finest of Kashmiri carpets are available at major showrooms.
A Carpet is a life long investment-it may well be the single
most expensive purchase during your trip to Kashmir. Kashmiri
carpets are world renowned for two things- they are hand made
and they are always knotted, never tufted. It is extremely instructive
to watch a carpet being made- your dealer can probably arrange
it for you. Stretched tightly on a frame is the warp of Carpet.
The weft threads
are passed through, the talim or design and color
specifications are then worked out on this: a strand of yarn
is looped through the warp & weft, knotted and then cut.
The yarn used normally is silk, wool or silk and wool. Woolen
carpets always have a cotton base (Warp & Weft),
silk usually have cotton base. Sometimes however, the base is
also silk in which case you will see that the fringe is silk;
the cost increases proportionately. Occasionally, carpets are
made on a cotton base, mainly of woolen pile with silk yarn
used as highlights on certain motifs. When the dealer specifies
the percentage of each yarn used, he is taking into account
the yarn used for the base too. Therefore, a carpet with a pure
silk pile may be referred to as an 80% silk carpet. Carpet weaving
in Kashmir was not originally indigenous but is thought to have
come in by way of Persia. Till today most designs are distinctly
Persian with local; variations. One example, however, of a typical
Kashmiri design is the tree of life. Persian design not withstanding,
any carpet woven in Kashmir is referred to as Kashmiri. The
colour-way of Carpet and its details differentiate it from any
other carpet. And while on the subject of colours, it should
be kept in mind that although the colours of Kashmiri carpets
are more subtle and muted than elsewhere in the country, only
chemical dyes are used-vegetable dyes have not been available
now for hundred years.
The knotting of the carpet is the most important aspect, determining
its durability and value, in addition to its design. Basically,
the more knots per square inch, the greater its value and durability.
Also there are single and double knotted carpets. You can quiet
easily identify one from the other on the reverse of the carpet.
The effect that it has on the pile, too, is important- a double
knotted carpet has a pile that bends when you brush it one way
with your hand, and stands upright when it is brushed in other
direction. A Single knotted carpet is fluffier and more resistant
Return to Top