Old rugs are always the best. People made them to use themselves, with hand-spun wool, with vegetable dyes and with good workmanship. They’re strong and they last for a very long time.
Kilim is the Turkish word for a flat rug created by two types of thread: warp and weft. The warp is stretched on a loom, like a frame, and designs are created by weaving different colours of weft. Halı is the Turkish word for pile rugs; they’re created by warp and weft and also with knots to add depth.
I’ve worked with rugs since 1976. I was studying journalism in Turkey and started helping a rug company with their export business. In this profession, we say "once you get the dust of a rug into your lungs, it is addictive".
When I came to the UK, I immediately opened a shop in Brighton. In 2007 I moved my business to Newhaven, where I was already doing repairs and cleaning. Now I mainly work with the trade, although I still sell directly to local customers.
I buy stock that I can repair and clean. Experience is my advantage. I do every aspect of the business myself.
01273 517744 / kalkantrading.co.uk
Interview by Mark Bridge. First published in Viva Lewes magazine issue 123 December 2016.