The desire for comfort and luxury has always inspired the man to invent things that keep raising the living standards of the human race. And the art of rug weaving that has traveled not only across nations but also centuries is evidence of the same fact. The struggle against the cold has lured the man to extract furs and wool from goat and sheep. Rugs which were a need once became a luxury as time progressed and fibers like silk came in use to satiate the human thirst for achieving new statures of lavishness.
The artistically designed rugs give us a peek into the lives of those tribal communities who are credited with the invention of rugs. Over the years the art of rug weaving had managed to reach central Asia and middle-east and got more refined in the hands of the artisans of these regions.
Around 1000 A.D., Marco Polo brought some crucial information on rug making from his voyages through Turkey. But it took a long time before the procedures utilized in the making of the rug found their way into France and England.
Further, in countries like Persia, where the ordinary people were relishing on the luxurious feel that a rug brought into their lives, the Mughals in India kept it exclusively for themselves. Persian designs on rugs had been the most favorite among the customers with their intricate motifs reflecting flowers and leaves. These designs also motivated our Indian artisans who have adopted them and added a touch of their own while weaving these traditional-style rugs.
In India, Kashmiri rugs became famous for jewel color tones and their use of motifs like paisley, tree of life and Chinar tree. The rugs of Kashmir are deeply rooted in the Kashmiri culture and represent the richness of a beautiful culture of a heavenly place.
The other reason that justifies the existence of these exquisitely designed rugs even after centuries is their durability factor. These hand-woven rugs have found their way to museums as some of them lasted for more than thousands of years. Hence, buying a rug is seen as an investment in a souvenir that can be passed down to generations as the life span of 100 years is very common in the case of these handcrafted rugs.
(a) Wool- Procured from the flock of sheep, wool is the most commonly used material for rug manufacturing.
(b) Cotton: Since India is one of the largest producers of cotton procuring. It is generally used in making flat weave rugs as well and in combination with other materials as well. Another factor that makes cotton a preferred material is that it absorbs the dyes well.
(c) Silk: Silk defines luxury, and our most exclusive range of carpets is made of silk which is made out of silkworm.
Steps for manufacturing a rug:
To ensure that the customers receive the best quality product; several quality checks are run on the raw material, and the most excellent lot is selected.
Turning wool into yarn:
The raw material received generally comes with a lot of debris. Hence, it is cleaned and refined to spin into the thread before machines can turn it into a durable material.
The process of dying involves the selection of color and boiling it for a specific time. After the whole yarn is dyed, it is sun-dried for days to make it ready for the weaving process.
Finalizing the design:
Our expert designers pour their creativity on a chart paper which is marked with different square patterns that make it easy for a weaver to comprehend the composition of the design. This chart paper is a step of instructions for the weaver that he or she has to follow while weaving the rug. Putting hours of dedication, the experienced hands of our artisans turn these intricate-looking designs into a decorative rug.
Preparing the loom:
After finalizing the design, a loom is prepared for weaving it, and the threads are vertically stretched and warped with the cotton giving a sturdy base to the yarn. Further, the length of the warp is measured and adjusted according to the length of the carpet. To minimize the chances of any damages to the fine threads; wefts are created using wool, cotton, or silk.
Hand knotting is the most challenging process out of the steps that are employed while making a rug. The weavers have to work with an unwavering precision during this process as they have to continuously tie one knot after the other until the design takes a final shape. This process is also one of the most expensive ones as it is a labor-intensive job.
Trimming, leveling and stretching the rug:
The weaving process is followed by the trimming process in which unwanted knots and threads are taken out with the help of a scissor. The skilled hand of our weavers trims everything that is undesirable and could be a stumbling block for the rug’s smoothness. The rug is then shaved with a specialized machine that helps in leveling the length of the carpet. To make it perfect from every angle; the rug is stretched on a machine for an entire day.
The yarn is thoroughly washed with water to remove any type of dirt particle from it that might have made its way into the yarn during the weaving. Washing the rug also helps in bringing the much-desired shine and is the most attention-seeking feature of a silk rug.
Finishing the product:
When the rug is in its final shape, it is time for the inspection. As at Jaipur Handicrafts, we believe that at the end of the day, the customer is king. And who would dare to serve a king with a shoddy quality?
During the inspection process, we check it for its correct measurements and designs. If we find anything that has escaped the eyes of our master artisans, we send it for re-trimming unless it achieves the perfection for which it is meant.
Elegance is the word that comes in the mind of everyone; every time the rug is mentioned. Carrying stories in its wefts and knots, every rug made at Jaipur Handicrafts is a reflection of the creativity of thousands of minds. Our rugs are a tribute to the artisans that have kept this beautiful art alive. The designs that we see on the carpets today are the result of the artistic minds of those rug weavers. Our endeavor is not only to make a product that looks great but also to make something that feels great.