Rug from origin, Rug History, Wool carpet, Carpet Manufacturing Process


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“You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out.” by Martha Graham.

Rugs and carpets are pedestals, portraying flawless splendor of art of weaving. A floor covering not only beautifies the dwellings, but also adds coziness & security, and bestows a healthy environment to the families.

Rugfromorigin.com will facilitate you to know more about your enduring rugs and carpets. This website is enlightening the process of rug making and is raising a question that – Why this beautiful art is being diminishing? Oriental carpets have been the first choice of buyer since centuries, but globalization and increase in technology is resulting in declining number of master artisans. Weavers are not getting sufficient remunerations, where they weave each master piece with great dedication and compassion. Each knot, of the floor covering is made by hand, and one carpet embraces numerous knots. The quality of floor covering is judged by the density, and there are possibly 100 to 1000 knot in per square inch.

Weaving a carpet engrosses huge amount of efforts. A rug from its origin till it is installed on a floor, goes through numerous hands and whole long process. Following are the steps to understand the typical process of manufacturing carpets: Rug from origin, Rug History, Wool carpet, Carpet Manufacturing Process

Raw material: The entire process starts from collecting right kind of material. Each carpet requires many forms of fibers. The base of the carpet incorporates several layers such as woolen yarn, silk yarn, synthetic yarn, and varied other varieties. All together they make a master piece; the ‘tani’ is a base of the construction. The supreme quality wool, silk are used to weave the upper layer of the carpet. The lush lustrous beauty of the carpet pleases the eyes. The quality of the wool varies according to the sheep, and the time of the year when they are shredded. Generally, these days a lot of synthetic fiber is involved such as nylon and polyester.

Wool processing: As discussed earlier, the quality and the color of the wool varies according to the season of shredding and breed of the sheep. This further can be comprehend as, before monsoon the color of the wool is white, and the color of the wool changes to pale yellow after it is exposed to water, during rains. The wool processing involves a whole long procedure, before it can be used for weaving. After shredding, the wool goes through various steps, which can be read further.

Sorting: The process of sorting can be done manually or through machines. Raw and pure wool is very dirty full of dust, dirt, dead skin, sweat, other particles, and it is greasy. This process involves removal of particles that are to be removed, such as vegetable matter and other elements. This also includes sorting and removal of damaged wool. After this, the sorting of wool is done as per its quality and grade. The categorization of wool than takes place, and it is assorted according to the fineness, length, color and waviness, by qualified persons.

 Washing: The wool is then washed with chemical and detergent, and is left to dry. The entire process is then followed by carding, when the wool dries.

Carding: The wool fibers are untangled, this process can be done through machine that embraces long metal teeth, or this is even done manually through a brush. The web of untangled fiber makes it easier to spin the yarn. The process is similar to combing, but the comb embraces long metal teeth.

 Spinning: The spinning of fiber is preferably done by hand, but this even is done by machines to reduce the time consumption. The raw wool is spun and converted into silver or ‘leffa’. The yarn is then converted into huge yanks, which are then advanced to add colors, as per the requirement.

Dyeing: This is the next step where beautiful shades are incorporated to the colorless yarn. There are number of dyes available, natural or artificial dyes. The process of dyeing can further be classified into direct application, or yarn dyeing. Earlier, all the procedures were done manually, but these days, dyeing is even done through machines.

Opening: After dyeing the huge hanks of wool are converted into spooled form. This facilitates the division of wool according to the requirement of the specific carpet design. Each rug or carpets involve numbers of colored yarns, and as per the need the wool is then supplied to the weavers.

Weaving: The wool then reaches to the weaver, to take its final shape. The weaving of the carpet is done by master artisans; each knot of the floor covering has to be done accordingly. Weavers are provided with the designs of the carpets, which are called maps. Weaving of single carpet involves three or more weavers depending on the size. One person reads the map, and the other will make the knots as per the recitation. The coordination and the rhythm between the weavers are really essential. There are number of weaving types and carpets such as plain weave, hand knotted, hand tufted. And numerous types of carpets, classified as Axminister, Saxony, Shag, hand knotted, hand tufted, etc.

Finishing: Weaved carpet then go through the quality check, where each and every aspect of floor covering is refined. The finishing involves alteration for all type of disorders such as color, clarity, finesse. This is even done following few steps- trimming, back burn, washing, drying, color check and final inspections.

Each floor covering is contoured with real hard work, and it is not an easy task to perform. Handmade carpets are unsurpassed, and each piece is woven to perfection by master artisans. The weavers are highly talented and so are their children, these juvenile weavers are born artisans and this skill prevails in their blood. And these kids of the weaver’s family learn this art from childhood only.

But unfortunately, these hard working and skillful weavers are being exploited by manufacturers. As per the records the weavers are paid on monthly basis with a few hundred only. And a large number of weavers are children, and women, which can easily be tamed and exploited. In rural areas of Rajasthan women are not allowed to work outside, but this art of weaving has been prominent for them. The women can weave carpets within their vicinity and can earn sufficient. But they suffer a lot of exploitation, as they are paid insufficient wages.

Today also, child labor is prominent in carpet industry all over. These children not only bear exploitation, but they also suffer from many physical challenges. They are kept in tremendously bad conditions, not even provided with the basic facilities such as housing, sanitary, education, medical, etc. One of the major reasons behind this is that their parents are not sound enough, and unwittingly they adopt their family trade to earn bread and butter.

Apparently due to this, the weaver’s interest is redirecting toward other professions, where the earnings are more. The tedious job of weaving is not being perused by a lot of weavers nowadays. Typical and time consuming procedure of weaving is getting very difficult for weavers. Nevertheless, the exploitation is one of the reasons for declining number of artisans. The exploitation is generally done by middle man and manufacturers, where they not pay enough remuneration to weavers. This even results in lack of interest in the budding artisans and they are now looking for other professions where they can earn sufficient.

But, if this will go in the same direction there are possibilities that the skillful weavers will quit from this job. And this reduction of master artisans will ultimately lead to a world, where each bit and piece is mechanized. And the soul of these flamboyant master pieces will vanish off. Generally, manufacturers make good money on each floor covering. But they are leased bother to uplift and facilitate their weavers.

Not only this, today globalization is also leading this art towards ebb, where most of the industrialists prefer machine made rugs and carpets. The main reason behind this is the faster speed of manufacturing. The demand of handmade carpets is declining day-by-day, and machine made carpet are more preferable. According to the reports the carpet industry has regained, and has been doing a great business. Where, Rajasthan is known for its skillful weavers and their art, since centuries. The state is acknowledged for impressive amount of exporting carpets. The mechanization has undoubtedly improved the productivity of the carpets, but has affected lives of millions of weavers.

Due to globalization millions of weavers are rendered jobless. The increasing demand of machine made carpets is mainly due their relatively cheaper cost. The handmade carpets are bit costlier than machine made, but the handmade carpets are beyond comparison. The oriental carpets have soul within them; one can easily make out the difference. The growing demand of machine made carpets is leading the reduction in manufacturing handmade carpets. And this ultimately is resulting in exploitation of weavers.

Apart from this, these weavers are provided with looms on contract basis, which are installed at their homes only. The cruelty is this that the manufacturers are not concerned about their conveniences. These weavers family live in a very small quarter, generally five to eight members of a family adjust in a small quarter. These small quarters are converted into their work place, congested in a corner of the room, they weave these magic carpets. And in return they get few hundred, and where each carpet requires at least four to five artisans depending on the size. They suffer from lack of basic amenities such as medical, water supply and light. And their kids suffer from illiteracy and malnutrition. The manufacturers are not bothered to provide the insurance or medicals to these weavers.

Working condition of these weavers is too bad that they suffer from several medical problems also. And especially the children involved suffer from many diseases, due to bad condition and their structure being small to work on a loom. Not only for weaving, children are exposed to each and every work involved in carpet making from washing, shredding to weaving.

According to the report by International Labor Organization (ILO) there are 100-200 million of child labor round the world. And millions of children are employed in carpet industry, which generally suffer from respiratory diseases, eye strain, endemic tuberculosis, worn out limbs, and other skin diseases. As per a study, by National Council of Applied Economic Research it was found that that "the children surveyed appeared to be famished and had a stunted growth".

Today, there are being initiatives taken to stop exploitation and child labor. But, this is not enough there is a strong need to promote this beautiful art and flourish our master artisans, who are blessed with this skill.

Where each piece of carpet is made with such devotion and dedication, the weavers don’t get enough revenue against it. Each carpet or rug involves numerous of knots, and it consumes a lot of time to create one master piece. The manufacturers and the middle man exploit the illiterate artisans. As discussed earlier, today also a large ratio of carpet manufacturers exploit children. And these juveniles are hired at a very low remuneration, and are highly exploited. Generally, these weavers are paid 1500-2000 per month.

Such exploitation is being aided by one foundation namely Jaipur rugs Foundation. The foundation came into existence in 2004, and is registered under Public Trust Act 1959. The foundation started as a non-profit organization, and is welfare initiative by Jaipur Rugs Company. The foundation is working with a mission to “To create a society where equality, justice and peace prevail through equal employment opportunities that further yields in socio-economic development.” The foundation helps the weaver community to get access to health and life insurance, various sorts of trainings, education, formations of SHG’s, and helps to improve their standard of living, providing dignity to weaver family.

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