A hand-knotted rug represents the ancient art of weaving- the rug industry in Nepal has its roots in the exodus of Tibetan communities after the invasion by the Chinese. Upon their arrival in Nepal, these families turned to this knowledge to forge a new industry to support their families and from it we have the industry as it is today. When we create our rugs, it starts with the design, then the choosing of the colours, which is a process we share with our production team in Nepal. From there, the creation of the cads and then the graphs for the loom. Then the hand carding of the wool, the ballers, spinners, the weavers knotting by hand, the washing, drying, finishing and carving. Handmade rugs avoid the waste and pollution that factory made products create, as well as creating a product where each one is in its own way, completely unique. All these processes, every step of the way, represent an industry where everything is done by hand rather than using machines.
The processes of rug making within these communities are inextricably linked to a further definition of sustainability as ‘that which enhances the health and welfare of people’. The work generates income for the communities and their families and, most importantly, keeps this self-sustaining, ancient, weaving tradition alive. It is also one of the only industries that provides opportunities for women in their families and communities. Children are schooled and parents are provided with day care. It generates work in the rural communities with no other income stream.
Knots Rugs partners with Label Step, who constantly monitor the environmental impact of the rug industry and seek new ways to create an ever more sustainable product. They develop projects to teach the art of weaving out into the rural communities. They are assiduous in creating educational campaigns to stop migrant workers leaving for dangerous working conditions and the possibility of exploitation. And they ensure there is no child labour.