Keljik Oriental Rugs

Keljik Oriental Rugs


I recently had two small oriental rugs cleaned at Keljiks. They did a fantastic job and my rugs do look brand new!
I cannot recommend Keljik's more highly. We recently had 4 rugs and 2 runners cleaned which came back looking brand new. The staff and owner helped us lay down the rugs with new pads and spent a few hours putting down the stair runners so they are firmly in place and won't slide causing safety issues. Prices while not cheap are fair. We would not hesitate to use them again or recommend them.

Offering Quality Oriental Rug Cleaning, Sales, and Repair Since 1899

Operating as usual

[03/10/21]   Keljik Oriental Rugs is now hiring part and full time. No experience necessary, training is provided. If you're interested, stop in and fill out an application! 10/14/2020

History in the Home History in the Home Keljik’s Keeps Tradition Alive

[04/13/20]   Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and our governor's executive order for mandatory shut down of all non-essential businesses, we will only be open (on a very limited, call-ahead basis) weekdays from 10am to 2pm.

We're sorry for any inconvenience.

We will continue to keep Facebook and our website updated. Please call (612) 823-6338 if you have any questions, concerns, or if you plan to stop by. We will be periodically checking our answering machine and we'll return any calls as soon as we can.

Stay safe, everyone!


We just got a bunch of new yarn and we're ready to repair some rugs!

[01/21/20]   Dhurries and Kilims

By the most stringent definition, Oriental rugs have pile. Kilims and dhurries are flat-weaves, which means they have no pile, but they’re sold together with true Oriental rugs. Dhurries are made of cotton or wool in India, while kilims are made in Turkey and Egypt, among other countries, and are typically made of wool.

Flat-woven rugs are ornamental – they come in floral or geometric patterns and in colors ranging from muted to bright. Although they are to some extent less sturdy than pile rugs, they should still last for years, even in high-traffic areas. Wool is somewhat more durable than cotton. One downside is that kilims and dhurries don’t mask stains as well as pile rugs because there’s nowhere for dirt to hide.

[12/31/19]   Wishing a Happy New Year to everyone (and their pets) from Keljik's!


Silver Certificate Rug - 3 feet by 6 feet in size.
Oushak (copy) - Hand made in Turkey circa 1950. It has pictures of President Abraham Lincoln and President Ulysses S. Grant. If you look closely, there's a small bullet hole near Grant's head. It's the ideal gift for the banker in your family!


These are antique Qashgai saddle bags. They're used to carry belongings on a horse or donkey. Colorful brocaded fastenings are used to lock the bags shut. They are authentic tribal artifacts from southern Iran with typical designs in subtle, aged colors.

[03/14/19]   Be sure to check your rugs to make sure they aren’t wet from the recent and upcoming flooding. Mildew sets in fast! If you do have a wet rug that needs to be taken care of, give us a call!

[03/13/19]   A skilled weaver can tie around 10,000 to 14,000 knots in a day, which is quite a lot of work. On a rug that has about 160 knots per square inch measuring six feet by nine feet, only one inch across the entire width will be completed in one day. To finish the rug, it will take approximately five months.

[12/27/18]   The crew at Keljik Oriental Rugs wishes you all a
Happy New Year!


This is a 4' 5" x 6' 8" Classic Antique Persian city rug from Ishfahan circa 1920. It has silk pile, gold metallic thread embossing, and a very fine weave. The Sha's crown is featured at the top, while the field and border are interspersed with many different animals, such as goats, deer, parrots, cats, and mice.


In oriental rugs and oriental rug borders, there are many symbols. These symbols are open to interpretation. Here are a few of the symbols and what they may stand for. 03/28/2018

Bedros Keljik, rug dealer and immigrant from Armenia, wove an inspiring Minnesota tale Follow the StarTribune for the news, photos and videos from the Twin Cities and beyond.


Classic Navaho rug - Excellent condition - Very unusual size 5.3 x 9


Our youngest customer - Lexi gets her first rug and then checks out the fit in her room.


The Manchester Keshan - Manchester - An industrial city of England with a long tradition of wool spinning and worsting.

Keshan - A city of Iran. Keshan has an unusual city design in that it is built below street level. This helps to keep the homes cool in a very hot climate. A weaving center renown. In the 20th century, New Zealand wool was shipped to Manchester for spinning. The yarns then went to Keshan for weaving. This Manchester wool was an excellent quality, silky, lustrous and long wearing. The Manchester Keshans are usually woven in a deep red field with intricate floral designs


What are Caucasian Rugs?
The Caucasus Mountains lie between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, north of Turkey and Iran. The countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia occupy this area. There is extensive mix of people in this area - Christian, Muslim, Turkish, Armenian, Persian and Georgian to name a few.
It is difficult to know exactly which people made which rug styles as there is an extensive borrowing of rug designs and weaving techniques. Some of the well known rug names are Karabagh, Cabistan, Shirvan, Kazak, and Soumak with dozens of sub-classifications for each.
Geometric designs prevail with, bold colors (no pastels). These rugs do not come in large sizes. Usually 4ft x 6ft, sometimes up to 6ft x 9ft.


How are rugs designed?
Each indivdual knot in the pile of the rug is like a square on a graph paper. The weaver follows horizontally each row changing colors appropriately for each knot. Many rugs are made from memory incorporating well known border designs with familiar field motifs. Some rugs are completely created on paper prior to weaving and the weavers follow the design from the graph paper.
Picture below are design boards (also called cartoons) for a keshan


Herati Patterns
A diamond surrounded by four leaves, usually repeated through out the field. This design was predominately used in early rugs from Herat, Afghanistan. The design has been copied throughout the cities of Iran and often at the Tribal Level. When rugs from city workshops were copied by tribal people the design would become more angular or distorted, depending on the rug structure (warp, weft, and knot). The colors were also often simplified. This give and take of designs borrowing is what give rugs there distinctive identity. The Herati design was often called the fish design or "Mahi" in Persian. Perhaps the leaves looked like fish or shrimp to some long ago rug dealer.


Oriental Rug Books That we recommend.

#1 Mark's pick is Oriental Carpets by Jon Thompson.
Good Text and good pictures. Semi Antique rugs you are likely to see, not museum pieces. This book has a good glossary and excellent tips for buyers.

#2 Jim's pick is The Connoisseurs Guide to Oriental Carpets by E. Gans-Ruedin.
Pictures and diagrams of most types of rugs. If you can't find your oriental rug in this book, you'll have to come into our shop.


Saddlebags - Saddlebags were used throughout the Mid East for transporting various materials. Slung over the back of various transport animals: horses, donkeys, or camels, personal belongings could be easily carried. The bags were for personal use, but would often be sold when the owner needed extra cash in town. When imported to this country they were often cut in half and the backs removed for more convenient used on floors and tables. The main weavers of saddlebags were Turkomans, Baluchi, Afshari and Kurds.
PIcture is of an Turkish Anatolian Bag


KHILIM RUGS - Khilims are flat woven rugs without pile. It is probably the oldest weaving technique in the world. Wefts are passed through alternating warps creating a weave. Changing the colors of the wefts in defined areas allows the creation of design. The most common Khilim is the tapestry weave. Where colors meet there will be an opening or slit at the vertical warp. With slit tapestry weaves there are never vertical lines as the slit would open along the warp line. There will always be diagonal, horizontal, or cross-hatched lines.
Other types of flat woven rugs are soumak, interlocking and weft-float.
Many cultures make flat-woven rugs, including Navajo, Romanian, Egyptian, and all the tribal cultures of Iran, Turkey, India, and Afghanistan.


Heriz rugs are made in Iran, but their style and motifs have been copied and adapted by many countries, including the Karastan Rug Co. in the United States. Its charm is in its transition from the formal floral designs of the large cities. These designs when interpreted on the village level become more stylized and angular. The Heriz also tends to basic colors which age beautifully over time. The central medallion is predominate in most Heriz rugs. Other rugs from villages in the Heriz area include Karaja (often in a runner format), Ahar, and Belverdi. The Heriz style has been copied in many countries, including Romania, India, and Pakistan. Hence the designations, Roma-Heriz, Paki-Heriz, Indo-Heriz.


Here is a picture of a Sarouk oriental rug

[01/25/16]   How do I know if my rug is a Sarouk? Sarouks are made in Iran in small villages of the Arak province. They are made with excellent quality wool and traditional dyes. A strong red natural dye made from madder root predominates. The reds range all the way from coral to mulberry. The blues are deep indigo. The warp of the rug which becomes the fringe when cut from the loom is of white cotton. The weft is composed of one strong white weft going from side to side and one thin krinkled blue weft. Sarouks were invariable washed and painted when imported in America. A caustic soda bath made the wool smooth and silky, but removed much of the red dye. The red dyes were then repainted. This results in a somewhat motled appearance when the pile wears. Sarouks were highly desirable on the German market in the 1980's. Thousands of used sarouks were exported from the USA to Germany. Most Sarouks have a red field and navy blue border. Occasionally the field and border are reversed blue field and red border.


The rug business in Minneapolis as in most other American cities was dominated by Armenian dealers. These businessmen had contacts in Turkey, Iran as well as family connections to wholesalers in New York. Bedros Keljik was the first Armenian to settle in Minnesota. He opened his first store on Market Street in Downtown Saint Paul in 1899. Hennepin Avenue was a favorite venue for rug stores from 1920-1960. Stores on Hennepin include Jomgotch, Sahagians, Bijakians, and Moukalians. Kavoukjains was on the corner of 36th and Bryant. The Karaghension family managed the Daytons rug department, passing it on to John Basmadjian. In Saint Paul, Nakashians was the sole downtown rug dealer. Keljik's moved from Saint Paul to Minneapolis in 1912 and was located at various locations on Nicollet Ave. Since 1971 Keljik's has been at the corner of 43rd and Bryant in Minneapolis.
Pictured Below - Built for Paul Keljik as a rug cleaning facility - circa 1918. 1st Ave and 26th Street in Minneapolis.


Silk - Silk is a mono filament, meaning it is a continuous fiber. When silk is spun into a thread or yarn it has fewer breaking points than wool or cotton making it a very strong and lustrous fiber. Silk comes from the cocoons of silk worms. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of mulberry trees. The cocoon is plunged into hot water allowing the thread to be reeled off. There are different grades of silk. Domesticated - reeled silk is the best. Wild silk is courser. Spun silk is made from shredded cocoons and is weaker. Avoid art silk, it does not mean artistic - it means artificial. Silk can be used in any combination in rugs. It can be used in pile, warp, or weft. Some rugs have a combination of wool and silk pile. Silk is very strong, but it will deteriorate under many years in sunlight. A nice silk rug is pictured below.

[12/02/15]   What makes a beautiful rug? Beauty, of course, "is in the eye of the beholder." We see rugs of all designs & colors, occasionally we ask: "Who would buy that rug?" But, someone has bought it. To the traditionalist, the important element is balance. The right proportion of border to field, and the right proportions of light to dark colors. Most collectors like variations in background colors. A solid background looks flat. A variation in color, moves your eye through the rug. Quality of wool adds to the beauty. A wool that is lustrous and reflects light will create a more delightful experience that a flat dull wool.

[11/02/15]   Tufted rugs - Pro & Con - Mostly Con - Tufted rugs are made by punching strands of wool into a canvas backing. The yarns are held in place by applying a layer of latex and covering the latex with a mesh backing. A final light canvas backing is then applied over the finished product. CONS: We do not advise purchasing a tufted rug. They often have a noticeable latex smell. The latex will break down over time and powder out on the floor. The structure will become weak and the rug will ripple. PROS: The are very cheap.


Here are 3 of the main tools used in rug making:
comb, scissor, and hook

[09/15/15]   The intrigue of Oriental rugs. The give and take between diverse cultures is part of that makes the oriental rug such a fascinating art form. The simplicity of designs and colors of the tribal and village people who weave rugs is often borrowed by the weavers in the major cities of the middle east. The city weavers modify and refine these designs for more sophisticated tastes or arrange them in colors or formats for the world markets. In the same way designs from the cities are stylized and simplified by tribal and village weavers to the point that pictures are no longer recognizable. With village weaving you would have to look hard to see designs that have been derived from flowers, fish, dragons, or samovars.

[07/30/15]   Dyes: Color is the essence of an Oriental rug. There are three types of dyes which have been used over time. Natural dyes were used in rugs prior to the 1880's and in many rugs up to the present time. These are dyes produced from natural sources and have been tested for centuries for color fastness. Aniline dyes were introduced at the turn of the last century and are notoriously bad. They fade easily and will bleed when washed. Most rugs now use chrome dyes which are resistant to fading and bleeding. They do not age as well as natural dyes. The natural dyes seem to mellow and blend with age giving the rug a beautiful shimmering effect


This is a Baluch rug - Also spelled belouch or balouchi. The Baluch people occupy Eastern Iran, Western Pakistan & Southwestern Afghanistan. Some of the people are settled, a large number are semi-nomadic. These rugs have simple geometric designs. The color range is dark, usually mahogany reds, navy blues and browns. The have a flexibility to their handle. Prayer rugs and tree of life designs are common, as are saddle bags and grain bags.

[07/13/15]   Why are there leather or vinyl strips sewn to the back of rugs? On very fine rugs (Like Isfahans from Iran) the leather strip would keep the rug from curling under. People would notice that fine weaves had this feature, and it became a mark of finer quality rugs. Rug workrooms got the idea of imitating this feature on lesser quality or poor quality rugs. Leather was replaced by cheap vinyl in imitation of the finer qualities.



4255 Bryant Ave S
Minneapolis, MN

Opening Hours

Monday 8:30am - 5pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 5pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 5pm
Thursday 8:30am - 5pm
Friday 8:30am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 2pm
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