Tantuvi is reimagining what handmade in India can be. We design contemporary rugs inspired by art and architecture, and produce them in close collaboration with seventh-generation master weavers — the gatekeepers of India’s cultural craft methods. Through years of building meaningful relationships with our dyers, weavers, and washers, we’re able to bring a piece of India’s vibrant heritage into your space, creating modern heirlooms for your world.
The community that makes Tantuvi’s rugs use panja hand looms that achieves a much tighter weave using smaller spools of cotton, which results in finer design details and unparalleled longevity. Each rug takes a single artisan between two weeks and two months to finish, and can consequently be enjoyed for a lifetime.
The story of Tantuvi began when founder Arati Rao was a child in New York learning about her mother’s handwoven saris, and how each was named for the Indian region it originated from, creating an inspiring connection between wearer and maker. Twenty years later, as a professional designer in corporate fashion, Rao felt an acute lack of that connection, her factories full of anonymous workers sewing fabrics she knew nothing about. So in 2010 she left her job to travel through India for 8 months, hoping to reimagine her career — and rediscover her roots — by getting to know the country’s craft traditions firsthand.
It was in the northern rug- and textile-producing communities of India that she found the impetus to start Tantuvi. During a subsequent trip, she met a family of seventh-generation master weavers whose ancestors had started making flatweave rugs 400 years ago, as nomads who needed ultra-durable tent flooring that could be easily packed for traveling or tiger hunting. Those same qualities, Rao realized, would make the rugs especially suited to modern homes, where they could be moved, stored, and cleaned with ease. She created a suite of colorful geometric designs, forged a working relationship with the weavers, and launched Tantuvi in 2015.
Our commitmentAt the heart of Tantuvi is Rao’s intense personal connection to India and to her weavers, who provide creative and professional input. For their expertise they are paid fair wages that exceed industry standards. Tantuvi's production partner has also helped fund schools in the area, and has begun contributing to a general village fund that provides capital for community-identified initiatives and needs. When Tantuvi succeeds, the village succeeds, which not only ensures the livelihood of some of India’s most talented artisans, but helps encourage young people to learn the craft, preserving a vital tradition for generations to come.