Rahul Kapoor celebrates a collection of handwoven rugs designed by Vikram Kapoor and woven by local artisans on over 1,200 looms.
Nestled in Jaipur, India, the roots of this bespoke rug atelier trace back to 1916. The brainchild of a legacy spanning four generations, it emerged within the premises of SN Kapoor Exports in Jaipur. The vision was clear – to bring the subtle opulence and unparalleled quality of handmade rugs into Indian homes.
The journey began with Vikram Kapoor, whose dedication to the craft has been unwavering. The designs, far from arbitrary, stem from a deliberate process of exploration and innovation. The team, under Kapoor’s guidance, closely collaborates with artisans to develop unique knotting techniques that accentuate the quality of raw materials. This meticulous approach ensures that every rug is a testament to artistry and skill, promising longevity as a cherished heirloom.
The intricate craft of rug-making is brought to life by a workforce of 3,500 craftsmen, a tightly-knit unit that has evolved over a century. Loyalty echoes through the generations, with stories of weavers passing down skills from grandfather to father to grandson. The continuity of craftsmanship is more than a skill, it is a deeply ingrained family tradition.
The rugs themselves are a result of a rigorous focus on research and development. Sourcing the highest-grade raw materials, including fine silk, Mongolian cashmere, and wool, Understorey ensures a commitment to quality. Specialising in rugs with intricate knotting techniques, the team’s dedication to durability and longevity is reflected in each meticulously crafted piece.
The making of these rugs is a collaborative effort that involves various stages. From the herders and rearers to the dyers and weavers, the community is integral to the process. With over 1200 looms, the atelier stands rooted in the collective wisdom of Jaipur’s centuries-old weaving legacy.
The designs are a blend of tradition and innovation. Constant experimentation with textures, finishes, and material combinations ensures that each rug is a unique reflection of the owner’s style and personality. The emphasis is not on mass production but on the celebration of the handmade, carving out a space for craftsmanship in the modern world.
The dyeing process, a critical aspect of rug-making, is approached with a commitment to ethical and sustainable practices. A zero-waste, zero-emissions dyeing plant reflects a dedication to environmental sustainability. This circular economy approach challenges the narrative of fast-paced consumerism, positioning the rugs as heirlooms to be passed down through generations.
Empowering communities is at the heart of the mission. From herders to weavers, the atelier’s processes are designed to create opportunities and sustain livelihoods. The commitment to ethical luxury extends to empowering women in sheep herding and weaving communities, contributing to collective development and cultural preservation.
The Kintsugi Collection is one that resonates deeply with the brand. It is a radiant revival of the ancient art of rug weaving in Jaipur, breathing life into the fading embers of craftsmanship. Drawing inspiration from the Kintsugi philosophy of repairing broken ceramics with precious metals, the Kintsugi rugs symbolise resilience and transformation.
The journey of the Kintsugi Collection embarked on a profound exploration of patterns with a rust-like appearance etched by time on centuries-old wool rugs. Collaborating with master weavers, a unique knotting technique was incorporated, allowing gold and silver threads to be flat-woven in combination with the pile-weave of the wool. The result is a masterpiece boasting 11*11 knots per square inch, seamlessly blending innovation with tradition.
Just as Kintsugi values the beauty of imperfection, the rugs in this collection celebrate the nuanced artistry of handcrafting. Each thread and knot bear witness to human ingenuity, creating pieces that transcend the transient nature of modern trends. In a world that often discards the old for the new, the Kintsugi Collection reimagines the past, bringing the enduring beauty of transformation into your living space.
As we step into the realm of these bespoke rugs, it becomes vividly apparent that these creations are more than just rugs – they are storytellers. They weave tales of tradition, resilience, and the timeless beauty of handcrafted artistry, inviting you to become a part of a narrative that stretches across generations. In doing so, Understorey beckons you to embrace not just a rug but a living legacy that unfolds beneath your feet, telling a story that continues to resonate through time.
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