Carpet weaving in the country is largely influenced by the Persian style. The Institute has taken up the initiative to design better carpets to face the competition.
K.K. Goswami, Director of the Institute, said that Indian carpets need a better marketing strategy. "Carpet designing began in Persia and so it has a Persian stamp till now. Though we have created a niche of our own, yet it is sold carrying a tag of being Indo-Persian. They have such a strong image. Though we are good, we do not have the same kind of identity and publicity," Goswami said.
The Institute aims at promoting Indian designs and traditional patterns so that they can create an identity of their own in the international market. "We basically try to focus on Indian themes for our design. Indian designs like Harappa, Ajanta, Mughal paintings, we try to take from them and teach the same to our students. We pay heed to colours too, based on market interest," said Kailashish Karamakar, a lecturer in the Institute.
UP is the country's largest exporter of designer carpets and rugs. There are about 300 well-established carpet exporters in Mirzapur, Bhadohi areas in the state alone. Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana are the other states where carpet industry has high concentration.
The origin of the industry can be traced back to 16th century to the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar who is said to have brought some Persian carpet weavers for production of Persian carpets in his own palace at northern Agra. Some of the most exclusive carpets were created during the Mughal era, each carpet was different from the other, but infused with a common magic of colour and designs.