At LAB, we put a foot forward to know the craftsmen who make our products. It is always astonishing to know the time and effort these unsung heroes have invested in bringing our products to life.
This feature is about Mr. Varis Ali, a 73-year-old rug weaver from the land famous for making rugs since the Mughal era– Badhohi. Mr Varis has helped us develop 2 unique rugs for our first collection.
LAB: How old were you when you first learned the skill?
VARIS: I have been in this field since childhood, which sums up to almost 60 years.
LAB: Who taught you the skill ?
VARIS: I am the third generation who is practicing the art of rug making. I learned this skill by looking at my dad and grandad working.
LAB: Do you follow a particular style or a technique while making the carpet?
VARIS: Every rug follows the same process. The difference in the making only takes place between the two types of rugs: Hand-knotted and Hand-tufted.
LAB: What is your favourite part of weaving a carpet?
VARIS: I personally like hand-knotted rugs because they have a life, and looks better too.
LAB: Why do you think it is important to carry forward this art to the next generation?
VARIS: Carpet making is survival for many in the region of Bhadohi. There is no other major occupation for the people. So I think to survive in Badhohi, one must know how to make a rug.
LAB: Can you explain to us the basic steps for making a rug?
VARIS: Step 1: The wool is processed, spun into yarns and dyed
Step 2: A map of the design is made in life-size. Then we trace the design from the map onto the cloth.
Step 3: For Hand-tufted rugs, wool is punched on the cloth using hand tools; For Hand-knotted rugs, individual knots are made with hand.
Step 4: Washing and trimming out the rugs
It takes around 30 days for Hand-tufted and 90-120 days for a Hand- Knotted rug to be completed.
LAB: What do you feel about the rugs you made for us?
VARIS: I personally like the Vento rug, The colour and the shape is different and appealing.
We are astonished by the enthusiasm Mr. Varis has showcased in weaving our rugs even at this age. Lab is happy to be a part of making his life better.