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Carpet Weaving

Ancient Art of Carpet Making

Carpet weaving is an ancient craft, which was once an expression of the weaver’s simple philosophy, his easy perception of nature and its changing moods. It is an integral part of the arts in Delhi today and local artisans are encouraged for their work.

How it is Done?

Handloom weaving of carpets is different in many aspects from the handloom weaving of a fabric. There is no better kind of the carpet than the one made by hand. However, this is far from implying that all hand-tufted carpets are superior to the machine-made ones. This craft involves beautiful colour combinations and exquisite workmanship.


Carpet weaving gained importance during the Mughal era. The main centres were Srinagar, Lahore, Amritsar, Sind, Multan, and Allahabad.

Carpet weaving was introduced in India during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Babar, who missed the luxuries of Persia here. Akbar laid the foundation of carpet weaving tradition in India at his palace in Agra in 1580 AD.

Agra, Delhi and Lahore have been the traditional carpet weaving centres. Mughal Emperor Akbar brought Persian weavers and established them here. Their carpets depicted court life, animals and geometrical designs. They were usually done in bright colours.

The process was also very technical depending on the type of carpet that was being created. While hand knotted silk carpets had 4224 knots per square inch, the pile carpet was the most famous type of Persian carpet.

Later, the art of carpet weaving was modified according to the changing tastes and started seeing an influence of the Indian style. Persian carpets were thus reproduced in Indian style. These carpets spread to the entire Indian subcontinent with each area having its own unique features.


In the beginning, the knotted carpets were essentially made from wool or silk. Silk is mainly used in Kashmir. These Indian carpets had designs like animals, birds, flowers, geometric and calligraphic patterns.

Carpets made during the Mughal period became famous over the period of time and thus the demand for Indian carpets increased abroad. These carpets had a high density of knots with distinct and elegant designs. The art of carpet weaving reached new heights during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

This tradition of carpet weaving was carried on to other dynasties and over the period of time spread across various states. Delhi was a centre for the production of Herati carpets once upon a time. Herati Carpets had its origins in Herat in Afghanistan. These were known for their harmonious colours and standard design with a broad border band edged on the outer side by narrow bands filled with the conventional flower designs.

Carpets in India

Indian carpet weavers have grown artistically since the ancient times and are well known for their elegance and workmanship. Pastel shades and geometrical patterns in carpets are quite popular nowadays. They are available at various places in Delhi.

Carpets are an integral part of Indian homes. They are used in households, hotels, offices as well as for functions and special occasions. Carpets not only beautify the surroundings, but also pronounce the theme. 

The variety of carpets may be classified on the basis of the fiber used, designs and weaving techniques. The most commonly used fibers are wool, jute, synthetic fibers like nylon, polyester, acrylic. Silk is the most exotic one and polyester is the most durable of all.

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