Indian and Pakistani
Indian Hand Knotted Rugs
India has a long history of making hand knotted rugs. Some of the finest antique rugs are Indian Agra.
The weavers were originally brought from Persia to India in the 16th Century. At first the designs were Persian but over time India developed their own style of weaving with influences from Indian culture and architecture.
In more recent times India has become famous for modern hand tufted rugs and so called shaggy rugs. They are a great, simple and economical floor covering appealing to many people.
The higher quality Indian rugs are Agra or Jaipur rugs. They are made of wool on a cotton warp or sometimes with a combination of wool and silk. In design they often show open fields with smaller medallions or an all over design. The colours are usually olive greens, blues, tans and a variety of reds.
Another high quality Indian rug is a Kashmir silk, this is a beautifully woven pure silk rug, with very fine weaving that is not as expensive as the Persian silk rug.
For over 25 years we have been traveling to many parts of India where we have watched the development and changes in the Industry.
One area where rug production is popular is Bhadohi, an area about 1 hour drive from Varanasi. Jalil Ahwazian has sources that are ethical rug suppliers; he has become good friends with many of the manufacturers and their families. In fact some of the children that he watched growing up are now running the business.
Its great to see the input and progress they are making not only in the rug industry, but also in the quality of life for their weavers too. The few companies that we work with have built many schools and teach there on a daily basis. They make sure they create a healthy working environment for their weavers.
Pakistan and the rug industry
The modern Pakistani rug can be found all over the world. The first rugs of this region were produced in Lahore when the Mughal Emperors were in power. These beautiful rugs are well known for their decorative value and typically featured Mughal patterns. Caucasian styles were later introduced as the Persians influenced the area; these are the designs we see today that typically associate with Pakistani rugs. There are two main types of Pakistani hand knotted rugs which are Bokhara and Jaldar.
The Bokhara rugs are made in the area of Lahore and they are one of the easier rug types to identify. The design is ‘Tekke’ it’s geometric and originally comes from the Turkoman tribe. Tekke design is usually a deep shade of red with repeating pattern of octagonal guls, often known as an elephant’s foot. These guls are commonly dark blue, black or brown with ivory accents. The shapes and colours of guls vary from tribe to tribe; these differences were often used to identify the source of the rug. The pile is made of wool, that often has to be imported, and the warp and weft are made of cotton. It is also recognisable with its high sheen and a very soft thick pile. They create the almost silky finish by treating or brushing the wool
The Jaldar rugs are inspired from traditional Sarouk and Yamud designs that originate from Afghanistan. These rugs are often put in the same category as Bokhara rugs as they are very similar in design and weaving technique. The materials used are also the same as Bokhara rugs, the only obvious difference between the two is the medallion, or ‘gul’ in the rug, these are more of a diamond shape where as the medallion on the Bokhara rugs is more of an oval shape. The finished look of the Jaldar rugs is also a silky sheen.
Pakistani rugs are a great choice if you are looking for a cheaper good quality rug, as they are only a fraction of the price of a Persian or Afghan rug.