Visiting Kathmandu to research Tibetan style weaving techniques for rugs, was a fascinating experience and one we will never forget. Kathmandu is a chaotic sprawling city and we spent much of our time driving through its bustling streets visiting spinning factories, dye houses and weaving mills. This gave us an excellent snapshot of the city and its people.
We were so impressed with the skill of the weavers and stunned with the speed at which they could work and as a designer there’s nothing like seeing the production first hand to learn the tensions of the process.
It was also very fulfilling to see our first trial weaves. Above is Cathy Brown holding a sample of Rabat, her first ever rug design, see full rug below.
We did manage some down-time and spent an amazing afternoon at the Boudhanath Stupa, a sacred Buddhist Shrine and the surrounding markets, where we were tempted with jewellery and local crafts. Both Cathy and I brought beautiful silver necklaces.
Image by U. Roberto Romano, courtesy of Rug Mark
The most profound experience for myself, Cathy and Edwin Rysenbry (owner of Mokum) was seeing firsthand the poverty of Kathmandu, which was also present within the weaving community. After visiting Rugmark and learning of their educational programmes we became extremely committed to their cause and through Mokum’s association with them we have an unique opportunity to improve the lives of the weavers and their children through Rugmark’s education programmes and support services.
We also enjoyed spending time with Sonam Tsomo and her family who took such wonderful care of us and shared their extensive knowledge of Tibetan rug weaving during this and subsequent visits.
In our next rugs post we look forward to sharing the entire launch range with you. Mokum rugs will be available within Australasia later this month. Please contact your nearest Australian or New Zealand trade showroom for further details www.mokumtextiles.com.
By Stephanie Moffitt