Carpet People of India
Photographies by

Adrian Moser


Adrian Moser
Pressebüro Moser von Graffenried
Zentralstrasse 93
2503 Biel

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Morning on Station Road Elementary School for Girls in Bhadohi School for former carpet workers School for foomer carpet workers
Another cold morning dawns on Station Road, the main street of Bhadohi.
But soon the temperature will reach up to 40 degrees celsius
Morning Break at the Elementary School for girls in Bhadohi.
Uttar Pradesh is one of the most densely populated districts of India,
a fact which is definitely reflected by this school
Children of poor people normally never get to see a school from the inside.
Some parents have to 'lend' their sons and daughters to carpet manufacturers,
because they cannot pay back loans which were given freely to them by agents travelling over the villages.
Often these children disappear and never find back to their parents.
The picture above shows a school for former carpet workers, founded by STEP Foundation
The schools for former carpet workers try to give these children a better future by teaching them basics like reading, writing and calculating. Some carpet manufacturers opposed strongly to this and tried to obstruct the construction of these schools
Woolstorage #1 Wooltrimming Wooltrimming-Machine Wooltrimming #2

Almost every family in Bhadohi works for the carpet business, be it in producing or trading.
Many children grow up working with their families.
Aid organizations try not to outrule child labour as a whole, but they urge European an American importers to pay fair prices for the carpets.
A decent income for the parents gives the children the possibility to visit school

The raw-wool for producing the carpets in mainly imported from New Zealand.
The wool has to be cleaned and trimmed before it can enter the spinning process.
The machines in this factory run 24 hours a day.
Nightshift starts 6 p.m. and ends 6 a.m
The machines in the trimming-factories are often old models imported from Europe,
where textile producing industries no longer have an economic importance.
This machine was built in the 30's of this century.
Accidents during work are quite frequent.
The air of the trimming-factories is filled with little particles of wool, which make breathing very unconfortable.

Nightshift at the spinning factory #1 Nightshift at the spinning factory #2 Wooldyeing-Factory #1 Wooldyeing-Factory #2
The noise in the spinning factory is deafening as hundreds of spindles roll up the wool.
Each shift works for twelve hours
One o'clock in the morning at the spinning factory After spinning the wool is dyed in a cooking colorbath. End of the nighshift at the dyeing factory
Wooldyers #1 Wooldyers #2 Wooldyers #3 Wooldyers #4
Many wooldyers are migrant workers from Nepal who come to India in search of a better life Most of the wool is still dyed manually by strapping it over a wheel and cooking it for several hours in color The dyed wool is dried and bundled Wooldyers have dreams, too
Woolstorage #2 Woolstorage #3 Weaver #1 Weavers #2
Many houses in Bhadohi are packed with wool up to the roof The wool is exactly weighted before it goes out to the weavers.

The weavers live mostly in villages outside of Bhadohi, where they work on comission basis.
They receive wool and design from the carpet-traders.
Often the design is already preset by the carpet-importers of Europe, America or Japan
Weaving a carpet can take up to three months.
Each knot is done manually, resulting in a carpet of tentousands of knots
Childworkers Weaver #3 Carpet-Storehouse #1 Carpet-Finishing
It's hard to tell how many child-labourers are still working in the carpet industries of India.
Carpet producers are well aware of the bad image child-labour has in Europe and America.
So when I showed up with my camera, the children were usually brought away.
These two boys were well hidden behind a weaving-stool
Some of the carpet-weaving is done under abysmal light conditions.
This picture was taken at noon
Carpets pile up in the storage-house of a carpet exporter as they're waiting to be shipped to countries all over the world In the finishing process each carpet is examined knot by knot.
Any little irregularity is corrected with small scissors
Carpet-Storehouse #2 Carpet-Salesman
Carpets of this quality have a price of about 2000$ in Switzerland.
The weaver of a carpet gets less than ten percent of what the exporter gets.
The exporter gets about ten percent of the final price in first world countires
A portrait of one of the biggest carpet-exporters of Bhadohi.
'He's a very important man.' we were told



Adrian Moser


Adhikara Art Gallery
updated 05.07.16



Adhikara Art Gallery
updated 05.07.16