The reversible Birch Rug was hand-woven in Northern India before finding its way to your floor. Its softness makes it ideal for lounging, laying, and elevating you off the ground.
- Reversible construction allows double the wear
- Handloom-made flatweave
- 80% New Zealand Wool, 20% Linen
The rug weaving industry in India is what is called a 'cottage-style industry.' These industries are defined as small-scale, labor-intensive production that can be done with simple tools owned by the craftsperson. No single person can monopolize the manufacturing process, and workers act as independent contractors.
Weavers either set up their looms at home or in central locations in the villages, and the skills are passed down from people within their community.
ARE THE WEAVERS FAIRLY COMPENSATED?Rug weaving is considered a well-paying job in relation to the region's average income. Because weavers can build their loom and have a specialized skill set, they can choose to produce goods for the exporter who offers them the highest pay. This establishes a 'set rate' for the region, and the rate increases over time as demand remains high. Regardless of order size, the rate that a weaver receives is held to this 'set rate.' It is impossible to underpay a rug weaver as they will work for someone else.
Weavers are paid per square foot and earn different rates based on the complexity of the design. 'Master weavers' make the highest rate as they can quickly deliver high-quality rugs and train other weavers.
WHAT ARE THE WORKING CONDITIONS LIKEMany weavers choose to set up in their own homes. Still, many looms are set up in more central locations in the open air, with a roof over the loom to give shade and keep the rain off during the monsoon. The weavers set their hours and choose how many rugs they want to produce.
ARE THE RUGS FAIR TRADE?Neither Mark Krebs nor any of our export partners in India are affiliated with the fair-trade organization. As the business grows, we will investigate different certifications and work with our rug weavers to complete these certifications. This is a great way to show further transparency.
The focus of Mark Krebs is to bring awareness to the manufacturing process and make sure the process of making is part of our brand identity. This type of transparency is critical for telling the true story of the life of everyday things.
- 80% New Zealand wool (the weft)
- 20% Linen (the warp)
100% of the materials used to make BIRCH are natural, which means the colors and patterns in your rug will be slightly different from your friend’s, for example
New Zealand WoolDerived from giving sheep a buzz cut, New Zealand wool is some of the highest quality wool for rugs. The wool's naturally long and thick fibers give an incredibly soft hand feel. It’s easy to care for and ages well. The material also functions as an excellent insulator for your home in the winter and helps with the acoustics of a room.
LinenLinen is a very strong and soft fiber made from the flax plant. Although it is not as strong as cotton, it is much softer to the touch, and the additional softness is quite noticeable.
- Professional dry cleaning is your best bet
- Feel confident about blotching spills with a damp cloth
- Take a vacuum to it regularly
- If you see a loose yarn, resist the urge to pull! Snip off the excess with sharp scissors
- Rug pads rule, we recommend using one
Mark Krebs is the name of my design studio based in Montreal, Canada. It also acts as my alter ego. A type of mask I put on when I enter my studio space. I’ve always shied away from public speaking. Since I was young, I have created pseudonyms for my online identity. When I started my studio, it only felt natural to create a character under which to work. Before starting my own company designing rugs, I produced designs for other companies. I learned how things like planters, cutting boards, and footstools were made. My design work brought me to factories worldwide; one month, I’d visit woodworkers in Bangkok, and the next, I’d be touring a ceramics factory in Hanoi. My favorite projects involved working with rug weavers in northern India. The beat of the loom was mesmerizing. The vibrant culture surrounding the rug trade was unlike any other I was exposed to - and I was hooked. When it came time for my design studio, I knew where I wanted to begin. My design approach focuses on making things built for a long and happy life, with a bit of color and playfulness thrown in. The hope is whoever ends up stewarding my rugs will care for them so they can be enjoyed for generations.Read More