Indian carpet industry like every other industry is much in demand and it is also one of the oldest and very popular industries all around the world. Carpet weaving is a skill and artistic charm that has been started by nomadic tribes of Central Asia but with time the skill transcended from one place to another and evolved with the touch of each culture and traditions. Indian rug industry also has an ancient lineage and like others they have also learned this amazing skill and expertise of rug making from nomads and mughals who have travelled from Persia, China and Afghanistan. The history of Indian rug weavings is such that it is so believed that when Babar, the Mughal king came to India, he was very much disappointed with the kind of luxuries that India prevailed at that time. He wanted the soft comfort of the woolen rugs and missed the luxuries he had back in Persia, so in order to lead a life like he used to he introduced the art of rug weaving. Later in 1580 Ad, Akbar laid down a strong foundation of rug making tradition by bringing in the artisans from Persia and making a colony for them to stay here and make rugs for the royal uses.
Slowly there were centers of rug making in Lahore, Agra and Delhi that started facilitating production of Persian styled rugs. You can find few of the most exclusive and most royal rugs made in India which belonged to the Mughal period and they were inspired by famous designs of Kirman, Kashan, Esfahan and Herat. The Mufghals when started learning the art of oriental carpets making didn’t just learn the weaving technique but also adopted the traditional Persian designs of motifs in it. With the artisans that Akbar brought to settle in India the art grew with time and slowly it flourished. The rug designs slowly adapted the Indian traditional touch in it and were modified according to the taste and likings of the royal families and their uses. The industry started growing in the northern part of India since the Mughal’s main province was Agra but slowly it spread towards other parts as well.
The various centers of rug industry in India and their unique works
Uttar Pradesh (Agra, Bhadohi and Mirzapur)
Rug industry of Uttar Pradesh is world famous and especially for the wide color presentation it has. The modern carpets made here have a touch of rainbow creativity in it and is known across the globe for this unique feature. The main regions where the rug industry prevails here are Bhadohi, Mirzapur and Agra. Agra was the first rug making center that was established in Uttar Pradesh during the Mughal time and it is the region which is famous for using mostly vegetable dyes in its yarns. Since Agra was the center of the Mughal kingdom it was the place where the first artisans from Persia were established and since then it has been known as the makers of authentic and amazing Persian rugs. The custom rugs made here have its own uniqueness and it gives emphasis upon the simplicity and elegance of the artwork and is surrounded by bold floral outlines. Other than its Persian styles it is also famous for the Turkmen and Abussan varieties that are also made here. The Turkmen and the Abussan varieties are mostly famous for the bold realistic patterns they use in the design. The Bhadohi rugs which are well-known around the world for its individuality and exclusive designs was actually developed by the local and native weavers and they many times include Taj Mahal in various natural tint colors as part of the creativity which make the on-lookers more attracted and astounded with the craftsmanship.
Kashmir is world famous not just for its beauty and glory but it can be called as the kingdom of Indian oriental rugs and carpets. The place being cold for most of the times people use rugs and rugs most of the time of the year and it is a skill and art that most of the family learn from a very young age like those of nomads. This part of the industry is known mostly for its hand knotted woolen rugs and also the mesmerizing silk carpets and they always showcase as a symbol of artistic expertise and profound quality. The carpets made here are very unique, not just in style and design but also the quality as they have been found to be amazingly soft. The craftsmen here are experts and their unique technique and pattern of making is prided over by all. Most of the carpet making centres of India is present in Kashmir and they are the traditional weavers who are appreciated for their hand knotted silk rug making expertise. The traditional silk rugs pattern of Kashmir has a lot of influence from Persian origin and they can be traced back to the Mughal period.
Rajasthan in India has always been famous for its colors and its craftsmanship and it is no doubt that the carpets made here would be of lesser interest. The rug making industry of Rajasthan has always been famous for its improved quality hand knotted woolen fibers. They make rugs in huge numbers and are play great role in the contribution of carpet exports from India. The main centers of carpet manufacturing in Rajasthan are Bikaner, Ajmer and Jaipur. Jaipur being another important center of Mughals during their rule turned out to be also a main center for carpet weaving. The first of its kind carpets of Rajasthan were weaved when the nomadic weavers from Afghanistan came to settle there in the provinces of the royal ateliers by 17th century. After that their industry started flourishing because of their high spirited colors and the amazing geometric motifs they used. Slowly they reached global fame and right now you will find their creativity and artwork in many major showrooms across the world.