Jun 25

EST. Reading time : 3 minutes

A carpet can transform any room into a beautiful and comfortable placeResearch also suggests that properly maintained carpets contribute to healthier indoor air quality.

In today’s world, carpets are a very important element of every home décor and also have a very interesting history. The modern word carpet is derived from the Old Italian word ‘carpita’ which means plucked. Carpets have a very significant history; the rugs were initially made from sheep’s wool as floor and table covering. The art of carpet making likely began in Central Asia, centuries ago. It is also believed that carpets were initially produced mainly for festivals and ceremonies but gradually introduced as floor coverings by nomadic tribes who wanted to keep themselves warm from the cold winters and something transportable and functional. The nomads were making carpets to decorate their tents as well.

The materials used in making carpets were very simple; they were made of two wooden ribs which were tightened to the ground and the loom was attached between these two ribs. These horizontal looms are used by the nomads even today because they are easy to fold and carry. Carpet weaving for business purposes started in Persia and then quickly spread throughout Asia. Apart from that, several countries have a long history of carpet making such as; Turkey, Afghanistan, Armenia, Pakistan and China. According to the well-known explorer Marco Polo, Turkish carpets are the most beautiful carpets in the world, the Turkish also weave silk fabric and other beautiful colours to make their carpets look even more beautiful.

The concept of carpets as floor coverings took a while to be implemented in Europe, and as soon as the means of trade between Western Europe and Persia opened up in the 1700s, carpets became quite famous in the West as well. According to historians, carpet weaving and manufacturing started in South Asia in the 11th century. The very beautiful and valuable art of carpet weaving reached the Indian subcontinent through the Muslim conquerors famously known as the Afghan Ghaznavids and Ghauris. It is also believed that very few people knew the art of making floor items from wool and other materials.

Carpets weaving prospered in the Indian Subcontinent during the Mughal Dynasty. During that period, the finest quality of handmade carpets was crafted to grace the palaces of Mughal emperors. With the support of the Mughals, the local carpet makers of the Subcontinent chose the Persian methods and started making carpets of the Persian patterns and designs.

Moreover, during that time period, handmade carpets were getting popular not only in the subcontinent but also overseas. The fame was spreading across the world to reach the European markets and be sold at high priced costs in England. Later in the British colonial period, carpet weaving was recognised as a job for prisoners in the jails of Karachi and Lahore. Also, at the time of the partition of the Indian Subcontinent, the Muslim carpet weavers moved to Pakistan. They revived the art of carpet making; hence the carpet manufacturing industry of Pakistan thrived even till now.

The skilful artisans have preserved the art of carpet making therefore, this art has survived in the form of folk culture in different areas of Pakistan. Therefore, Pakistan is considered one of the world’s biggest exporters of excellent quality handcrafted rugs and carpets. The colourful patterns in Pakistani carpets depict the beautiful culture of Pakistan and in that regard, the craftspeople of Pakistan work very hard in the making of such beautiful carpets. Currently, the carpet industry of Pakistan has grown to be the second-largest cottage and small industry. The unique patterns, vibrant colours and beautiful designs make the Pakistani rugs and carpets even more extraordinary.