Before the partition of Punjab and during the 19th century, not only was Amritsar the spiritual capital of the Punjab but it was also its commercial capital as well. Traders on the Silk Road from as far as China would make their way to Amritsar to trade goods.
Amritsar had established a reputation during the 19th century for its carpets and textiles. Although not as well known as those produced in the Sikh Empire province of Kashmir, the textiles and carpets produced in Amritsar were still highly valued around the world.
Some of the finest carpets in India are woven at Amritsar. One dealer, just inside the first gate entered from the railway station and hotels, employs from 700 to 1,000 hands in carpet-weaving, at a wage of from three to six annas a day. He works mainly for three or four great London firms, and I have seen no worthier results in any of the capret manufactories I have visted up and down India.. No better opportunity will present itself to the traveller for studying this artistic and peculiarly Indian loom-work than this particular factory at Amritsar.
W.S. Caine, London, 1891