Printed calicoes of large size and suitable patterns_ are used for covering the floors in India ; but the most common carpets employed there are made of cotton, called shatranfis. These are of different colours, usually blue and white, in red or orange stripes, squares, or stars ; some are of large size, and well suited for halls and tents, being thick and strong in texture, the two surfaces alike, smooth, and without pile. They are manufactured in different parts of India, at Murshidabad, Rang per, Agra, etc., and at many places in the Madras Presidency. Another kind of cotton carpet is that with a pile of cotton, and similar in appear ance to a Turkey carpet, manufactured at Sasseram —white, with a centre and border in blue ; and they are made also in the Hyderabad country with every variety of coloured patbdin.
Cotton carpets for tents are made at Cumbum, Rajamundry, and other parts, the price being under one rupee the square yard. They are generally in broad stripes of red and shades of blue. Small carpets of this description are produced in almost every district, and are used for sleeping on. They are somewhat less in price in proportion than the larger ones. Carpets of a small description, woven with wool, in stripes on a stout cotton web, are made at about the same cost.
Silk is another material of which carpets are made in the East ; and the pile, being of silk, im parts both softness and richness to the surface, while the colours are clear and brilliant. They are beautiful as specimens of variety in pattern, brilliancy in colouring, as well as of pleasing harmony in 'the whole. Silk carpets of small size, are made in Tanjore, Hyderabad, and Khyrpur.
TVoollen carpets, of large size, and of beautiful and well-coloured oriental pattern, are made at Mirzapur, Gorakhpur, Bangalore, Vellore, and other parts of Madras. Mirzapur is most famous in India for its carpets, which are frequently sold in Britain as Turkey carpets. The woollen rugs from Ellore are admired for their general characteristics of oriental pattern and colouring ; and these, as well as the large carpets from Mirzapur, all in the same style, are well adapted for sale in Europe. At the Madras Exhibition of 1857, there was a large display of carpets and rugs, viz. 1. The imi tation Axminster or close-nap woven carpet ; 2. The short velvet pile or tapestry carpet and woollen rug ; 3. The long velvet pile or imitation Turkey carpet ; 4. The silk or velvet pile carpet. Of the Axminster carpets, there were some very good specimens of close-nap carpets from Warangal, the colours clear and bright, but a sameness in the patterns. The carpets were strong, soft, and very close in the weaving. The only one for which Warangal is famed is Persian carpets, which are made there of all sizes, and of worsted, cotton, or even of silk. The weavers are all Mahomedans, and are congregated principally at Mutwara, although there are a few looms within the Waran gal fort. The weavers are drunken, turbulent, and ignorant, possessing no capital, and dissipating in excess the little money they may procure on accomplishing a piece of work. Carpets, chiefly of a small size, about two yards long and a little more than a yard in breadth, are made for the Hyderabad market, money being advanced to the weavers by the dealers there. A worsted carpet of this size and shape costs at Warangal from 21 to 2i rupees. A cotton carpet there is twice the price of a worsted one. A silk one is very highly priced. A common trick among these weavers is to substitute hemp for worsted.
Of the velvet pile carpets, some large and credit able specimens from Ellore were closely woven, bright and harmonious in colour, and the patterns more varied than those from any other locality.
Some of the rugs from Tanjore were also very tasteful.—(Madras Exhibition Juries' Reports). At Iyempettah in Tanjore they make very handsome carpets of silk.
The rugs and carpets produced at Ellore vary in price from 2i to 4 or 5 rupees a yard. They are of dyed wool upon a cotton web. The colours are not so bright as those given in Europe. Commoner descriptions, of the size of small hearth-rugs, are exported thence to England and Persia.
Dr. Walker (As. Jo. 113) gives the following de scription of carpet-weaving at linnumcunda,which is generally applicable :—The carpet loom is no thing more than the common native loom, placed vertically instead of horizontally. The waft is of thick, strong cotton twist, being arranged by no wafting mill, but by one of the work men going round and round two stakes fixed in the ground, and dropping the thread at each as he passes. In the loom it is kept on the stretch by two strong billets of wood, the threads being attached by separate loops of cotton fixed to a bamboo, which is elevated or depressed at the will of the weaver. The worsted is held in the left band, and a crescent-shaped knife in the right, the fingers of both being left free. The inner thread of the waft is then seized, the worsted wound round the outer, crossed on itself, and the extremity drawn out, by which it is made to de scend in the form of an open figure of eight to be snipped by the curved knife. It is superfluous to say that this is the work of an instant. When the pattern is new or difficult, the order and position , of the worsted threads is changed by a reader in a kind of rhyme. On a row being completed, the warp, in the shape of a cotton thread, dyed dark brown by the bark of the Swietenia febri fuga, is forced down by means of an iron-toothed comb, in form something like an adze. The whole is completed by cutting the worsted to its proper length by large scissors held steadily against the waft. Infant labour is employed and preferred in Warangal carpet-weaving, it being averred that their more limber finger-joints are best fitted for the finer parts of the work. Dried Sprigs of tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) and bunches of Lepidagathis Indica are attached to the loom frames. The workmen say that these make their labour go on more cleverly. Twelve different worsteds are employed. The blue is produced from indigo ; the yellows and the sulphur yellow from boiling the sulphur yellow in water im pregnated with carbonate of soda, in which a little turmeric has been mixed. The deepest yellow is produced by dipping the same in the potash ley. The reds are all produced by lac dye dissolved by tamarind juice, with sulphate of alumina and potash as a mordant. The depth of colour de pends in three cases upon the original black, brown, or white colour of the wool ; in the fourth, on the length of time the last description of wool was allowed to remain in the dye. The greens are produced by immersion in indigo, and then in pulas or turmeric ; their degrees also depend on the original colour of the wool. Bengal indigo is always preferred to the home manufactured by the worsted dyers. Cotton carpeting is prepared in the same way as the woollen. As a general rule, the lighter worsteds wear the longest. The red seems to render the wool brittle, and some de structive agent seems to be employed in preparing the wool. If the weavers would wash the wools thoroughly with soap, both before and after dye ing, the carpets would probably be far more durable.