The History of Rugs: From Ancient Art to Modern Décor

Within the 6 letters of the word ‘Carpet’, resides a story that transcends the test of time. A story that is centuries old and has been evolving with new chapters as time passes by. The saying “started from the bottom and now we are here”, actually suits the contemporary world lingo that describes these hand-woven masterpieces. Rugs and carpets are the oldest forms of human expression. The handmade canvases of these floor coverings depict stories that tell us instances about our history, scenes of wars, the royal courts, and local villages.

The History of Rugs  From Ancient Art to Modern Deìcor

Rug making initially began in 464 BC, the era when the oldest rug, the Pazyryk carpet was made. As seasons passed, the art of rug making slowly, nation by nation reached the world and today stands as one of the highest revenue-making industries in the global market. Whilst the artisans and craftsmen poured their emotions, many others poured their creativity on the carpet canvas. This gave carpets the identity of art, and soon were being used as tapestries, decor accessories, and floor coverings.

It all started in Egypt when nomads were ‘nomading’ in abundance. They used to set up camps in various villages and towns. After they left, their tents were often admired by the locals because of their creativity. These tents were adorned with fine hand-crafted patches of cloth, boasting of elegance, vibrancy, and creativity. With time, the locals started to copy this art and began using it for multiple purposes, mainly as floor coverings. Very soon carpets became a part of the trade between regions, and because of this, the art of carpet weaving caught the global eye. It was not late after this when the Mughals almost took over the entire world. Renowned for their love for architecture and art, they brought Persian artisans to our country who not only brought with them new techniques of carpet weaving but also their ornate designs, creativity, and inspiration. The Indian artisans were taught by them who soon became the masters of hand-knotting carpets featuring these bold and intricate patterns inspired by the Persian motifs like Khotan and floral patterns but with a native touch. Carpets crafted by these artisans were then used to adorn the royal Mughal courts.

The carpets in the ancient era were mostly inspired by live instances of wars, cruelty done by the colonizers on the locals, the beauty of nature, manuscripts, and calligraphy. As the trends kept evolving, the art of carpet making did too. After the colonizers took over, their advanced technology helped develop multiple manufacturing procedures in the country. The art of rug-making gradually was taken over by machines. Different varieties of looms were invented and people were trained to use them. While these looms were semi-automatic, fully automatic carpet-making processes were also invented in the 21st century.

The designs have also evolved in a lot of ways. Earlier, everything was inspired by nature, floral, and Persian motifs but as modernization crawled in, people started shifting to the concept of minimalism. The carpets that feature abstract art became popular, and solid carpets with light textures also came in demand. Some homeowners today prefer rugs that only look good, they do not worry much about the carpet quality, hence, machine-made carpets are for them. These homeowners aim to actively stay in sync with the changing trends and keep updating the interior of their homes. Then some people understand the true value of a handmade rug. They consider carpets more than mere floor coverings, they look at carpets like investments, and timeless pieces of art, hence they are the ones who purchase classic handmade rugs. These carpets last for generations and eventually become family heirlooms.

Modern art is another concept that is appealing to homeowners of today. While the designs were one thing, carpets are being manufactured in various shapes and sizes to fit in minimal spaces. These unusually shaped carpets grab the viewers’ attention immediately and can even be used as tapestries.

We at Obeetee Carpets have been crafting fine handmade carpets using only the best quality materials since the last century. We have seen every era of the art of c carpet making. Pulling out the best of the best from each category, we craft carpets for the world. Each of our carpets, be it hand-tufted, hand-knotted or handloom is an heirloom-worthy piece because of its fine quality and high durability. In our collection, you will find fine handmade carpets featuring artwork inspired by Persian motifs, modern art, renowned designers, and the un-noticed elements that surround us. Our weavers have been with us for generations and each carpet tells a story.

Art has the power to survive any test of time and carpets are something that makes it inevitable. To purchase the magic of these ‘artful’ masterpieces firsthand, visit our website or any of our flagship stores located in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, and Kolkata.