Gigantic carpet bags him fresh orders from China

February 6th, 2009 - 11:22 am ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Feb 6 (IANS) Call it Jabeer Babu Ansari’s magic carpet. Having shot into the limelight by weaving a 160-foot-long carpet for a hotel in China, the Indian manfufacturer is now flooded with fresh orders from that country.”I have about 10 orders from China,” an elated Ansari, who runs a carpet manufacturing unit at Saroi in Bhadohi district of Uttar Pradesh, told IANS over telephone.

“At present, if you go by the orders placed by the Chinese, I have to use nearly 15,000 metres of carpet-backing cloth for making all the carpets,” he said. Ansari, however, refused to divulge the size of the rugs.

Bhadohi, some 250 km from Lucknow, is one of India’s biggest carpet manufacturing centres, with production mainly aimed at foreign markets. Carpets manufactured here range from the cotton durries to the finer Chhapra Mir and Loribaft varieties, apart from Nepali and shaggy carpets.

The 35-year-old Ansari, whose family has been in the carpet-making business for over 70 years, said although he regularly receives orders from Germany, the US and Europe, this is the first time multiple orders have come from China.

Ansari attributed the Chinese interest to the giant carpet he manufactured for Hyatt hotel in China. “It’s all because of that gigantic carpet that I got manufactured by 140 weavers, who worked for over two-and-a-half months to complete the order,” he said.

Declining to identify the prospective clients in China, Ansari added: “The hard work of my weavers must have impressed buyers there, who are now showing faith in us.”

Receiving the order for manufacturing the 160-foot-long and 115-foot-wide carpet for Hyatt was sheer luck.

“Initially, the order was meant for manufacturers in Haryana and Rajasthan. But they backtracked at the last moment and I got the order from Mittal International (a Panipat-based exporter),” he said.

As per the original Hyatt order, Ansari had to manufacture a carpet measuring 156 feet in length and 111 feet in width. “But, for my personal satisfaction, I gave them a bigger carpet,” he said.

The bright yellow carpet was despatched last week in 13 separate pieces, which will be assembled together in China by weavers there.

Ansari said he spent about Rs.1.5 million (Rs.15 lakh) on the entirely hand-made wool carpet that weighs over seven tonnes.

(Asit Srivastava can be contacted at asit.s@ians.in)

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