Woven Carpet Exports May Further Go-Up

By Jalbani, Mohammad Essa 'Sada Havat' | Economic Review, April 2006 | Go to article overview
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Woven Carpet Exports May Further Go-Up

Jalbani, Mohammad Essa 'Sada Havat', Economic Review

Whether he lived in cave or in castle, man has always endeavored to decorate his dwellings to create a pleasant environment and make his habitant comfortable. Animal skins and leaves of grass were his first items of decor and comfort. When man's intellectual level developed further and he learnt to weave, he made mats from palm leaves to use them as flour covering. These primitive steps led man to the modern art of carpet weaving.

No one exactly knows as to when proper carpet making began. The earliest woven carpet is believed to he 7000 years old. It is now established that the first ever carpet was made in the Asian part of the world.

Areas in the present day Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, China, India, Nepal and some Central Asian States have always been, and still are the principal places of carpet making. Hand-knotted carpets are thus gifts from the peoples of Asia to the nations in the rest of the world.

The basic (natural) raw material or carpet manufacturing is wool. Around 200 sheep breeds in the world are the source of this material. As far as the quality is concerned, wool from different sheep breeds varies immensely. Due to its superior strength, flexibility, elasticity, durability, waviness, luster and natural beauty the wool of Asian sheep is most ideal for weaving carpets. Another important attribute of this wool is that it is superbly colour absorbent. Give it a rainbow of colours, it will catch them perfectly Moreover, colour will never' run' or 'bleed'.

Due to abundant indigenous raw material and enormous skillfulness of the inhabitants, the tradition of carpet making is deeply rooted in the soil of the Indus Valley. History shows that throughout ages this valley has been the era-die of arts and crafts.

Through the course of centuries the valley has given birth to galaxies of great weavers, whose master-pieces have triumphantly entered into a variety of homes ranging from as simple as nomads' tents to as grand as palaces of tribal chieftains, nobles, princes, regents, kings, queens and emperors. Woven beauties like rugs, lois, shawls and ajraks were widely used by the people of Moen-Jo-Daro, as the excavations at that site reveal. It is quite possible that the art of weaving developed in the Moen--Jo--Daro region spread to areas as far as Turkistan and Southern Siberia, where a rug made around 425 B.C. called 'Pazyryk' has been discovered from a tomb.

The process of carpet makings quite complex, though no electricity, no gas is required for creating the timeless pieces of art. Wool itself passes through several stages before being taken lo carpet weaving looms Firstly wool is washed, so that dust particles get removed. Then scouring of wool starts. At this stage natural texture and real feel comes out. It is spun into yarn then. After that the dying process begins. Yarn dying is an art in itself. Our part of world has old traditions of yarn dyeing too. Colours and dyes are obtained from vegetables. Plants and other natural materials. Madder and indigo are classic examples of important natural dyes.

Carpets and rugs have two main parts the pile (the top surface) and Kicking (the under surface) By technical defination, a carpet is a decorative woven textile, which is produced by knotting thick coloured threads (yarns) on the warp, compressed by weft. Weft yarns are horizontal and warp yarns are vertical. Several distinct types of knot are used to produce carpets. The most important of these types are the Turkish knot and Persian knot. The Turkish knot is wrapped around two warps and the Persian knot around a single warp.

The principles and elements of design viz balance, rhythm, scale, proportion, dominance, symmetry, contrast, repetition are kept in mind while making a woolen master piece. The ideal of carpel design is to integrate utility, craftsmanship and beauty into a harmonious whole. The quality of carpet is determined by intricacy and beauty of the design and density and skill of knotting, the design is called the soul of a carpet, which makes the colours sing and the wool whisper.

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Woven Carpet Exports May Further Go-Up


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