Largely unappreciated, traditional flatwoven Indian dhurries have long been overshadowed by luxuriant Mughal pile carpets. Dhurrie, the first comprehensive book on these ancient flatwoven rugs, presents the dhurrie as a significant floor covering from the Indian subcontinent. Transcending social boundaries, the dhurrie was used by commoner and royalty alike: At its simplest it was a multi-purpose textile used as floor covering, bedding or packaging, while at its most elaborate - woven with the finest fibres and enhanced by goldwrapped thread - it graced the palaces of royalty. These book traces the dhurrie's past : From the shadows of prehistoric India, the lavish Mughal courts and the bustling commerce of British India, to the present day. It catalogues nearly a hundred old dhurries, including traditional prayer rugs with domed mosques, dhurries with classic stripes and ornate geometrical designs as well as a collection of the most beautiful pictorial flatweaves. Dhurrie also introduces the weavers of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, and is a guide to the dhurrie's many stages of development: from the selection and dyeing of yarn to the actual processes of weaving, washing and finishing. Having revitalised the dying craft of dhurrie weaving, Shyam Ahuja - whose name is synonymous with the modern Indian dhurrie - describes his intense involvement with this flatwoven rug. Drawing inspiration from sources as unexpected and diverse as a Versailles ceiling, the Scottish tartan and the traditional Indian paisley, he presents a selection of his favourite designs. Exhaustively researched and abundantly illustrated with over 300 colour pictures, Dhurrie documents the history and development of India's flatwoven rugs.
Shyam Ahuja's early career as a wool buyer led him through the deserts of Rajasthan in search of the finest raw wool for the manufacture of pile carpets. In 1963 he formed his own company, shifting to the production of carpets in Indo-Persian designs. Commissioned to develop a cotton dhurrie in 1969, Shyam Ahuja naturally fashioned one in wool. Little did he realise that Cambay - his first woollen dhurrie - would eventually lead to the rejuvenation of a moribund industry and a revival of the craft of fine dhurrie weaving. Today, he is India's leading designer, creator and manufacturer of quality home furnishings and the dhurrie remains the backbone of his collection. With showrooms in India, Paris and New York, the Shyam Ahuja Home Collection is on display at prestigious stores the world over.