband’s oriental carpet gallery, so I had a look around at the beautiful rugs. That’s where I fell in love with this rug, one of a pair. As an aside, Susan and I are scheduling sit-and-sew dates for 2014. And if you ever need a beautiful carpet, Susan’s husband, Qadir, is the person to contact! This rug was one of a pair. Susan gave me the pair of 4-by-6-foot Kilim rugs in the same pattern. The photo isn’t distorted. These rugs were handwoven, so they aren’t symmetrical, which is part of their charm! Here’s a detail shot. Whacky me, I got it in my head to make a car coat from them, similar to my Pendleton blanket coat. I used the blanket coat pattern. The Kilims were about the same thickness as the Pendleton blanket fabric. But they are a little stiffer. My first stop was to the laundromat, to tumble them in the dryer for an hour. This softened them up considerably. I figured I couldn’t match the pattern as exactly as a machine-woven product because the rugs weren’t symmetrical. So I laid out…

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  1. User avater KennethDKing September 8th

    There will be four posts for this coat, so collar and sleeves will follow--stay tuned!

  2. user-2657171 September 8th

    Have I missed an e-mail. I have received several Threads e-mails since this posting but still no instructions for collar and sleeves.

  3. Dendy August 22nd

    Wonderful and Crazy and a whole lot of funnn. HUH? Can't wait to see the finished product Great boundry patternbreaking!!!

  4. User avater KennethDKing August 21st

    To Luvthreadsmagazine: I used my Reliable i500 steam iron for this, along with the water, and the mallet. It really penetrates though, well, carpet!

    To HarmonyQ: Yes indeed it was Cockeysville--I stand corrected. Susan's husband has some spectacular carpets in his gallery there! And, yes-whacky!

    To Gigidear: I used my Bernina 1260 to sew this. The machine did well going through the carpet, but I dulled a couple packs of size 16 needles! The one drawback came when sewing the sleeves (there are four posts total for this)--the arm of the machine could have been longer, and that would make sewing the sleeve easier.

    To the rest: Thanks for the kind words!

  5. User avater GigiDear August 21st

    Beautiful. Much better use of such carpet than a table cover. I'm really curious, what type of machine was used to stitch this. It must be an industrial machine. My little home machine would quiver and die at the prospect. :-)
    I have a few antique Orientals and I love the irregularities. Folk art forever!

  6. designs August 21st

    Looks like another fabulous garment, Kenneth! Can't wait for the second half of the process. Love all the photos and text. Definitely makes it sound doable. May have to look for some carpets!

  7. User avater HarmonyQ August 21st

    Tell it like it is, Kenneth! You were in Cockeysville, not Baltimore, and right down the street from where I work. If I had seen you and the oh-so-talented Susan together, I would have instantly passed out! Can't wait to see the finished results of the coat. By the way, I concur. You are whacky! Lol

  8. User avater Metzy August 21st

    How fun is that? I am looking forward to the finished product.

  9. User avater sunbinder August 21st

    Oh Mr Diva,
    Before I opened my email,I knew you were the creator of this carpet jacket.
    love it!
    Thank you for taking us out of our boxes. Liberating us to think creatively.
    dale :)

  10. User avater tulleyhi August 20th

    As always-entirely inspiring! Thanks for being a boundary breaker, and sharing with us all.

  11. Moonbeams August 20th

    Oh. My. Goodness. You are definitely amazing and creative. I thought I was doing well to make hooded coats from throws. And you tackle a coat. I do feel relieved that you had the buttonholes professionally done. LOL

    Can't wait to see the end result.

  12. User avater MAKS August 20th

    Thank you so much for showing us these great techniques. I am looking forward to seeing the finished jacket.
    Another fan of yours!

  13. LuvThreadsMagazine August 20th

    Senor King,

    Creative congratulations are in order.

    Now about that steam iron chatter; is such a device involved in taming a rug into a coat? Have we been privy to your steam iron antics vis-a-vis a poignant review, and I missed it?

    A steam driven fan of yours

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