Jaipur Rugs: Weaving Stories and Crafting Legacies

Built on dignity and love, Jaipur Rugs is a renowned name in the carpet industry that fuses a 2500-year-old tradition with modern trends to create bespoke masterpieces. Based in Jaipur, a city in India known for its royalty, the brand personifies every bit of what the place stands for – legacy, rich culture, and artistry.

When Jaipur Rugs was founded, they wanted to bring the world to their feet (literally) by creating mesmerising carpets in traditional, transitional and modern styles. And they did that wonderfully. Each masterpiece within their luxury rug collection is a testament to slow, deliberate craftsmanship – a symphony orchestrated by artisans and designers worldwide. The brand’s dedicated craftspeople, imbue every thread with skill, meticulous dedication and a commitment to sustainability, echoing the brand’s legacy of artistry and global collaboration.

From their rebellious Anghs collection to the timeless Far East and everything in between, the brand’s stunning carpets come in various patterns like abstract, geometric, distressed, oriental, antique, etc. From apartments like House of Weaves in Mumbai to other commercial and hospitality projects, Jaipur Rugs has etched its mark internationally.

Top: Anghs Collection
Bottom: House of Weaves, Mumbai

Tracing the Roots

When N.K. Chaudhury founded Jaipur Rugs in 1978,  it has just two looms and nine artisans who worked from his own home. He soon earned the moniker of ‘The Gandhi of the Carpet Industry’ because of his resolute actions that followed. Defying societal norms, he provided livelihoods to skilled artisans and fearlessly confronted casteism – a bold stance in a time fraught with criticism. Embracing the unconventional, he pioneered the inclusion of women as integral contributors to the brand despite facing societal ostracisation. He started it as a contract manufacturing company, to wholesale, which then metamorphosed into a retail brand about eight years ago.

Yogesh Chaudhary, who joined his father’s legacy at the tender age of 19, stepped in during a pivotal moment that would encapsulate the challenges and resilience that has gone into building this organisation. Today, each of N K Chaudhary’s kids are involved in the brand, executing their expertise in different fields, supporting a name that transcends the definition of a business.

“My father fell in love with weaving and the artisans when he started his work. And I think that love really grew and took Jaipur Rugs to where it is today. He spent a lot of time with the weavers, understood them and their skills, which catalysed our growth.”

Yogesh Chaudhury, Director of the Jaipur Rugs

How Carpets Fly

The magic carpets of Jaipur Rugs are woven by over 40,000 artisans across 600 villages in India, based on the designs of popular names around the globe like Jocelyn Burton, Matteo Cibic, Ashiesh Shah, Pavitra Rajaram, and Lorenzo Vitturi, among others. Each luminary imparts a distinct enchantment to the designs, which are then meticulously woven into reality by skilled artisans in India.

Their hand-tufted and hand-knotted (Persian and Tibetan knots) carpets are supplied in 60+ countries worldwide, including the Middle East, Milan, Paris, the United States, etc.  Collections like Manchaha, Inde Rose, Aakar, and Someplace in Time offer a glimpse into the brand’s mastery – a fusion of meticulous craftsmanship, thoughtful design, and the finest materials. These international award-winning rugs, akin to singular art pieces, exude a mesmerising allure, captivating hearts with their unique narratives.

Jaipur Rugs transcends the conventional use of carpets, exploring innovative applications beyond floors. Experimenting boldly, they adorn walls, ceilings, and even furniture with exquisite creations. Offering complete customisation, the brand tailors carpets to diverse specifications, be it varying shapes, sizes, or intricate patterns, catering to the unique desires of their clientele. 

Their experiential centre in Jaipur serves as a testament to this visionary approach. Within its walls lies a space where one can witness these innovative applications firsthand – a showcase of how carpets can seamlessly transform various surfaces. It’s a testament to Jaipur Rugs’ dedication to pushing boundaries and reshaping the perception of carpets as versatile art pieces.

A Weaver-First Organisation

At Jaipur Rugs, the artisans take centre stage. The brand establishes a direct and personal relationship with its weavers by bypassing traditional middlemen. Right from the beginning, N K Chaudhary went directly to the weavers unlike the norm in the carpet industry where there are at least two middlemen. This distinctive practice not only garnered the unwavering loyalty of the artisans but also facilitated enhanced compensation, consequently elevating the quality of the products. Unlike mass-produced items, the company retains a profound connection to the creation process, meticulously linking each rug to its respective weaver.

Instead of paying our weavers after the carpet is made, we have a system of paying them monthly so that their livelihoods are not affected, and they don’t have to wait months before getting paid for a carpet. We also provide employment at their doorstep by delivering raw materials and collecting the product from them.

Yogesh Chaudhury, Director of the Jaipur Rugs

Their collection ‘Manchaha’ that translates into ‘what my mind likes’, allows incarcerated artisans to create unique rugs as they please, using their imagination. Each of these rugs has an amazing story to tell. Also, interestingly, because of their focus on the artisans,  in 1992, the company sought permission from the Government of India to use walkie-talkies for better communication with them. This focus on technology that began then led to providing artisans with a digital interface to facilitate productivity.

Looking beyond the pursuit of profit, Jaipur Rugs has donated over 7,000 looms for livelihood and wants to work to benefit every stakeholder in the carpet industry. The brand has also set up the ‘Jaipur Rugs Foundation,’ and runs the ‘Manchaha’ initiatives in jails to allow freedom of expression.

Heritage and Sustainability Interwoven With Design

Based in the Land of the Maharajas, Jaipur, Yogesh Chaudhary believes in embracing the proud Indian heritage of the brand. For him, the brand is a fundamental pillar in redefining the narrative of products ‘made in India.’ Beyond mere craftsmanship, it embodies a legacy steeped in cultural richness, a testament to the nation’s artistic finesse and timeless traditions.

We used to have a dealer who used to tell his clients that our carpets were made in Iran, thinking that if he said they were made in India, the customer would assume that the quality was inferior. We’re on a mission to change that. The world’s finest and the best can also come from India.

Yogesh Chaudhury, Director of the Jaipur Rugs

The allure of the rugs comes from how well the designers are introduced to the artisans’ processes. Jaipur Rugs encourages collaborating designers to visit Jaipur, to not only witness the operations, but also meet the village artisans.  By immersing themselves in the processes and connecting with village artisans, designers gain invaluable insights into rural India’s essence, fostering a deep appreciation for the dedication woven into each rug.

As the brand takes care of where they come from, they are also conscious of where they are going. For crafting the rugs, they use only natural fibres, like wool, silk, and other biodegradable organic materials. Jaipur Rugs is working towards letting sustainability remain a choice and not a compulsory necessity. They encourage their designers to make sustainability a philosophy in the design itself. 

The designs by Jaipur Rugs narrate a captivating tale woven with threads of tradition and innovation, that any designer wouldn’t mind hearing again and again.

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Date added:

2 January, 2024

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