Carpet weaving has a long history in India as the industry has been prospering in the country from the 16th century onwards. In terms of both value and volume, India is now the world's top manufacturer and exporter of hand-knotted carpets. In reality, 90% of carpets made in India are exported. Indian carpets are known worldwide for their superb design, vibrant colours and high quality.
Did you know?
The Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) is India's apex body for hand-knotted carpet and other floor covering exporters. The council assists exporters by locating new markets, giving financial support, financing participation in international events, organising buyer-seller meetings and settling trade disputes.
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Overview of the Carpet Industry in India
According to a survey by Mordor Intelligence, about 90% of Indian carpets are exported. From April to November 2019, the estimated cargo value was ₹64,407 Cr. Carpets can be made in various ways, but in India, hand-tufted and hand-knotted carpets are the most common. The hand-tufted method is a more recent development, although the hand-knotted method has been used since antiquity. Carpets are first sketched out on graph paper, and the creator then outlines the carpet design on the material with graph paper. After that, the threads are coloured, and the carpet is tufted with a tufting gun. If the carpet is hand-knotted, it is created by specialised handlooms who weave it according to the knotting specifications.
The hand-tufted approach takes around six to seven weeks to prepare a carpet.
On the other hand, hand-knotted carpets take 14 to 16 weeks to produce.
Despite fierce competition from countries such as China, Turkey and the United States, which specialise in machine-made carpets, India's handcrafted rugs retain their international appeal. In India, you may discover a variety of carpet flooring styles as well as a variety of carpet producers. India is well-known for having a wide variety of carpets at extremely low prices. In India, the city of Jaipur is known for its carpet manufacturing, where carpet costs ₹390 per square foot.
The majority of carpet manufacturing in India gets done in the northern cities of Bhadohi, Agra, Jaipur, Srinagar and Danapur.
The country produces seven different varieties of hand-knotted carpets:
- Hand-knotted woollen rugs
- Woollen carpets with tufts
- Gabbe carpets made of woollen fibres
- Handmade woollen dhurries
- Carpets made entirely of silk
- Carpets made of staples or synthetic fibres
- Rugs with chain stitching
Top Carpet Manufacturers in India
The following is the list of best carpet brands in India:
A hundred years ago, three British men came together across the Ganges to start a small carpet making business. Following World War I in 1920, the founders sought to capitalise on the growing demand for Indian carpets on the western side.
Companies such as IAL Taylor, FH Bowden, FH Oakley began manufacturing carpets after handpicking the best local craftsmen from Mirzapur, a small B-town in Uttar Pradesh. Obeetee, derived from the initials of the company's founders, Oakley, Bowden & Taylor (OBT), became an instant hit in India. Over the last century, it has earned a reputation for becoming India's largest handmade carpet rug manufacturer. They have established a factory in Gopiganj, Uttar Pradesh, with around 20,000 artisans responsible for producing handcrafted goods. The company specialises in producing Sikkim's secondary and long-tail carpet weaving.
In an interview, Obeetee's Managing Director, Gaurav Sharma, stated that the company has a solid manufacturing process and trained artisans to deliver the finest weaving art. He further stated that some of his most skilled artisans could tie up to 8,000 knots in a single day. He went on to say that the quality of their hand-knotted qualities varied from 15 and 300 knots per square inch. The weaving process takes anywhere from 4 to 18 months.
Two Obeetee rugs may be found at Delhi's Rashtrapati Bhavan. The largest one is 452 square metres long and contains 100 million knots. In the United States, the corporation has a sizable market. It has become simple for the company to purchase carpets through internet shopping, where the company claims to offer carpets at wholesale prices.
Until 1994, Radhe Rathi was connected with his family's textile business and was in charge of his textile company's exports. However, he left his family business and relocated to the United States owing to temperamental troubles. While working there, he noticed a high demand for carpets on the market, and he also learned about a trade project.
He got right into the industry and began looking for new chances without wasting any time. In 1996, he founded Kaleen India, a rug manufacturing and distribution company. The company began by trading carpets worldwide but eventually transitioned to rug manufacture. Monty Rathi, Radhe Rathi's younger brother, joined the company as COO of Kaleen Group in 2000, and the two brothers then relocated from the United States to Mumbai. Mirzapur, Panipat, and Bikaner were all intended as manufacturing locations.
According to Radhe, Indian Kaleen's USP is making full use of technology in a conventional corporate setting. Handmade and machine-made carpets employing diverse techniques are the company's specialities. The Kaleen India network spans 50 nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Canada. According to the company, 95% of orders are shipped within 48 hours. Through its distribution channels in the United States, the company's carpets may also be found in several major luxury hotel chains, including Hilton, Marriott International and Hyatt.
The Rug Republic
Aditya Gupta had an interest in carpets and rugs while growing up in Meerut. When Aditya Gupta was in high school, he, JK Gupta and Meenakshi Gupta started manufacturing carpets at their home. He went on to earn his master’s at FMS in Delhi after finishing his schooling and subsequent study at the Indian IIT-Roorkee. Aditya Gupta and his brother, Ashish Gupta, both joined the company. Sharda Exports is the name of their company. Their business used to be solely focused on the domestic market. It wasn't until they recognised an opening and displayed their collection in a German exhibition that they realised they had a chance. As a result, Sharda joined the international market in 1991.
IKEA (a Swedish furniture manufacturer) and Habitat, a UK-based home furnishings company, are among Sharda's first overseas clients. Between 2013 and 2014, Sharda was renamed The Rug Republic. The Rug Republic currently produces up to 5 lakh rugs each year and ships them to more than 80 countries. Aditya does not reveal the company's turnover but claims that it grows at a pace of 20% every year. The Rug Republic has an exclusive showroom in Delhi and over 10,000 retail locations worldwide.
In 1988, Asif Rahman became involved with carpets. He was desperate for work and tried his hand at various venues. He stopped before a rug store on Park Street in Kolkata and began looking through the glass window at the carpets. The owner was intrigued by his enthusiasm and invited him inside to speak with him briefly before offering him a position as the leader of his carpet installation team. He began by assisting the staff in the installation of carpets at five-star hotels.
This marks the start of his three-decade career in the carpet industry. Asif founded Insigne Carpets in 2011 with a ₹35 lakh investment from his resources over a lifetime. The Gurugram-based luxury firm provides consultancy, manufacture, and carpet installation, guaranteeing that customers receive end-to-end service.
Insigne carpets have a prestigious clientele in the entertainment, hospitality, commercial, residential, and other industries. The Pierre in New York, Salalah International Airport in Oman, Wynn Casino in Las Vegas and La Samaritaine are just a few of the luxury projects for which the business has designed and made carpets. The company's distinguishing feature is its personalisation and originality, with only one design and no duplicates.
Insigne Carpets' Chinese manufacturing operation can make carpets covering more than 5,000 square metres. Primary and secondary backing is included with all Insigne carpets. The Insigne carpets factory in India now has a capacity of 1,000 square metres.
India exports carpets to almost 70 nations throughout the world, namely the United States, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, France, Italy and Brazil. Exporting to China has also begun.
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