Suraj, Deva & Sanjeev are aged 23,22 and 20 years old and are all weavers that learned how to weave as part of the prisoner’s rehabilitation project. Suraj from Jaipur, Rajasthan was one of the first prisoners that participated in the project and has now one year of experience. He learned how to weave using mapped designs and was guided by the more experienced weavers. Deva from Rewari, Haryana and Sanjeev from Etawa, Uttar Pradesh have only 6 months of experience from the project. Sanjeev had a little work experience in women’s textile design, but still found it a difficult transition working line by line to make just one symbol. They all appreciate weaving as it puts them in a space to reflect on their lives while investing their time in work.
SoftyThe name ‘Softy’ was given to this rug because of the 2 subtly placed ice-cream cones woven in its top left. The cones, along with the lotus flowers floating on the thin line patterns were woven in by Deva trying his hand at making symbols that have curves after getting more than enough practice on the linear designs as on the rest of the rug. Sanjeev wove in small trees and flowers on the right and decided to really commit to a new symbol, a turtle. Suraj wove the bottom half of the carpet with the many designs he remembers from the mapped rugs he first learned from, and shares that he found it difficult to translate new designs on his mind into the carpet. So what he did was take existing designs, and made them better. While the name had popped up in an instant, the 3 young weavers slowly observed that their carpet really is an ice-cream cone. The bright red patterns at the bottom – the cone, the transition to ice-cream – the hazy gray in the middle and the little symbols at the top – the sprinkles. A rug for a true softy!