It takes a lot of time and effort to make a single rug by hand. The artisan also needs to be incredibly skilled in this art in order to create an impressive handmade rug. Usually, this work is carried on by generations of artists who pass on their skills as the new generation arrives. It is neither easily learned nor practised. Even a simple handmade rug requires a considerable amount of skill. These traditional artists are the only ones who have it and the only ones who can teach it to others.
The Dying Art
When the Mughals introduced the art of rug making to India, they also provided a rich cultural heritage in its form. This heritage is meant to be preserved, however, it is slowly being erased because this art is dying. With the Industrial Revolution, the mechanised production of rugs took the carpet industry by storm. Machine-made rugs became extremely popular because they could be made in large quantities and that too in a very short time as compared to handmade rugs. It goes without saying that this made them quite cheap.
The price became their allure as the quality could never match that of the handmade rugs. For this reason, they began dominating the market and still do, to this date. However, with the increase of the attention of buyers on quality, handmade rugs are now regaining popularity. But this change in demand has come a little too late. Already, the artisans are struggling to stay afloat in this economy. So, once the carpet weaver’s life changed, their struggles began.
Challenges Faced by Carpet Weavers in India
The craftsmen who dedicate their whole life to this art are floundering because they are not getting the support they need from society. They are the protectors of our cultural heritage yet they are the ones who need to be protected now. Most of the demand for their products has been
reduced because of the popularity of machine-made rugs and this has affected their earnings significantly.
These artisans don’t usually work in an organized sector, they are merely owners of small businesses from which they earn a living wage. This makes them entirely dependent on the earnings they get from their craft. Earlier, the royals and nobles used to provide most of the business to these craftsmen but with changing times, that support is gone. They are now struggling to compete with big companies that manufacture rugs in large quantities using machines.
Importance of Handmade Rugs
We must spread awareness about how handmade rugs are better in so many different ways. They are sustainable because environment-friendly methods and resources are used to produce them. When the craftsmen weave the rugs, they also weave our rich history and their own stories into them. So, you don’t just get a product, you get a thread that connects you to your heritage as well as the artisan who created the rug. This is an incredibly special quality of handmade products that can not be found elsewhere.
Empowering the Craftsmen
Even after being so unique and special, these carpets see a lack of demand because the artisans don’t have the resources or knowledge for an effective market campaign. They also don’t have an online presence which is crucial in this day and age when the majority of the market has shifted to online platforms.
The government is taking initiatives to support the local craftsmen but it will not be enough if the buyers don’t show similar support. An increase in sales will help them earn enough to maintain not only their craft but also their complete lifestyle without struggling. It is necessary to empower these craftsmen, otherwise, our cultural heritage will slip right through our fingers. The traditional art form must not get lost and the only way it can stay preserved is if the artists receive support.
Transforming Lives Through Handmade Rugs
A significant change is brought by the local carpet weavers India with their craft. They use less energy to produce rugs as compared to big rug manufacturers. They also help to lower your carbon footprint if you buy them instead of machine-made rugs. Along with using less energy, they also use production techniques that cause very little pollution, if any. Not only that, they also help sustain the rural economy of India in the non-agricultural sector, employing many individual artisans through their small businesses.
These small businesses are part of cottage industries which make a big contribution to the Indian economy as the market of handicrafts in this country is huge. This is why it is imperative to preserve the craft of handmade rugs.
The Bottom Line
This article will help you learn more about how to support the rug manufacturers India has. Handmade rug manufacturers give a lot to society and it is our responsibility to give them the support they deserve in return for it. They connect us to our past and keep our cultural heritage alive. Each handmade rug that we buy has its weaver’s personal touch to it. So, we get a unique product each time. This requires effort and skill and it is only fair that these artisans receive the fruit of their efforts in the right way.