Carpets of Madhya Pradesh

  1. Origin: Being the geographic heart of the country, Madhya Pradesh is bathed in copious cultural influences. The invaders who entered Madhya Pradesh to conquer this cultural soil left their artistic footprints.   

  2. Once upon a time, Moguls ruled Gwalior and painted the city in Persian flavors they brought along. Today, the Moguls no longer rule. However, the city still speaks of Persian aesthetic sensibilities. The vocabulary of motifs and the hues picked by artisans whisper Persian influences. This can be largely attributed to de facto that Mughal encouraged Gwalior to evolve into a major center of carpet weaving.

  3. Since Mughal times, Gwalior has been the nucleus for weaving exquisite carpets. However, later the Shahdol and Mandla belt also gained popularity as weaver’s destination. 

  4. Carpet weaving in Madhya Pradesh proudly wears its cultural mixtures with unique imprints of Rajput, Maratha, British and Mughal shades. In an attempt to tap the business potential of this local heritage, British established the Oriental Carpet Manufacturing (OCM) Company in early 1900’s. Since the last 200 years, traditional patterns married with varying combinations have given birth to knotted carpets.

  5. Present Day:  Over the years, carpet craft in Madhya Pradesh has undergone metamorphosis. From the materials used to the products manufactured… everything about this art has experienced an evolution. And yet, it is still interwoven to its heritage. 

  6. The craft of carpet weaving in Gwalior employs a large population. This art form is carried from one generation to another. Most of the weavers prefer to work with families inside their homes.  Carpet weavers of Madhya Pradesh are acknowledged as the masters of weaving and dyeing. 

  7. Presently, carpets are used for décor. They are either placed on the naked floor or hung over walls to add a rustic look to their homes. 

  8. Madhya Pradesh is famous for two carpet varieties namely durries and woolen carpets. Durries are thick cotton carpets whereas woolen carpets as the name suggests are crafted from wool. Woolen carpets are comparatively warmer and have beautiful floral motifs and Mughal patterns. Motifs also soak inspiration from nature and thus express trees, leaves, hills and flowers etc. 

  9. Procedure: This art calls for raw materials that is sourced from different parts. Wool from Bikaner and Amritsar, viscose comes from Panipat & Surat and cotton from Haryana is purchased to craft this piece of magic

  10. Master craftsmen sketch the design mentioning the colour details.  This design is then decoded on loom where it takes the shape of patterns through knotting. A single design results in warp for two to three copies stretched on the loom. 

  11. The weaving loom is always vertical. A group of three people come together on the loom and tie threads into careful knots. Post this, excess thread is removed with dhoori. These knots are titled Persian knots after their place of origin. Persian knots are then pressed with a help of a comb like instrument titled panja and Patti. 

  12. Post this, woven carpets are dipped in water for 10 hours. Lastly, the carpets are dyed. Colouring was earlier done by natural dyes. Contrary to the past, today synthetic dyes as used.

  13. The rural women used to make durries with the help of a technique called Punja Technique. Punja is a claw like tool used to make durries. 

  14. Most common colors used in these carpets are bue, green, maroon, red, and brown etc.  The weavers of Madhya Pradesh are masters of this trade. Durries have patterns like geometrical designs, traditional motifs and figures of animals and birds.

  15. These Carpets are mainly exported to countries like USA, UK, Canada, Australia and UAE. The prices depend upon the craftsmanship and the quality of the carpet.  

  16. Bring Home Carpets: You can buy these carpets from Handicrafts emporium in Gwalior, Government emporium in Gwalior, Carpet galleries in Gwalior, local markets of Mandla and Shahdol, MP State Emporium, GTB Complex, TT Nagar in Bhopal and in Indore at MT Market and Handicrafts emporium. 

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