Nani Marquina

We were already big fans of Barcelona–based designer Nani Marquina, but now that we hear she helped reopen a shuttered school for 366 kids in Bhadohi, India, we're approaching swoon territory.

Nani Marquina portrait

Barcelona-based designer Nani Marquina not only produces some of the best rugs in the business, but she also sponsors a school for nearly 400 children in India. 

The Spanish rug designer has been visiting India regularly since the early 1990s, when she moved her production there in an effort to create rugs that felt less like mass-produced objects and more like handcrafted works of art.

Not sure how he's going to ride his bicycle with two rolled-up Kala rugs, but....
Not sure how he's going to ride his bicycle with two rolled-up Kala rugs, but....

Of course, as any responsible and informed person knows, there's a great threat of exploitation when it comes to a first-world company working with communities that both specialize in handicraft and suffer from economic hardship. So Marqina teamed up with Care & Fair, a German nonprofit that seeks to end child labor practices and secure the rights of people that work in the rug trade in India, Pakistan, and Nepal. Together they launched a design competition for students, and the winning design, Kala, went into production.

The rugs are hand-tufted and made with 100% naturally dyed wool.
The rugs are hand-tufted and made with 100% naturally dyed wool.

The rug quickly became popular, and with a portion of the proceeds, Marquina funneled $30,000 to reopen the Amita Vidyalaya school in Bhadohi, an area known as India's "Carpet City".

Kala, which means both 'art' and 'morning' is a bold, geometric work that references the quick designs that are commonly drawn just outside villager's front doorways each morning.

Nani Marquina, and some of the students at the Amita Vidyalaya school in Bhadohi, India.
Nani Marquina, and some of the students at the Amita Vidyalaya school in Bhadohi, India.

We tip our hat to Nani.

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