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The history of Indian rugs is a relatively short one, as India has no native tradition of making rugs. The introduction of Persian rugs into India during the 16th century led to the development of an Indian style of rug making. Unlike many Oriental rugs, Indian rugs are not known for their symmetry, and tend to use a more realistic rather than decorative art style. In addition to a tendency to have concrete subject matters, Indian rugs are known for their intense, vibrant colors, the result of dyeing the rugs multiple times to produce the desired effects. Indian rugs lost much of their distinctive character in the late 19th century with the introduction of synthetic dyes that were unable to produce the vibrant colors Indian rugs had been known for.
Indian rugs are closely connected to the Mogul dynasty in India, which reigned from the 16th century through more than half of the 19th century. The emperor Akbar brought artists from Persia to the capitals of his own empire, and had Persian rugs made for his palaces. During the 17th century, the rug making was taken over by Indian artisans and court artists. Because these rugs were being produced for the emperor, only the highest-quality materials were used, such as wool from Kashmir, silk, and sometimes even gold and silver. The Indian rugs produced in the early 17th century tended to use realistic floral designs because of Emperor Jahangir's love of botany. Over time, Indian rugs diversified and began to include other subjects, including figural carpets that depicted hunting scenes, Portuguese rugs, prayer rugs, and more. There are no Indian rugs that were produced in tribes or villages, due to the fact that rug-making is not native to India. All authentic Indian rugs were produced in the cities.
The most distinguishing characteristic of Indian rugs is their use of color. The vast majority of Indian rugs used red lac dye, which was produced from the secretions of a variety of lac insects. Lac red was favored as the color for the background, with the design using a variety of yellows, blues, and greens; as well as orange, brown, pink, and black. The intensity and shades of the colors found on Indian rugs were the result of being dyed repeatedly until the desired effect was achieved. The colors of Indian rugs were usually combined without the outlines typically used in other Oriental rugs. Unfortunately, because the use of color was so important to Indian rugs, the introduction of synthetic dyes in India ended up being their artistic downfall. While rugs continue to be produced in India, they are now produced according to market demand. Most Indian rugs produced today are imitations of other styles of rugs, including the Mogul dynasty rugs that were and are so very famous.
At Oriental Rug Care NY, we have extensive knowledge and expertise about Indian rugs of all eras. We understand the materials and dyes used, and are experts in their care and restoration. If you ever need an Indian rug restored or cleaned, look no further than the professionals at Oriental Rug Care NY. We accept shipping from all 50 states, and offer free pick-up and delivery for our local customers. Whether you have an Indian rug or any other type of rug, Oriental Rug Care NY can take care of all your rug cleaning and restoration needs.
Oriental Rug Care NY
106-02 Northern Blvd. Corona Queens, NY 11368
4 E 30th St, New York, NY 10016
25 E 31st St, New York, NY 10016