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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Behind the Loom: The Making of Magnolia Home Rugs

March 1, 2017

One of my favorite things about my rug line is that these pieces are made with so much rich history and tradition. Each individual collection is crafted using a different technique. Recently some of my friends at Loloi took a trip to the small villages in India where some of my collections are made, and I was stunned seeing how beautiful the tradition of rug making is!

Loloi Presents: The Making of Magnolia Home Rugs from Loloi Rugs on Vimeo.

This video and their beautiful photos really opened my eyes to how intricate of a process this is. Each rug is made using time honored techniques that date back thousands of years. For these artisans, these rugs are their livelihood and a preservation of a proud legacy. These people learned this trade from their parents, and when their children are of age, they’ll teach them. Without these people, all of the beautiful rug designs would just be ideas—these are the people who are bringing them to life.

One of the most interesting things I learned was that each rug can take weeks to finish, and it is completely normal to work a full day and only get a few square inches of rug finished. This is almost unbelievable to me. These artisans are so patient and are in no hurry to rush the process.

YARN

Prepping yarn is the very first step in making every rug. The process begins when the artisans receive completely raw bundles of natural fiber. The fibers are carded and then hand spun. They then feed the fiber into a drive wheel, which is controlled with their feet. This method takes years of repetition to completely master.

DYEING

Artisans use bamboo sticks or metal rods to dip fiber into boiling vats of dye and rotate to evenly coat every strand. This is harder than it seems, because every last color has to turn out to be the perfect uniform shade. They then hang the yarn to dry it in the sun.

These photos and stories were shared with me at a perfect time! My newest spring line is now available at magnoliamarket.com, as well as at retailers nationwide, and seeing this gave me fresh perspective entering this new season. I love that these rugs are more than just home decor pieces—they’re a way of life for the artisans living and working in these communities. I couldn’t wait to share this trip with all of you, and I hope you loved it as much as I did!

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  • Susan Mayne
    9:49 am, February 17, 2018
    Dear Jo,
    You are an inspiration and along with the most tasteful, yummy taste
    Your designs are the best of anyone I have witnessed. We might even be related as my mum was a Game at birth. You are my idol dear Jo oh and Chip you're a legend Buddy. Gorgeous couple, family. xxxxx
    Love your TV series
    Sincerely Susan Mayne.
  • Christina
    2:35 am, January 12, 2018
    I really hope you are paying these artisans a good wage because you are getting rich off of their labor and their talent. I pray that their lives are improving as exponential as yours has.
    • Robyn Ferrier
      9:05 pm, January 28, 2018
      Christina, I was just wondering why you’d think you need to tell this lovely woman how to run her business. Why don’t you keep your comments to yourself. You’re coming off like a lady who’s way out of her league and generation.
    • Susan Mayne
      9:53 am, February 17, 2018
      Jealousy? Not even worth a reply. Scum.
    • Kathryn
      10:07 am, February 17, 2018
      What a very weird and strange thing to say. Does not belong here.
  • Carmen
    10:42 am, January 7, 2018
    How humbling to observe the hard dedicated work of the India artisans- thank you for sharing!!!
  • Marian
    3:27 pm, November 3, 2017
    Please let me know the name and model of the beautiful gray/silver rug on the back of the current issue of Home Beautiful. A very beautiful Joanna is standing in the photo in a pink dress. Thanks!
  • Cheryl
    8:04 pm, October 30, 2017
    It is totally unreal how they know how to make these rugs, and so fast like they can make them with their eyes closed. They are beautiful!!! I wish I could afford one.
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