The Dhurrie rug has been around for centuries in India. During the Mughal period, when Emperors travelled on hunts and in wartime, they did so with hundreds of elephants and farrashes, men who looked after their wealth of furnishings used to decorate the tents. Emperor Jahangir recorded in his memoirs that an elephant was specially assigned to transport the rugs needed for setting up his palatial camp. The Dhurries were very light and washable and perfect for outside use.
Dhurries were often presented as gifts from rulers of state to one another and were used in State processions. Palaces had a huge array of large 'protocol' Dhurries used for special occasions. During the period of British rule in India, the production of Dhurries flourished in jail workshops. Dhurries woven in these prisons were commissioned by British bureaucrats who were captivated by the large striped and geometric designs and used them in their houses and offices. Transcending time and class, the humble Dhurrie is the quintessential democrat, gracing the homes of paupers and Presidents alike.
Though mostly farmers, many villagers also weave Dhurries to supplement their agricultural income during the dry months and have gradually developed this craft into a cottage industry. While basic designs may change over generations, the basic craft techniques have changed very little through the ages.