Agra rugs are known for its luxurious and elegant style as well as its similarities to Persian rugs. From the site of the majestic Taj Mahal in Agra, India, these antique Agra rugs have rich, earthy tones and patterns that complement each other and make up a timeless, exquisite design.
Indian Agra rugs started as a limited weaving industry. Back in 1530 during the Mogul empire, the emperors were inspired by Persian art and culture especially since during that time it was the Golden Age of Persian weaving. During Akbar the Great’s reign and the establishment of Agra as the capital in 1584, it was mentioned in the records that Persian craftsmen were welcomed to India to help stabilize the weaving industry of Agra rugs.
The materials used for making Agra rugs are usually wool, but a cotton alternative is available as well. Moreover, its weight varies with age. The newer the rug, the heavier. Antique Agra rugs are rare and are often in fragments or heavily restored and resized. In terms of color, Agra rugs have a unique set of color hues made of vegetable dye. Aside from earthy tones, it also possesses soft mid-tone blues and opulent golds.
With regards to its design, Agra rugs show a Persian influence through its luxurious design. It has spiraling vinery patterns with minor animal forms including birds and elephants. It may also include people in its design. One of the most popular designs of Indian Agra rugs is rows of flowers in vases. This design was eventually adopted by the Persians and continued until the end of the 19th century. During the British occupation in India in the 19th-20th century, the design of Agra rugs has transformed.
Agra Rugs at Present
The production of Agra rugs slowed down to a halt after the 1920s and was revived recently due to increasing demand. The elegant and classic design of these rugs which was influenced by both Indians and Persians has made Agra rugs earn a spot on the most sought-after rugs among collectors and designers especially the ones made during the 19th century.