At rugzone.co.uk we understand that wool is the preferred fibre for many customers but with resent price escalations of the raw wool the cost of decent wool rugs has become prohibitively high. The majority of wool rugs sold in the United Kingdom are hand tufted in India or China and imported by wholesalers who transport the goods by sea in containers. The augmented costs of fuel have forced shippers worldwide to increase their transportation cost which in turn adds to the final price tag of the rug. Here in the UK we have not just had the escalating costs of raw material and oil. The chancellor also added his 2.5% to the end product by increasing Value Added Tax from 17.5% to 20%. Accepting the majority of home based products are going to cost us more this year than last is a foregone conclusion, it’s no wonder we’re becoming a little more diligent when searching for commodities.
Getting to grips with prices is the key to the majority of Internet based businesses, but sacrificing quality for price isn’t the answer. If the customer doesn’t perceive the products as good value or they will simply return them. So, it’s important to give the customer the best value that money can buy. This means being more astute than your competitors when choosing how and where to buy products like wool rugs.
With exports over $600 million India is the world’s third largest exporter of carpet and rugs the nucleus of which is Bhadohi, also known as Carpet City in the Uttar Predesh region of Northern India. This religion alone produces a massive 90% of India’s carpet and rug exports. You could imagine enormous factories employing thousands of people, but you would be wrong. In fact the rug weaving and tufting industry here is classified as a cottage industry, meaning there is an abundance of family homes and small workshops producing rugs and carpets in all shapes and sizes. The factories or export houses simply specify the designs and quality then finish the rugs, while the main production is contacted out to small workshops normally attached to the family home.
One way to achieve better prices on handmade wool rugs is to buy the rugs direct from the producers in India but you can’t just walk up and knock on someone’s door. Because it is cottage industry you would need to contract the labour of several families and you would have to know they were accomplished artisans. You would need to have the yarn pre-dyed and batched to maintain colour consistency, in the case of hand tufted rugs they would need to be backed and finished. There has to someone on the ground in India to co-ordinate the entire job from the raw material, to the finished goods loaded onto the container. So it is essential to find and work with an exporter you can trust to get the job done.
The new rugzone.co.uk wool rug collection is simply named “Bhadohi Cottage” in recognition of the cottage industry culture and the artisans of the Bhadohi region. The local wool and dyes are produced to the highest standard and the rugs has been finished by a trusted export house and imported by Rug Zone to ensure exceptional value.