Great interiors are never complete without great rugs. Rugs always add a magical touch to the decor. Through ages, rugs have been adding beauty to homes and good rugs give the feel of royalty each time one walks on it. But where do these rugs come from and who are the faces behind this artistry? The gleaming Indian handmade Carpets and area rugs industry takes pride in the expertise of providing hand-knotted carpets to the customers all over the world. These luxurious and classy Indian hand-knotted rugs are the most desired among worldwide customers. They are specifically much-admired for their outstanding craftsmanship by the clients. The specialty of these Hand-knotted carpets is that they have a long-lasting glow, they effortlessly settle on the desired spot, have a feathery- soft feel, excellent quality, are simple to clean and maintain and can be personalized according to one’s choice.
In India, hand-knotting of carpets is a thriving cottage industry, employing over 2 million people. The legacy of carpet weaving is passed onto generations and today it is firmly rooted as an occupation in Varanasi, Bhadohi, Mirzapur, Gopiganj, Sitapur, Agra, Srinagar, Jaipur, Bikaner, Panipat and Gwalior.
A small city named Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh is known as the ‘carpet city’ and has been weaving its way into history for more than 5 centuries. The artisans of Bhadohi are the one that produces 60% of India’s carpets and rugs. The tradition of carpet weaving was brought here by the Mughal emperor Akbar, and since the 16th century, this art has been the medium of livelihood for many in Bhadohi.
Why customers prefer Indian Handmade Rugs?
Oriental hand-knotted/handmade rugs are made in various countries of Asia like Iran, Turkey, China and even inIndia. But the custom handmade rugs crafted in India are the most preferred due to their intricate designs, durability and because of the high-quality materials used for creating them. Some of the features of these Indian Handmade Rugs are:
- They have versatile and appealing designs.
- They are made with High-Quality natural materials.
- They are Durable
- Artisans follow rich rug-making tradition
- Indian hand-knotted rugs cost less in comparison with rugs from other parts of the world because of the cheap labour cost
- Approximately 100 artisans work for the making of one hand-knotted rug
- The rug-making process undergoes more than 18 different steps
Thought and innovation
The journey of a carpet begins much more before a thread, it starts with an idea. The designers reflect on a concept and finalise the design that needs to go into the upcoming carpet. Sometimes the designers have the liberty to vary the colour of the design to whatever they wish and sometimes they have to stick to the customers’/market demands. It takes years of experience to know how the colour will be produced with different types of yarn under different kinds of light.
The designers transform the ideas from a hand-drawn sketch to a computer-aided drawing which requires the precision. The design is drawn on graph paper in which each square represents one knot. The outlines of the drawings are filled in with paint to represent the details in shades.
The final sketch helps the artisan in identifying the pattern of the rug in detail and to understand which colour each knot should be in. Printed designs are then traced and marked to the minutest detail. Colours, ratios, number of knots, and techniques are described in prior to the group of weavers for attaining the desired effect. And then the weaving process starts. The weaving process consists of more than 18 different stages.
Key Markets & Potential
According to the Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC), India exports rugs and carpets to over 70 countries in the world. Germany, UK & France are traditionally the biggest and established markets for Indian rugs. Europe however, seems stagnant, forcing exporters to find a new market. According to CEPC, USA holds the biggest share in Indian carpet exports still it promises some growth. Americans simply love handmade Indian rugs. Even Latin American countries like Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Colombia have a large unexplored potential. Brazil in particular has a large population and good demand, but the import duties had to be more rational.
The popularity of Handmade carpets is getting stronger in South-East and Far-East Asia. Countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Korea also have an unexplored potential market.
A report by CEPC states that China, Taiwan and Hong-Kong already have attractive markets, where more aggressive marketing can yield great results.
The process of hand-knotting a rug is meticulous and mesmerizing. Hence, the artisans deserve a lot of respect and dignity. One can only imagine the time and effort it takes to weave a carpet. These artisans do it with the utmost dedication and the hard work is reflected in the intricacy of the finished product.