The government is developing standards and a trademark to reinforce India's position as the top source of handmade carpets and ensure that products comply with quality benchmarks.
The textile ministry has begun efforts aimed at creating a brand for Indian handmade carpets along the lines of Australia’s Woolmark, which is a guarantee of the highest quality of wool.
Mahavir Pratap Sharma, Chairman, Carpet Export Promotion Council, said, "We are working on a brand… a trademark that will ensure that the products comply with the standards set by the organisation. We will take two or three years to create parameters on turnover, employment and compliance with effluent treatment norms."
Other significant exporters include Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan. China’s carpets are largely machine-made. Europe and America are the chief importers, accounting for almost 95% of total carpet imports. In EU, Germany dominates with a 40% share of all carpet imports. Consumers in Russia, China and Brazil and Chile are expanding rapidly.
The idea is also to use existing geographic indications on handmade carpets from Kashmir, Mirzapur, Bhadohi and Banaras (Varanasi) and showcase them across the world using the planned mark of quality.
The council also plans to set training standards so that weavers can meet certification norms. Sharma said competition from machine-made carpets is increasing. However, India has less than 1% share of global machine-made rugs.
He said, "We want India’s handmade carpets to become synchronous with the brand. We want to put it across that handmade carpets can be as per customers’ choice, unlike machine-made rugs."