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An all-carpet welcome...


CENTRAL ASIA, Turkey and Iran are known as the major schools of carpet selling and weaving. Moghul Emperor Akbar also brought Persian weavers to train political prisoners lodged in Agra, Bikaner, Jaipur, Gwalior and other jails and initiated The Jail Carpet series - known to be the most precious and priced collection of his times.

The New Delhi-based Carpet Cellar claims to have brought all exquisite designs and a part of ancient Moghul heritage and culture in their carpets but with an addition - contemporary designs and colour schemes.

"We use partly vegetable dye using superfine wool imported directly from New Zealand to impart lustre and durability to the range of carpets," says a representative of the Carpet Cellar.

They also have taken a break from tradition and introduced abstract designs in their Gabbeh Range. "It is mainly for European customers who like pastel hues woven in graphic patterns that replaces the oriental ornate feel," they justify.

Sheel Chandra's collection at the Carpet Cellar boasts of styles and designs of oriental art "stretching from the Black Sea eastward to China."

Hand-knotted, vegetable-dyed designs at Carpet Cellar depict hunting scenes, floral animal motifs and geometrical and lattice patterns. Interestingly, in some of the carpet borders, verses composed by unknown poets can also be seen. From Safaina period in Persia to varieties of Moghul Indian carpets, saddlebags, ornamentation of camels and horses during ceremonial occasions, the famous Pashmina ring shawl that replaces world-renowned shahtoosh are other important features of the Cellar.

Under the Handloom Weavers of India, Carpet Cellar manufactures hand-spun, hand-woven fabrics such as scarves, mufflers, stoles, shawls, dress materials, etc. This craft is supported by the Wildlife Preservation Society of India. All these creations are available at Anand Lok, Khel Gaon Marg in New Delhi.

RANA A. SIDDIQUI

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