Bhadohi is a city in Bhadohi district in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is also known as the “Carpet City,” as it is home to the largest hand-knotted carpet weaving industry hub in South Asia. The city is 45 km west of Varanasi and 82 km east of Allahabad.
The carpet industry of Bhadohi manufactures artistic floor carpets and rugs of fascinating designs, which are a big attraction in the foreign markets. The tradition of carpet manufacture in Bhadohi goes back to at least 400 years. “Ain-Akabari” (1600 AD) by Abul Fazal is the oldest record in which reference appears to carpet weaving in the area. The hand-knotted carpets of Bhadohi constitute 95 percent of the total carpet export from India.
Only about 10 percent of the total carpet produced in India is locally consumed. The export of Indian carpets has reached to its peak at Rs. 3674.86 crores in 2006-07 (U.P. share Rs.2829.64 crore.) but global slowdown and demand of traditional Persian carpet especially from Europe and US jolted the carpet industry.
With some improvement in the global economy, the trade has seen rising trend in 2010-11 to the tune of Rs. 2992 crore (U.P. Share 525.87 crore.) The industry has all hope that the value of export would not go below last year figure in the current year. In 2010 the carpet manufactured in bhadohi region has also received geographical indication (GI) tag.
There are different processes for manufacturing the carpet which includes washing of wool, carding, spinning dyeing, drawing the design, wrapping, knotting and weaving, trimming, washing, latexing and giving the finishing touches.
At first, the wool used for the manufacturing is washed and dried in the sun for 2-3days. Next, during carding, the wool is cleaned and forms smooth fibre strands using the spinning wheels. This is used to blend different wools. The yarn is formed by spinning the wool on spinning wheel and then the wool is dyed using different chemicals li sulphuric acid, soda ash etc.
The designs are drawn using the graph paper. wrapping is arranging of the yarn for lengthwise weaving and finally knotting, weaving and then trimming of the carpet is done.
In warping operation, all the warps for the carpet weaving are brought to the thick iron rod and then transferred to a thin steel rod. Then it is folded and taken to the loom for mounting on the loom and the process of weaving is carried out.
During knotting and weaving the pile yarn is introduced into the carpet by tying knots. Depending on the size of the carpet, one or more weavers work on a loom.
The number of knots is around 60-200 knots per square inch. Higher the quality of the carpet, greater is the number of knots per square inch. The graphic designs that are drawn on a graph are instructed by a map reader or another weaver to the weavers knotting the carpet.
Tying of these knots is a skilled job and each weaver ties knots row after row speedily with great dexterity. Two types of knots tied are Ghiorodes or Turkish knot and Sehna knot. Insertion of any type of knot is done in such a manner that the tuft lies at an acute angle to the back.
The weaver can choose from the considerable number of different tufts to give a variety of patterns and colours to his carpet and he thus creates an unparalleled work of art. Tools used for weaving are scissors, iron rods, levers and comb beaters.
The next process involves washing of the weaved carpet with soap and bleaching powder. The washed carpet is dried in sun for 4-5days. The process of covering the carpet with rubber is called as latexing.
This is done to increase the durability of carpet. Once the product is finally done the quality of the product is checked and is transported to the local markets for selling or are exported to various countries.