The quality of a rug really does begin in the pastures: The wool that is processed in Nepal comes from highland sheep from Tibet. The wool from these sheep has very long fibres and a very high fat content to protect the animals from the harsh climate. Provided it is processed gently in a way that preserves these natural properties, it is an ideal raw material for long-lasting rugs and carpets.
To preserve the precious natural wool fat or lanolin, the fleece is not treated with chemicals but washed in mountain streams. Fibres that are too dirty are separated by hand. Once it has been washed, the wool is laid out to dry in the sun.
After being washed and dried the wool is carded by hand. This involves disentangling the individual woollen threads and combing them until they are facing the same direction. Now the fibres are ready to be spun into wool and dyed. The hand carded and hand spun woollen threads later absorb the colours unevenly which gives our carpets their unique character and special charm.
The yarn is dyed with natural and environmentally-friendly vegetable dyes. The colours are usually derived from Geba’s very own colour palette, which is based on harmonious colour combinations. The natural finish of the wool, which has its own basic colouring, means that the colours are never completely identical but show small variations which give them a special vibrancy. Of course, exact colours can be guaranteed, for example for interior design, by using synthetic dyes.
The rugs are knotted in our atelier in Nepal. The families use a Tibetan loop knot that dates back thousands of years. This technique combines great clarity of design and a robustness that make the carpets ideal for everyday use.
To emphasise specific design elements, the pile of some rugs is trimmed to different heights. Occasionally, materials such as hemp, silk, linen, nettles or others are added to the Tibetan highland wool. In some cases, rugs can also be knotted without any wool at all. Hemp carpets, for example, dry very quickly and are therefore ideal for entrance areas and spas. Other materials can also be used if customers are allergic to sheep’s wool.
The rug is then washed by hand. To allow it to dry slowly it is stretched out and left to dry in the sun, which ensures that it retains its original size. The result is rugs which are of timeless quality and which each have a story of their own to tell.
The final Geba rug is again checked under strict quality criteria, packaged and sent to our gallery in Austria. From here on out, the rugs find their ways to our private and business customers all over the world.
Some impressions of our carpet production.
The Tibetan highland wool is washed by hand in the clear waters of a mountain river.
The washed wool dries in the sun.
The wool fibres are hand-carded, i.e. combed in the same direction.
It is usually the women who card and spin the wool.
Traditional spinning wheels are used for the spinning process.
The yarn is dyed with natural and environmentally-friendly vegetable dyes.
Here, red madder is used to extract vegetable dyes.
The designs are realised knot for knot in our ateliers.
After the knotting, the pile of the rug is trimmed.
For outstanding effects, the pile of the rug is often trimmed to different heights.
With our fair trade activities we support schooling for children in Nepal, for example.
From the fleece of the sheep to the finished product, our rugs pass through many hands. These hands should not be motivated by compulsion and exploitation, but by joy and satisfaction. Our Geba rugs are therefore produced in accordance with the rules of the Label STEP. This commits us to social responsibility and fair conditions for our workers and requires us to submit to audits to verify our compliance with the STEP standards.