in kerala, southern india this january i discovered a tropical paradise. pepper vine and jackfruits became the inspiration for one of our carpet designs that were then crafted in northern india. i always thought that pepper grew on trees till I watched this skilled man harvesting a crop up his nifty bamboo ladder. if you look carefully you can see the dangling clusters of pepper.
a hand sketch was transplanted to a cartoon for the weavers to work from and the colour tufts shown above match our set in sydney, so that we could have a colour match.
local wool was hand-spun and naturally dyed, as has been the tradition for hundreds of years in this part of the world. i was asked to approve the dyes which have beautiful subtle colour variations due to the varying thickness of the yarn.
local weavers have hand knotted carpets for generations. their muscle memory means that their speed is so fast that it is even difficult to follow. in the warmer months the weavers work when it is too hot to be in their fields. one carpet often takes three weavers generally 3 or 4 months of knotting. this is our five shades of grey carpet on the loom. villagers often have a wide direct gaze and always seem shy, curious and not afraid of human connection... all at the same time
weavers work with the pile towards them, prior to trimming, so they can't clearly see what they are doing. off the loom the carpets need some correction. each pattern is "penciled" at the end, so that the pile sits in the correct place. the man working on our blue carpet was untying individual knots and retying them in the correct location. i was amazed.
a collection of our carpets have started arriving at the surry hills showroom. we would love to talk to you about our carpets, custom designs, sizes and colours.