Kashmiri Carpets are world-famous for their beautiful hand-woven
designs traditional as well as modern, intricate embroidery, colors and the
material used. These are so beautiful that people more often buy them for floors
and end up hanging them on walls.
History: Kashmiri Carpets known world over for their finesse and
the beauty have traveled many books in history to reach the present day
masterpieces. The art of carpet weaving originated from Iran, Turkistan, China
and Azerbaijan. " PERSIAN CARPETS" (Iranian) amongst all achieved
distinction for their quality weaving and designs. Carpet weavers, however
always hunted for the best material - Silk and Wool in particular. This led to
mass immigration of artisans from Central Asia and Iran in particular. It is
also said that then Kashmir King Zain - ul - Abideen who encouraged the carpet
weaving in Kashmir brought many artisans from Persia to start carpet weaving
here with the material that was par excellence. Kashmir was known world over for
the best silk and wool available over here and the scenery and climate of this
'heaven on earth' was intimidating enough for the artisans. So, a great number
of artisans settled over here and this led to the creation of finest carpets of
the world- "KASHMIRI CARPETS".
Raw Material: The raw material of which a carpet is made
essentially consists of silk, wool and cotton (staple). Kashmiri wool and silk
is known world over for its purity and durability and the combination adds to
the life and quality of carpets. A carpet can be made as "wool-on-cotton",
"silk-on-wool' and the best one "silk-on-silk". The latter is
expensive for its silk content and weaving.
Quality of the silk - experts say depends on the climate, water used for
processing and dying of the silk yarn and the altitude where the mulberry trees
grow that feed the silk producing worms. Thus, Kashmiri silk is the ideal one
for this category of carpet.
Staple Carpets are low budget carpets mode of artificial silk & cotton. These
are also handmade and look like silk carpets with similar designs and
color-scheme and available in all sizes.
Dyeing: Dyeing of the carpets is done by exclusively traditional
process with natural colors extracted from the local herbs and minerals of
valley that beautify the carpet designs without affecting the silk, thus
prolonging life of a carpet.
Weaving: Weaving of the carpets is done in accordance with a "Talim"
- coded script of knots per square inch along with color scheme and design
of the carpet on the base. The base is usually cotton or a mixture of silk and
wool. And for the ones that have silken warp as a base and knots too of silk is
most expensive fondly called "Silk-on-Silk". The quality and finesse of
the carpet is judged by the number of knots per square inch area, the design,
the colors used, the quality of the yarn, crisp outline and the weight of the
carpet. Secondly, it depends on the Talim - the perfect design code, the marvel
of geometry and artistic excellence that gives dexterity to the designs of
carpet. Beauty of Kashmir is reflected in every design. Artists find it most
inspiring and designs produced are matchless.
The larger the number of knots per square inch, the better is the quality of the
carpet and this is where the carpets have improved. This is the general
criterion for evaluating Carpets, normally ranging from 200 to 1200 knots per
Designs: Again the natural beauty influences like ever it does on
artisan , to culminate into the reflection in his art. Kashmiri carpets show
beauty and color combination that looks so natural and aesthetically appealing
yet known by the traditional names- " Art Goda", "Dabba Daar", "Phool
Daar" etc. But most of the carpet names have retained their Persian names
that were the names of the places of their origin in Persia - Hamdaan,
Isfahaan, Qum, Kashaan etc. You can choose from variety of designs and
colors depending upon your choice and the purpose. But the process could be
really bewildering as to choose from the treasure that is all to be amassed than
to be chosen from.