Carpet Weaving of Andhra Pradesh

Carpet Weaving of Andhra Pradesh


Masulipatnam is an important carpet-weaving centre in Andhra Pradesh. The weaving of Indo-Persian carpets here began with the settling of the Arab community in the area. The vocabulary of carpet-weaving gradually fused with the local language, with the central ground of the carpet being called the khana and the border becoming known as the anchu. The patterns used are named after fruits or flowers like babul, ambarcha, guava, and jampal. The main designs on the carpets are named after the patrons of the carpet-industry: for instance, Ramachandra khani, Reddy khani, and Gopalrao khani. Other common names include Nurjehan, Shah Nawaz, Gulbanthi, Farasi, and Shahnammal. The designs are mainly floral or geometrical and the combination of shades is often a blue and green mixed with soft yellow and pastels. The carpets of Eluru and Warrangal are the pride of Andhra Pradesh. Carpet-weaving at Warangal began when the Mughal army --- which included artists and craftespersons -- moved into the Deccan region. Since the area around Warangal grew abundant cotton and was also known for weaving, thus carpet-weaving began flourishing here without great difficulty. Originally the local short-staple wool was used but now fine carpets are being manufactured by using long-staple wool from Bikaner. Most of the weavers are men; only a few women have been trained in the craft. Here also, the designs are often named after patrons. Mahbub khani, Teerandas khani, Hashim khani, Dilli khani, and Thotti khani are examples of this practice. The designs are again of Indo-Persian origin. Complicated designs are woven and the traditional talim technique is also present. Most often, the background is off-white and the designs are in deep green and orange. Dilli khani has boats (kishti) and floral motifs, and Thotti khani is a design-composition built around flower-pots (thotti means a clay flower pot). In 1885, these carpets, known as Deccan rugs were part of the British Empire Exhibition held at London and received an award for fine workmanship.

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