Dhurrie rugs are hand made flat weave rugs indigenous to India and surrounding areas which have been produced by the people of India for many centuries. Though initially made from cotton in low key colours and used for basic floor coverings, Indian dhurrrie rugs have developed into cleverly designed works of art in bright colours and stunning patterns often rendered in wool. They have no pile or backing which makes these rugs fully reversable and easy to care for. Smaller varieties of dhurrie rugs are often used as meditation mats known as Aasan’s, while the larger varieties are usually utilized as carpets or wall hangings.
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The partition of India in 1947 coincided with developments in technology that saw traditional dhurrie rugs being mass produced in factories and sold cheaply, which greatly threatened the livelihood of local artisans. These traditional weavers realised that they way to keep their craft alive and profitable was to branch out in colour and design in ways that the mass factory produced products could not match. Different regions of Indian such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh created different distinctive patterns and uses of colour that are still specific to their regions to this day.
Dhurrie Rug Style, Patterns & Colours
The range of designs and colours available in modern Indian dhurrie rugs is virtually endless. Unlike the traditional striped and block colour patterns, modern dhurrie rugs take inspiration from an infinite number of places including details of sarongs and floral wallpaper. The patterns on dhurries woven by the Bhutias in Darjeeling feature pronounced Tibetan influences such as dragons and clouds while those produced in south India are woven in the bright reds, yellows, pinks and blues of the region.