Once a flourishing craft the knotted wool carpets of Amritsar are faced by a declining trend with few craftspeople left plying their trade. Competition from machine made carpets and other wool carpet centers has resulted in a slow but steady decline in this craft. Weavers can be found in Konke Village, Tapiyala village, Chugawan village, Lopoke village, Raja Sansi and KotKhalsa around Amritsar. Originating in the early 19th century, when Maharaja Ranjit Singh the erstwhile King who brought Kashmir under his rule had many Kashmiri carpet and shawl weavers migrate to Amritsar under his patronage. This patronage combined with the availability of fine quality wool from the neighbouring hill states ensured the creation of exceptionally fine hand-knotted wool carpets.
Uusing the Persian knot technique the carpet weavers would wind the wool around the individual threads of the cotton warp. Inspired by Persian and Bokhara techniques the weavers used a color coded naksha pattern drawn on a graph, while weaving new designs.
With the decline in the craft there are no naksha pattern makers left in the villages around Amritsar. Today the clientele is mainly export houses who provide the naksha patterns. The business is handled by middlemen and the weavers’ earnings are paltry.