The art of manufacturing carpets in India goes back to the Mughal era. This is the time when India inherited carpet weaving expertise from Persia, Afghanistan and China.
Akbar introduced carpet weaving in 1580 AD in India.Akbar is said to have brought and established skilled Persian carpet weavers in India. He laid the foundation of this exquisite craft tradition at his Agra palace. The Mughal ruler set up carpet weaving centers at Delhi, Agra and Lahore to promote production of carpets (Persian styled).
The carpets hence produced during the Mughal period were influenced by the designs of Herat, Kirman, Esfahan, and Kashan. And not just the Persian technique, Mughals also took inspiration from traditional Persian motifs and designs for the purpose of carpet weaving. These carpets were made of the finest sheep wool and silk.
In the following years, the art of carpet weaving flourished in the country with certain modifications to suit the royal taste. Carpet weavers also started imparting more aesthetic touch to these carpets by the addition of bright colors.
Major centers of carpet industry today are in Kashmir, Jaipur and Bikaner in Rajasthan, as well as Agra, Bhadohi, and Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh.
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Carpets from these major carpet hubs are popular for their designs and colors. Agra is particularly known for Persian style carpets, the use of natural vegetable dyes and vivid floral borders. Bhadohi carpets, on the other hand, are admired for their individual designs developed by the native weavers.
The oriental rugs and carpets from Kashmir are in great demand all over the world. They are a perfect mix of beauty and opulence. The Kashmiri hand knotted silk and woolen carpets are always loved for their unique craftsmanship, softness and aesthetics.
It is said that King Budshah introduced the concept of carpet weaving in Kashmir in the late 15th century. He is said to have brought Persian artisans in India to upskill Kashmiri people in spinning and weaving carpets.
The state of Rajasthan (Jaipur, Ajmer, and Bikaner in particular) is where you will come across fine hand-knotted woolen fibers. In the 17th century, carpets made their way in the State as Afghani weavers began settling down in the royal workshops. Even today, carpets with vibrant red and blue colors and geometric patterns from Rajasthan are popular across the globe.