For my Graduation Project, I chose to collaborate with Obeetee Pvt Ltd, focusing on the development of carpet collections. The core objective was to gain a comprehensive understanding of handmade carpets, in hand-knotted, hand-tufted, and flatwoven categories, by creating collections based on different themes.
I began by documenting Obeetee's operations, workflows, and manufacturing departments, and subsequently delved into the craft of handmade carpets practiced in the Bhadohi-Mirzapur region of Uttar Pradesh, seeking to understand the craft's evolution, craftsmen, and patrons. The craft had undergone significant changes, transitioning from a traditionally learned artistry dedicated to satisfying local patrons to one influenced by foreign demands being fulfilled by mass production and first-generation trained daily wage laborers. This shift altered color palettes, motifs, and weaver skillsets, posing challenges to the craft's heritage.
I employed various, yarn combinations in different techniques and pile indents to create varied tactile surfaces enhancing the product's hand feel and visual appeal. These meticulous explorations of over a hundred products were categorized into five collections. The design process involved: creating artwork inspired by various surfaces, refining them digitally, and rendering them in interior settings for visualization. These artworks underwent color reduction and pixel distribution based on the desired carpet quality. This was followed by yarn selection and weaving. The super-skilled weavers brought these designs to life on looms.
Feedback from senior members and colleagues during the review of my products played a crucial role in refining designs. The project concluded as a remarkable journey of learning and exposure to industry leaders. The collaborative and supportive environment allowed me to expand my knowledge. In essence, my Graduation Project with Obeetee was a testament to creativity, innovation, and a profound appreciation for the artistry of handmade carpets.