India is a culturally rich country where history meets modernity and every story has an element of beauty and an old-world charm to it. Bringing this Indian heritage to the world is Obeetee, one of India’s largest handmade rug making companies with its ‘Proud to be Indian’ (PTBI) collection. PTBI is a series of collaborations with renowned Indian designers who bring a fresh design perspective while crafting Indian culture on elegant hand-woven rugs. Tarun Tahiliani and Abraham and Thakore designed the previous two collections, the third and latest edition is created in collaboration with famed designer Raghavendra Rathore. Both, the designer and the brand’s Chief Marketing Officer and spokesperson Angelique Dhama talked to LuxeBook about the collaboration, the design process and the timelessness of hand-made rugs, via an email interview.
Elaborating on the collaboration with Rathore, Dhama says “We wanted to ensure that the diversity of Indian culture, including the textile inspirations of that particular region are well articulated through these different collaborations with designers having contrasting design sensibilities. When it came to representing India’s royal heritage from the princely state of Rajasthan, Raghavendra Rathore was an apparent choice for us.” A member of the royal family of Jodhpur, Rathore’s design sensibilities are synonymous with old-world aesthetics and grandeur. The framework of this collection is based on Durbar Gaadi Masand, Rajasthani architecture and Jodhpur Coat of Arms. “We have experimented heavily with paisleys, asymmetrical designs and unusual patterns to create unique design sensibilities, taking references from the past,” adds Rathore.
Going through a creative journey of over five years, each of these rugs have been handwoven by skilled workers who weave 10,000 knots in a single day, while a good quality rug needs over 80 knots per square inch. “The entire process, right from the inspiration to weaving and washing of rugs takes more than 12-15 months,” says Dhama.
Taking into consideration the amount of time and the laborious process involved in hand-made carpets, it is natural to wonder how the company competes with machine made rugs, which do not take as long and perhaps have a better finishing. “Machine made rugs and Hand-made rugs are two completely different genres that appeal to different set of patrons. Machine made rugs are more fast-fashioned while hand-woven rugs are timeless and made to last for generations,” comments Dhama. It is indeed a luxury then, to be able to create “these masterpieces that can be cherished for a long time.”