Carpets that can floor you

Carpets that can floor you

Carpets that can floor you

Carpets have been adorning homes for ages now. You could also include them in your home decor to lend your home an ethnic look, writes Sangeeta Sen.

Few things conjure up the grandeur of a carpet. Yet, however, that day, as an Agra-based carpet weaver fabricated intricate senneh knots, rather double Persian knots – a step that was in conformity with ancient Persian weaving techniques, while creating repetitive curvilinear design patterns of floral plants on a Kashan carpet in soft wool, my mind travelled back to the time when the famous Mughal Emperor Akbar chose for his palace such magnificent carpets and other Persian style carpets like emerald green Herati carpets with motifs of scrolling vines and animals, or even Kerman carpets woven by Persian craftsmen at the royal workshops.

New-found interest

Interestingly, in the recent times, such exclusive carpets are gradually being looked upon as the next step up in home decor. “There has been a huge demand for such carpets,” says a carpet dealer at Agra. “For today’s buyer, the shape, style, size and design of such carpets have become indispensable choices.

Take, for example, a classic woollen, brick-coloured rectangular Kashan Agra carpet (0.80m x 0.60m) with ivory borders, which was on display at a carpet emporium. Commenting on the designs woven on this carpet, the emporium’s owner says, “Weavers of this carpet use ancient Persian weaving techniques for forming intricate double knots, rather than asymmetrical knots of wool. In fact, higher the knot density, more intricate is the design created on the carpet.” 

He adds, “Here, our craftsmen weave approximately 4,00,000 double knots of pure wool per sq m, which create the traditional Persian design of a medallion at the centre, flanked by floral motifs. There are also borders featuring motifs of tulip flower designs.” 

According to interior designing consultants, this carpet is categorised as a scatter carpet that looks best at strategic corners such as in front of a book closet or below a corner marble pedestal on top of which, a flower vase is placed.

Yet, another fascinating variety of a hand-knotted Persian carpet that I noted was a woollen Kazak Agra carpet (3m x 2.30m). This rectangular carpet had a knot density of around 6,00,000 double knots woven per square m, which generate designs of hooked polygons against a light burgundy-coloured background. 

Also, there were apricot-coloured borders filled with uniform geometric design patterns. This type of a carpet looks best below a round glass dining table.

In my curiosity to know more about the carpet, I travelled to the ‘Carpet City’ of Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh. A glimpse through the pages of history tells me that in the 16th century, majestic carpets with ancient Persian design patterns were manufactured here. Even today, craftsmen at Bhadohi weave such types of carpets with precision.

For instance, a popular silk jewel carpet (0.90m x 0.60 m) features hand-embroidery of Persian style floral motifs in gold metallic threads. From a decorative point of view, the best option would be to use this carpet as a wall hanging accessory.Also, carpets with Persian designs and styles from Kashmir have also been found to hit the high end of decoration in stylish homes. 

Weaving art

According to a recent survey conducted on preferences for exclusive carpets, as cited by designing journals, a hand-knotted pure silk Kashmiri carpet like the Aredbill carpet (2m x 1m) in bronze and ultramarine colours is popular. 

This rectangular carpet has around 9,72,000 knots of silk woven per square m, which create intricate Persian floral motifs. This type of a carpet would look perfect below a centre table with a black glass top placed in the living room. 

In yet another instance, a long and a narrow woollen Kashmiri carpet like the rust-coloured Bakhtiari carpet (1.75m x 0.58m) has around 5,00,000 knots of wool woven per square m. 

These knots in turn produce designs of khesti, a garden design variant, where the carpet is divided into multi-coloured square compartments filled with floral motifs and trees. This carpet is primarily a runner carpet that is best suited for the corridor of homes.

Enthralling designs

Alternatively, there could be the option of going in for a Kashmiri red Qum carpet (1m x 0.70m). Technically, around 6,10,000 knots of silk and wool woven per square m on the carpet account for geometric designs of compartments filled with boteh motifs symbolising clusters of leaves or flowers. The best option would perhaps be to use this carpet as a bedside carpet.

According to fascinating early records, there were circular carpets with Persian designs that graced the Amber Palace in Rajasthan. 

A popular round woollen carpet like the Jaipur carpet with Kashan motifs with a diameter of 8 feet, has unique Persian floral design patterns woven against a background of ivory and beige colours. This carpet looks best if used below a round coffee table.

Perhaps the most exclusive of all the carpets woven in Jaipur would be a dhurrie carpet. In fact, a typical example of a dhurrie carpet would be a terracotta-coloured Baluch dhurrie carpet with geometric designs (12 feet x 2 feet) that is hand-woven in pure cotton. This dhurrie carpet is essentially a sort of runner carpet that can be placed at the entrance of the living room.

Of course, there could be many choices of expensive yet authentic carpets in varied design patterns and colour palettes. But, when it comes to upgrading the grandeur of interiors, the carpet really matters!