Meet our artisans in India

Meet our artisans in India

It is no exaggeration to say that Wendy Morrison Design would not be the business it is without our dedicated team of artisan workers. It is a privilege to work with our wonderful craftspeople, and to help support and continue the age-old tradition of hand-tufted rug-making.

We thought it would be interesting to speak directly to our extended team of Wendy Morrison Design experts to share a better understanding of the skill and dedication that goes into each and every hand-tufted rug. There are many individual aspects to the handmade rug design process, but every stage is vital and they all add up to a beautiful, collaborative end piece - something that everybody can be proud to be part of.

Introducing Factory Manager Kiran Chauhan

Since 2012, Wendy Morrison Design has been working with a family run business, who own a rug-making factory in Panipat, which is situated around 95km north of Delhi. Factory Manager Kiran Chauhan has been working with the family business since 2014, following a diploma in Textile Design.
Working with approximately 140 staff, Kiran is our Edinburgh studio’s direct link to the factory and we have daily production meetings via video to discuss all areas of the business. During the pandemic, our calls not only allowed us to keep up to date with production, they also reassured us that the workers in India were safe and well. This has proved an ideal way to build a solid relationship and maintain close connections with our factory partner.

Kiran oversees all aspects of the rug-design process and works closely with Quality Control in the final stages of production to ensure every aspect is checked before the rugs leave the factory. She also works closely with custom orders to ensure the fine details exactly match the sign-off requirements. The team in Edinburgh speaks to Kiran every working day and has a couple of WhatsApp groups, so we are constantly in touch! Kiran really is a key part of the team. Here, we find out a bit more about Kiran, both in and out of work.

What does your typical working day look like?

It is always busy, but I am quite happy with that. The first thing I do is check the production area where the tufting is carried out. I look after several teams throughout the business from planning, production, quality control and shipping. Once I receive rug orders, they are checked and put into planning. I work out yarn requirements and co-ordinate with the dyers to produce the beautiful colours that Wendy uses in her designs.
Once a design is on the tufting frame, I photograph all stages of the production to send to Wendy. I check each stage to make sure orders run smoothly and to keep lead times flowing. As hand-tufted rugs require natural sunshine and good weather to dry the dyes and rugs, I am always happiest when the sun is shining! I spend most of my working day in the rug factory rather than the office, probably spending seven or eight hours a day with the rugs.

Kiran keeping a close eye on the rug making process

What is the most satisfying part of the rug-making process?

I love seeing the tufting gun follow the details of the rug design and the pattern emerging once it starts to fill in.

What is the most complicated part of making a rug?

If there is a lot of colour and detail, hand tufting the design takes a great deal of skill. Each rug is intricate in its own way because there are so many design details.

What is the most difficult part of your job?

All parts of the job are challenging, but I love it.

Wendy, Gregor and the boys with Kiran in Panipat

What is your favourite Wendy Morrison rug design?

It’s very hard to choose just one, but if I had to, it would be Eternity. It’s a very meaningful design, full of symbolism. Nature has something that always attracts us towards it and I feel the same way about this design.

Where do you live?

I live in Panipat in an apartment which is about 20 minutes from work by scooter.

Where did you go to school and what was your favourite subject?

I am from North India and I studied there - I always loved drawing.

What was your first job after school?

I was a designer working for a printer.

Kiran on her scooter

Do you have any hobbies?

I love riding my scooter and travelling. I enjoy visiting the village my father was born in. It is set high in the mountains, surrounded by forest. It’s a very peaceful place and full of natural beauty. There is also a beautiful temple there called Tarkeshwar Mahadev.

What do you like to do on your days off?

If it is just one day off, I’ll relax at home. If it is two days or more, I love to visit my family - I have two brothers and two sisters who live around 200km away - or travel somewhere.

What is your favourite time of year?

January and February - springtime, I love the time of year as summer starts after winter.

India is well known for its wonderful festivals - do you have a favourite?

Deepawali; it is a festival full of light, which is why I like it. We decorate the home with flowers and lights, lighting all the lamps and doing Rangoli [an art form in which colourful patterns reflecting tradition and folklore are created on the floor using dry materials such as powdered limestone, red ochre and quartz powder]. We only eat vegetarian Indian food during this festival.

Do you wear traditional dress?

The traditional dress is the sari, but I don’t wear it. I wear a shalwar kameez, which is also traditional, but like loose trousers with a long shirt.

If you did not work with rugs, what would your dream job be?

I would be a textile designer.

What is your favourite colour?

I love lots of colours, but my favourite is yellow.

What makes you happy?

My work.

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