Friday, May 22, 2015

Honoured to be commissioned to make rugs for the nuns at Dongyu Gatsal Ling.

The ladies of Gamru Rag Rugs were honoured with a request to make rugs for the Dongyu Gatsal Ling (DGL) Nunnery located near Palampur, which is approximately an hours drive from Dharamsala.

Winters in Himachal Pradesh are very cold, especially with no central heating installed. The rugs were commissioned for the use of the nuns in their rooms, to provide  a welcome relief from the bitter cold of the bare floors.

Two of the Gamru Rag Rug ladies came to Dongyu Gatsal Ling and were thrilled to have the opportunity of meeting Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, who founded this beautiful nunnery. This amazing woman was raised in London and left in 1964, at the age of twenty, to pursue her spiritual path in India; she was later ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. The title `Jetsunma` (meaning venerable master) was given to her in 2008 in recognition of her achievements You can read more of her remarkable story here:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Care Instructions

Care instructions for your rugs - to ensure long life:  

  •  Not advised for use at the door for wiping dirty shoes
  •  Clean by shaking, vacuuming or light beating.
  • If left to air in the sun, please place them upside down to ensure the top is not exposed to the sun, as colours will quickly fade.
  • Remove dirty marks or stains with a damp cloth if possible.
  • Rugs may occasionally be washed in cold water, but frequent washing will eventually weaken the jute backing and may cause the rug to fall apart.
  • When new, it is usual for the rugs to lose fibres due to the raw cut finish - this will lessen with each vacuuming

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Customised Rugs

Sometimes you may want a rug of a certain size, colour, or of your own design... This may be possible but you will need to contact us on with your request. As all the fabric is recycled we are not always in a position to offer exactly what you would like, however we will try. The size of the rug is restricted to what is manageable for the ladies to work on and as long as your design is simple the result should be pretty good. We have completed some very satisfactory monograms, a football emblem and various other artistic works which have all been well received...

...Go on...ask...there`s no harm done and we love a challenge!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Social Maxims:Friendship

A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man, that actions,not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends; and that the most liberal professions of good-will are very far from being the surest marks of it.
                                           (George Washington)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Gamru Rag Rugs - The Process..

Gamru Rag Rugs has approximately 20 ladies making shaggy rag rugs entirely by hand. All the rugs take several weeks to produce, working just an hour or two each day.
Scrap fabric, normally discarded and burned, is donated by a local tailoring company (Himalaya Tailoring Centre). After collection the scrap fabric is sorted into some sort of order. This is quite labour intensive and not a favourite part of the process for the ladies. However this part of the process is necessary in order to enable us to create designs, which are dependent on the colour and amount of the various scrap fabrics we have.

Pictured sorting fabric, clockwise from Left: Nimmo, Usha, Subhadra, Sonia, Bindhra.

Used hessian (jute) rice or grain sacks are used as a base for the rugs. These have been donated to us by a local general store. The sacks are thoroughly scrubbed with hot water and detergent prior to use to ensure not only that they are clean, but because the printed / dyed writing on the sacks can bleed into the finished rug when washed.
Designs are then drawn onto the sacking with permanent markers, colours chosen and the women start to work.

From Left, Meena, Perkasi and Anjelie (Perkasi`s daughter) take a well earned break.

It is difficult to believe that the end product is entirely made from what would otherwise be relegated to the garbage. Pictured below are some of the completed rugs we have here at the moment.

For further details re sizing and pricing e-mail

A Tibetan design Rug / Wall Hanging by Meena

A Barbet Wall hanging by Meena

Flower in bottle Wall Hanging / Rug by Pappy

Various by others

Completed rugs on display

Some rugs with description

This is Bindhra finishing off her latest rug - a hall or bedside runner. This rug measures 178 x 55cms. The rug has taken approx 120hrs to complete..

Below: Nikki`s `House of Cards`
Size:100cm X 80cm

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Beginning...

28 April
Gamru Rag Rugs - How did it start?
Our Rag Rug making history is now over one year old...
It all started when a bag of new scrap fabric was given to the `After School` programme in Gamru which I was managing, by a local Fair Trade tailoring company - Eternal Creation. The children and I made good use of the fabric, including making some rather lovely collages.
The fabric was lovely and of good quality and I knew that there must be some other use it could be put to......Then late one evening a long distant memory came flooding back...I was so excited I couldn`t wait to get started the following day..
I remembered when I was a very small child - maybe 4yrs old - watching two of my older sisters making rag rugs from old worn out tattered clothing and used potato sacks; this was during the long British Winter evenings. At the time we had cold concrete floors, no central heating and often woke to the inside of the windows frosted over with ice. We lived in the countryside where my Father worked as a farm labourer. My parents fought constantly to make ends meet.
Here in India over 45yrs later I find that half the population (a guess-but it certainly seems that way to me) live lives that could, putting it mildly, be described as well below the poverty line. I had the idea that maybe the local ladies (Mothers of the children at the school) could come and make the rugs to use at home. There would be no charge as I was able to obtain both the fabric and the used hessian sacks free of charge. Two ladies came, Meena and Usha, both of whom had children regularly attending the After School. They were a little sceptical at first, but they persevered and eventually finished a rug together...It looked lovely and they were justifiably proud. I asked them who was going to take it home but neither of them wanted to - I was confused - until they managed to explain to me that they had nowhere to put a `show piece`....I was gutted...absolutely deflated, and at a loss.. However, both were so pleased with their achievement that they wanted to make another one each. When these were finished I managed to persuade them (with great difficulty) to take them home to show their families. Soon a few more women came, and then some more, until it wasn`t possible to have them all working at the school at the same time, so I rented a big house and gave them the whole of the downstairs.
The ladies have now swelled in number to 20, and some of their daughters are also trying their hand - when they`re not doing school work!
The rugs have come a long way since the time I watched my sisters making them. They were functional then.  Each one is now truly unique; practical, washable, a delight to put your bare feet on and an asset to any home.
Each rug is made with love and care and to a very high standard.
I am proud to work alongside these women and to be an integral part of Gamru Rag Rugs...

For further information re sizes and prices of individual rugs e-mail

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some members of our Rag Rug team :)

Back Row: Perkasi, Nikki, Lalita, Neggi, Veena, Usha, Kanchen (Usha`s daughter)

Front Row: Bridget, Meena, Sonia, Subhadra