The textiles and furniture in India were absolutely fascinating! Rajasthan (a northern State in India) boast some of the most beautiful textiles (rugs and block print fabric) and furniture that I’ve ever seen and is known around the world for its’ fine hand-made goods.
We’re on the hunt for the perfect dining room rug, so it was certainly interesting to watch how they’re made! Rug making is a very intricate and time-consuming process that we were able to get a glimpse of while touring Rajasthan’s capital, Jaipur. These pictures are a small glimpse into the rug making process. The type of rug being made is a hand-woven, camel wool rug.
1. The rug is hand-knotted on a loom with a “rug map”. Can you see his “rug map” or overall pattern on the bench to his left?
The weaver works meticulously to create the pattern of the rug. As he works he uses tools to push the knots down. Can you imagine the time it takes to make a rug?! Knot by knot creating a masterpiece… You can see why the cost increases as knots per square inch increases!
2. After the weaver is finished, the rug is sheared down and washed. This procedure is repeated a few times to ensure all impurities are removed from the weaving process.
Aren’t these silk rugs incredible?! Look at those vibrant colors and gorgeous patterns! Silk rugs can have 600 to 1000 knots per square inch; imagine the time it takes to create these masterpieces!
While we didn’t find the perfect rug for our dining room, we got to see some beautiful masterpieces! The rug below was hard for me to walk away from, but if you remember post on how to bargain shop, we weren’t going to come to an agreement with the seller so we walked.
They had an AMAZING assortment of rugs, however, it’s hard to find a surplus of options in the 10 x 14 size range. The rug pictured above is the only one the dealer had over 9 x 12.
The thought of buying a rug in a different country made me a little gun shy, but I found some great resources to tell the phony from the phenomenal. Lisa breaks down some general rules for purchasing a rug from a dealer here. Check out her tips at the bottom of the page on how to spot a hand weaved rug from a machine woven rug. The easiest way for me to tell if a rug is hand-woven is the fringe. See the pictures here that compares a handmade rug, fridge that consists of the cotton used to weave the rug, to a machine made rug, where the fringe is applied. Although the hunt for a rug didn’t end in India, we got a chance to see some really beautiful products and get a better idea of what we want!
Along with rugs, Jaipur is also famous for its’ block print fabrics.
Here is how block print fabric is made. As you can see in the picture below, there are different stamps made out of hand carved teak wood. Each stamp is a different part of the overall pattern and is layered over the last stamp in a different color to create the image.
The outfit I’m in below, called a kurti, is commonly seen on the local women in northern India. This kurti is made out of block print fabric (similar to the picture above).
Furniture in India is also amazing! The chests below were so intricate, hand painted with camel bone inlay. And did I mention, the country just oozes marble! I saw the COOLEST marble coffee table but I didn’t get a chance to snap a picture!
We had an excellent time viewing the fine handcrafts of India! We were also able to bring a few cool things home as well!
We got this cute family of elephants (most were gifts but I had to keep just one)!
The on in the front is opal, sooo pretty! We also got this cool block print table runner, with of course, elephants on it.
We also purchased a block print bed cover with matching shams that I plan to use in the little pink room makeover upstairs (yes, it has elephants on it as well). We also purchased a pretty pashmina scarf and a REALLY cool water color painting of, you guessed it, an elephant (I plan on getting that framed soon)!
I’ve got like a trillion sewing projects and organization projects in the wings so it’s time to get back to work! I finally settled on curtains for the piano room; it involves Greek key trim, gold accents and lucite (oh my!)… I’m so excited and can’t wait to share!
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