View our current antique selection of Indian rugs below:
Learn More About Antique Indian Rugs
Antique Indian Rugs – Not all the rugs that were woven in India are easy to categorize. That is why we created this antique Indian rugs section. Here you will find Indian rugs of which the origin city isn’t specifically identified. This blanket category includes many gorgeous, impressive rugs from India across centuries.
Traditionally, the Indian rugs are some of the most desirable rugs amongst collectors and interior designers. India is known for their production of fine Indian textiles, palace size carpets, magnificent shawls and Art Deco rugs that were influenced by colonial British trends. Despite adverse conditions and invasions from overseas colonists and imperial powers, Indian craftspeople managed to maintain a diverse and individual textile culture. Even when the weavers of antique Indian rugs borrowed designs from Persia, they immediately attained a new flavor from the individuality of the Indian weavers.
The colors of the rugs are rich, the motifs are grand and the composition of antique Indian rugs is always elegant. From the 1600’s to the early 1900’s, Indian craftspeople created a virtually unlimited number of unforgettable carpets and textiles. Whether they are woven, embroidered, or printed, every antique rug originating from India will boast an original style and an elegant countenance that is worthy of the most respected shah or the most distinguished British ruler.
Historically, Indian rugs have always represented the best workmanship, intricate, fine weaves and high knot count. Some complex weaves could take many many years to complete. Starting under the reign of the Mughal emperor, Akbar, in the 16th century, rug weaving in India has only continued to grow and especially took off after the late 1800’s. Generally, the weaving is done on a large scale, but there are still many small workshops across the country.
According to some historical accounts, the founder of the Mughal Empire, Babur, was disappointed with the lack of luxuries when he came to India from Persia. Introducing the art of Persian carpet weaving to India, it quickly evolved and took on its own unique weaving style and look. This is why Indian carpets are so fine and luxurious. The art flourished under Akbar, who was a big supporter of arts and culture in India. Even prisoners in the country were taught to make these luxurious floor coverings. The carpets went to big palaces in India, and were also sent around the world as gifts. Since they were primarily for people who were rich and of high status, it was important that they were made with the highest quality, most luxurious materials.
When designers are furnishing an Art Deco apartment, a stately painted Victorian home or a Bohemian abode, the rich style, strong colors and elegance of traditional Indian textiles and antique carpets allows them to complement the ambiance of any interior setting. Textiles and area rugs from India are stately, harmonious and well-balanced works of art that never have an excess of any one design element. These individual pieces are part of a separate realm of textiles that is waiting to be discovered.
Antique Indian rugs were produced with Persian influence and commonly feature cotton and silk in the pile. However, little is known about rug production prior to the Mughal era because few have survived. Patterns are typically made with silk with gold or silver thread for brocades. The primary materials used are cotton, silk and wool in Indian textiles.
Colors that are commonly used in Indian rugs include red, blue, purple, green, yellow and black. The most well known of all the antique rugs from India come from the areas of Agra and Amritsar.
India is also recognized in the textile category for their fine shawls and embroideries. These garments are thought to have originated from Kashmir, but was a very popular fashion choice for women in high society all across Western Europe until the late 1800’s. These fashionable textiles were woven in many different beautiful patterns and colors, and were typically worn draped either over the shoulders or head, both for warmth and to add to the style of the outfit. These shawls are still worn by women today over virtually any outfit.