17 Jun Handmade with Pride
Jacaranda Carpets & Rugs has a reputation for creating stunning hand-woven designs showcasing natural colours and sustainable fibres. One such piece is the ‘Santushi’ rug, which epitomises the quality and eco credentials that Jacaranda’s design studio is known for: it’s made from Tencel, a cellulose fibre derived from wood pulp, which beautifully reflects light and moves like silk-velvet when walked upon.
While the material is cutting edge, its manufacturing technique is a highly traditional and meticulous process, carried out on traditional wooden looms in India. Each roll of handmade carpet passes through at least 130 skilled hands, across 208 hours, over approximately 26 days.
Joint owners and managing directors of Jacaranda Carpets & Rugs, Lucy and Richard Meager, created the following photo series from a recent trip to India in order to honour the people whose skill brings their creative vision to life.
First, the Tencel yarn is dyed to Jacaranda’s natural tones in hanks, which this lady and her many helpers wind on to the bobbins seen in the background (above left). It then takes many hours to meticulously load yarn from bobbins onto the warping wheel that feeds each hand loom (above right).
The carpet is woven on traditional looms (above left); weavers use their hands and feet to move the frames and control the wooden shuttle thrown left then right. A quality controller then inspects ‘Santushti’ on the loom (above right); it’s the small irregularities that create handmade beauty, and it takes a trained eye to differentiate desirable handmade ‘character’ from faults.
Next, the carpet is taken from the loom and hand-sheared (above left) to reveal some velvet but leave randomly spaced loops too. Trained teams travel over every roll, checking again, and snipping any stray fibres. Finally, each rug is hand-sewn around the edges by needle and thread (above right).
Jacaranda works with GoodWeave to ensure that no child labour is involved in its supply chain, and that workplace conditions are documented and verifiable. GoodWeave was founded in 1995 by Indian activist Kailiash Satyarthi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for his achievements.