Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Unassuming Indian Dhurrie

Dhurrie Weaver using Vertical Loom

Most Indians have dhurries at home – they are the default choice of floor covering readily available across the country in every size and colour possible. For this reason, other than making the distinction between a Shyam Ahuja dhurrie (these were very stylish and very expensive when I was young) and all others, I never really paid much attention to them. That is, until I saw some flat weaves in Morocco and it struck me that we make more interesting and high quality ones back home.

India has a rich tradition of floor decorations. Done to invoke blessings for the home using simple rice paste, and at times flower petals and bright colours, these have become an art form in their own right. There are regional differences such as Alpana in West Bengal, Mandana in Rajasthan, Muggu (or Muggulu) in Andhra Pradesh.

Equally interesting is the variety of floor covering …

Posted in Craft Heritage, India | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Is a Hand-tufted Rug for Me?

Jaipur Rugs Tufting Centre in Mirzapur

Hand-tufted rugs are a new phenomenon, as compared to the hand-knotted carpets and dhurries we are more accustomed to seeing. A hand-tufted carpet is woven by inserting and pulling back strands of wool into a mesh canvas that is stretched on a frame – think wool tapestry in needlework class! The weaving is done using a manually operated tufting gun. When the ‘tufting’ is complete, the rug is washed and cut (if it is a cut-pile rug) and a woven canvas backing applied to the back with latex glue to hold the tufts in place (i.e. no knotting).

Tufted rugs are gaining in popularity. They require much less skill from the weaver (typically one week of training is sufficient) and so are easier, faster and, importantly therefore, cheaper to make. The cost can be 2-4 times lower than the equivalent hand-knotted rug and this has fuelled a frenzy of supply …

Posted in Creating Arastan | Tagged , | Comments closed

Jaipur Rugs: A Remarkable Social Enterprise

NK Chaudhary

The Jaipur Rugs story began in 1978 in a village called Churu in rural Rajasthan. After graduating from college, Mr Nand Kishore Chaudhary decided not to work with his father in his shoe business and instead took a loan of Rs.5,000/- to set up two looms in his backyard. He worked shoulder to shoulder with nine artisans, selling to exporters in Jaipur. From this humble beginning, JAIPUR has grown to over 40,000 artisans across 600 villages selling its branded high quality rugs in over 35 countries.

When you meet Mr Chaudhary you are immediately struck by his humbleness. Even more so when you begin to understand his remarkable vision and ability to implement it. Carpet weaving is an old craft in India and carpets have been exported for centuries. For all of that time weaving has been male centric and somewhat exploitative in nature. For Jaipur to adopt a social enterprise model …

Posted in Creating Arastan | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Win a Carpet!

Tibetan Style Carpet - Deep Rust

Buy anything at Arastan between now and the end of our fantastic Jaipur Rugs sale and you could win this wonderful carpet! Hand-knotted in Tibetan style with New Zealand wool and art silk accents for a particularly luscious feel, it is a convenient 3’6” x 5’6” that will fit in any home.

Any purchase either online at www.arastan.com or in our Nandi Durga Road, Bangalore store from now until 21 December 2013 will get you an entry into the draw for this carpet. Buy again during the promotional period and you will get one more card entered into the pool, so you have many chances to win. We will contact the winner before Christmas to give them the good news!

Posted in Creating Arastan | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Jaipur Rugs Sale at Arastan

Ivy Green & Brick Red Hand-knotted Carpet

We are pleased to announce that we are hosting an exhibition of new handmade rugs, in brilliant transitional and contemporary styles, from Jaipur Rugs Company. The collection will include hand knotted carpets, dhurries and hand tufted rugs designed by Jaipur’s in-house design team and through partnerships with renowned designers including Jenny Jones, Chayse Dacoda and Raymond Waites. Beautiful carpets – made from high quality New Zealand wool, silk, art silk, cotton, jute and hemp – available at never to be repeated prices!

Also on show will be select pieces from Jaipur’s Weavers Collection. The concept behind the collection is to have no pre-set design, no design map – just the imagination and colour choices of the best weavers from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Each rug took more than 6 months to be created and is unique, not only because it bears the name of the weaver, but also because it …

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed
  • Welcome to Arastan

    Arastan was an online store that curated rare and handpicked treasures from exotic bazaars along the ancient silk route. Unfortunately we ceased trading in early 2014.

    You can read about the reasons for closure.

    You can still browse some of the products we used to have via the category links above, although none of these are available for purchase.

    Relive our travels and stories by browsing our articles and archives from the menus below.

  • Browse all our articles

  • Browse our archives

css.php