India is blessed with a plethora of industries where the women’s workforce acts as a pillar in manufacturing and distribution. India’s textile industry is one of the frontrunners where women’s rule and their contribution dominated that of men.
Women artisans at Kalra’s Cottage Industry
Kalra’s Cottage Industry is one of the biggest rug manufacturers and exporters in North India. We take pride in mentioning that our entire workforce is dominated by women artisans and weavers. We are connected with 750+ families who weave this craft (rugs & carpets) for their admirers across the world. We are in the process to set up individual looms for every 18+ woman who is working with us. The motive behind this is to increase women’s participation in this industry. They are a treasure for us and we are committed to their welfare by all possible means. Some of our focus areas are enhanced employment opportunities, health insurance benefits, and educational counseling for the families of the weavers and artisans.
We pay fair wages for meaningful work to all our workforce including women to support their household incomes along with giving them a sense of accomplishment and financial independence. Most of the women workforce have looms installed at their homes. If a household has more than 1 woman, we provide them with an additional loom so that they can work on it. This is a double employment approach where more people get work, and are paid well. This double employment approach has helped us increase our productivity by a significant percentage.
We understand the importance of a safe workplace and hence, we provide insurance benefits to our weaving artisans and workforce. It not just helps safeguard our workforce but also provides employment security & peace of mind. Our workforce is the backbone of our work and we pay special attention in case of any uncertainty.
Education has the power to break the chain of poverty and unleash the immense potential to rise. We encourage our workforce to provide their children with the best possible education.
We believe that these areas of development can bring significant changes in their lives. Such changes are imperative to the inclusive development of women’s artisans along with their families. Once these women are empowered, they will be in a better position to support their families.
History and lineage
The history of carpet weaving at KCI started back in 1985 when Mr. Krishan Kalra set up looms for artisans and weavers in Agra. His passion for arts and fine craftsmanship led to the blooming age of Kalra’s Cottage Industry in no time. Today, it takes pride in being one of the major tourist attractions in the city for people who have an eye for beauty and arts. Alongside this, the age-old cottage industry is one of the leading carpets and rug exporters in India.
The history of rug manufacturing in Agra dates back to the Mughal Dynasty. It is believed that Akbar, a Mughal emperor laid the foundation of carpet-making in India by bringing in some of the master artisans and weavers from Persia. They trained Indian artisans with fine weaving and passed on their learning of hand-knotted rug making. Since then, the industry bloomed and today, India is one of the leading rug manufacturers and exporters in the world.
Today, India has something for everyone when it comes to rugs and carpets. The most opulent ones are the hand-knotted silk rugs where hundreds if not thousands of knots are tied in a single square inch. These rugs & carpets are available in quality materials such as Silk, Cotton, and Wool. Silk & wool are the most premium materials of which hand-knotted rugs are made. You can explore our collection of premium hand-knotted rugs.
Support our women artisans
Every rug purchased from Kalra’s Cottage Industry is a step towards the empowerment of an Indian woman. For our 750+ families, rug making is their main means of livelihood. Rug making is labor-intensive work and extreme precision is required to get the best design. It takes around 4-5 months to get one full-size rug ready for dispatch. The current and upcoming generation of artisans are modern and have aspirations other than making rugs and wants to move on from this old-age craft.