How Obeetee Keeps Carpet-Weaving Alive: Hear From Our Weavers
Carpet weaving is a craft that has its roots dating back centuries. In the northern town of Mirzapur, traditionally known as the capital of the carpet industry, the art of carpet weaving prevailed even before the arrival of the British industries. Taking inspiration from this rich heritage, Obeetee Carpets was founded in 1920.
For the past 100 years, Obeetee has continued to break all glass ceilings with inspiring designs and distinguished quality. But the true backbone of our century-old establishment is the community of its weavers. So let’s listen from them.
Formation Of A Close-Knit Community
In our early days, we brought together skilled weavers to build a community to reinvent the carpet industry. A community that seamlessly infused new ideas with traditional aesthetics. What made us unique was our method of operation. From Day 1 we worked with the efficiency of a modern company but always maintained the spirit of collective growth. Obeetee gave the artisans the recognition they deserved along with peerless financial empowerment. So it wasn’t long before this small community, scaled up to a vast number of 25,000 independent weavers.
In these hundred years, just like we curated the knowledge of carpet-making, we always strived to learn about our weavers. To maintain a committed relationship with them, we looked into their needs and demands and tried our best to meet them. This community now consists of men and women from villages surrounding Mirzapur, with whole extended families working together for Obeetee. Thus, carpet manufacturing cultivates a cheerful environment for them, with weavers singing and having fun while weaving together.
“My favorite thing to do at work is singing out loud and laughing at silly jokes with the other women here, who started as co-workers but now have become sisters.”
-Urmila, Weaver at Obeetee
“Spending time with my loved ones is at the top of my list. And the flexible work structure of Obeetee has always helped me prioritize my family.”
-Lalmani Maurya, Weaving Supervisor at Obeetee
Traditionally, a handmade carpet is not just an ordinary accessory to a home. Instead, it is seen as a preserved heirloom. Similarly, the tradition of carpet weaving is also an invaluable heritage passed down from generation to generation. Since our weavers work from the comfort of their homes, the children who see their parents weave intricate art pieces do inherit the love for the art of carpet making. Obeetee frowns upon child labor and carries strict inspections to prevent the same. Still, the legacy of being masters of the loom is passed on as a gift from parents to their children for them to become gifted weavers themselves.
“My family has been associated with the company for three generations and I am proud that I have been able to meet people from so many countries.”
-Bhonu, Weaver at Obeetee
Most of our weavers practice farming on the side since carpet manufacturing is carried out in small towns and villages. But, being affiliated with us helps them thrive because of the fairness in business and pay, employee benefits, and cutting-edge facilities. By facilities, we mean the provision of electricity, health services, and safe working environments, not the automation of the weaving process. Although the constant advancements in technology introduce faster means of production, the actual human touch vanishes. Hence, we proudly practice slow commerce, with our skilled weavers producing every single carpet by hand.
Why do we strive to keep the art alive?
Over the years, we as a society have mourned the loss of countless art forms merely due to the lack of education with regards to discipline. But, at Obeetee Carpets, we refuse to let the craft of carpet weaving go down the same route. Hence, we conduct training sessions for women in villages, with the motive of empowering them with a lifetime of employment opportunities as well as passing down a priceless tradition.
We are a close-knit community of weavers, much like a cottage industry, and we strive to keep the rich heritage running through the heart of Mirzapur at the global forefront. As we grow, year by year, we take this community that we have cultivated to greater heights.