Antique Amritsar Rugs – The spectacular rugs of Amritsar capture the exotic style of India while incorporating a subtle colonial influence. This convergence of eastern and western styles results in an exceptionally alluring appearance that has been beloved by western consumers historically and today. The outstanding carpets of Amritsar were created by influential exporters to fuel the demand for exotic rugs and textiles following Queen Victoria’s 1851 Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace. Elegant curvilinear botanical motifs and superior materials have made Amritsar carpets particularly desirable and easy to appreciate.
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Amritsar carpets are extremely distinctive within the production of Indian carpets. Unlike the Agra Rugs, those produced in Amritsar, in the far north of India near Kashmir, do not represent a continuous production back to Mughal times. They seem to have resulted from a new nineteenth-century initiative under British rule. As such the Amritsar rug weavers were free to approach carpet design more on the basis of western needs than on their own traditions, so their carpets were from the outset well adapted to western decorative use. While their designs responded to contemporary Persian production, Amritsar rugs were generally made with a softer earthier palette, often with a tendency to burgundy or aubergine tones. To this day, they remain a superior decorative rugs by virtue of their flexible formal repertoire and coloration.
Amritsar is located in northwest India. Carpet production began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries during the rise of the British supremacy. Due to Western influence and European demand, the weavers were very prolific during this period. Designs appealed to Western tastes employing large-scale patterns featuring millefleur (thousands of flowers) motifs. A subtle color palate of light blues, yellow, teal and rust characterize these Indian rugs. Amritsar rugs often have cotton foundations, are double wefted and use an asymmetrical knot. Very good quality wool is used resulting in a luxurious feel.