On my recent trip, one of the most interesting places we visited was the handmade carpet factory. They do not have an easy job! These women sit at their posts for hours at a time, with their children running in and out of the building, or laying in cribs or cradles beside them. They run the thread through the strings, tying knots one handed with such speed that I couldn’t even tell what they were doing til the overseer showed us in slow motion! Talented ladies! But, my, how their hands and backs must hurt by the end of the day!
It is quite an interesting process. The pattern for each carpet is taped up behind the vertical “strings” (I’m sure there’s a more technical term for this!) and so the women peek through the strings every so often to make sure they are using the right colour or are counting properly to follow the pattern accurately, and then continue on tying the thread to the strings and then banging it down with their special tool to push it all to an equal tightness (boy, I wish I knew all the technical words for these things!). They work incredibly fast and their fingers fly, as you’ll see in the photos. I couldn’t get a focused picture, because their hands were always moving!
The women sit, either by themselves if they are working on a small carpet, two to a bench if a little bigger, and up to eight or more women if they are working on a large carpet. At this factory it was all women working. No men. Not sure if it is that way everywhere.
Not an easy job, but these ladies make beautiful carpets!
So here are some of my images from the handmade carpet factory.
The factory. You can see the women working and a crib in the foreground for a young child.