Carpet making is one of the oldest craft tradition of Uttarakhand. The craft is mostly practiced by the Shauka and Tibetan communities in the state. There are two primary type of carpet- dan, which are spread on floor, and aasan which is put on chairs and sofas.
Maheshwari Khati (2018/2018) by Project FUELProject FUEL
Master artisan Maheshwari Khati is a resident of Bhimtala, Chamoli District, Uttarakhand. She makes and supervises the production of nettle woven material and carpets. Her workshop also employs many local women who are learning the traditional craft from her.
Designing a Carpet (2018/2018) by Project FUELProject FUEL
She begins the process of making a carpet by drawing the design on a graph paper. The graph paper is used as a guide for weavers to form designs by adding knots of different colours accordingly.
Looms for Carpet (2018/2018) by Project FUELProject FUEL
In the workshops, carpets are made on vertical looms. The weaver sits in front on a wooden stool or planks. The warp is made of cotton, while the weft is either wool or cotton.
There are two techniques used to weave a carpet.
Tibetan Knotting technique of Carpet weaving (2018/2018) by Project FUELProject FUEL
Tibetan Knotting Technique
A continuous length of yarn is looped around a metal rod held across the warp. When the entire rod has been covered, a knife is slid along the rod, guided by a thin gutter running its length, and the yarn is cut into two rows of tufts. The tufts are trimmed with scissors.
Persian or Asymmetrical Knotting teachnique of Carpet weaving (2018/2018) by Project FUELProject FUEL
Persian Knotting Technique
Here, a pile is created which forms the surface. The pile yarn is looped around a warp, draped over the next and then cut free. It continues till an entire row is knotted, after which a beater is used to slot the row in place. The process is repeated until the carpet is completed.
Weaving colourful carpets (2018/2018) by Project FUELProject FUEL
Many women in small villages of Uttarakhand are employed across workshops to hand weave the carpets. The craft tradition has not only empowered these women but have also made them financially independent. They are proud to carry the legacy of this traditional craft forward.
In this video, Maheshwari Khati talks about Carpet weaving in Uttarakhand and how she is encouraging and empowering women in her village in Bhimtala, Uttarakhand, through the craft.
'Homespun in Uttarakhand' is an episodic series that features life lessons of seven master artisans of Uttarakhand, their personal stories and their passion celebrating the unrecognised & dying craft practices, which need preservation.
Presented by Project FUEL, in collaboration with Uttarakhand Handloom and Handicraft Development Council (UHHDC)
Director: Ajitesh Sharma
Director of Photography: Udit Khurana
Music: Sameer Rahat
Editor: Tushar Madhav
Producer: Apoorva Bakshi
Creative Producer: Deepak Ramola
Sound Design and Mix: Teja Asgk
Colorist: Shara Sethna
Project Manager: Neha Gupta
Research: Project FUEL