The women of Anatolia have, for thousands of years, created beautiful flat-weavings that only recently have come to be appreciated by Western collectors. There are several reasons why the flat-woven Kilim is such a recent discovery amongst collectors. Most Westerners have formed pre-conceived notions about carpets, primarily that a carpet must have a knotted pile. Flat-weavings were seen as a minority tradition within a greater and older tradition of knotted pile carpets and rugs. The reverse is actually true. Flat-weavings predate knotted pile carpets by many thousands of years, and flat-weaving has dominated the five-thousand year old history of woven textiles in the Near East.
Another preconception that has kept collectors from recognizing the importance of flat weaving is the tendency in the West to regard weavings as floor coverings. The Kilim was used to create the walls of tents, to make saddle bags and containers, dust covers for furniture, for artistic as well as practical household uses. It was used as an expression of tribal culture, as part of a young woman's skill. A Kilim could be spread on the floor and used for food preparation. It could be slept on. It was never used exclusively for walking on.