Dreams of the Jungle, my latest rug inspired by our first family trip to the Indian Jungle. Composed of all the wonderful flora and fauna we were lucky to spy in the jungle, the Bengal Tiger, Peacocks galore, Chital Deer alongside many langur monkeys. The beauty and atmosphere of the Indian jungle was breathtaking and something that will always stay with me…..5am when all was awakening!
India has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Being one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, it’s boundaries encompass the wide ranging ecozones of desert, mountains, and highlands to tropical and temperate forests, swamplands, plains and grasslands. From river basins to island archipelago all producing favourable climatic conditions for rich plant and animal life.
One of our most enchanting highlights was being up close and personal to the magnificent Bengal Tiger. This majestic creature is a symbol of the country’s natural abundance. Its combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned the tiger its pride of place as the national animal of India. To check the dwindling population of tigers in India, ‘Project Tiger’ was launched in April 1973. So far, 27 tiger reserves have been established in the country under this project, covering an area of 37,761 sq km.
India’s national bird the peacock (Pavo cristatus) are in abundance, perched beautifully on wall and trees, naturally a sign of pure joy for all who see them. It is easy to see why they symbolize grace, pride and beauty. Male peacocks being particularly brightly coloured, with elegant, elongated feathers in iridescent blues, greens and bronze. Their splendorous fan shape displayed during courtship adding even more grandeur to their beauty.
Another national gem of India, the Lotus flower is found in abundance, you can see why it’s sacred bloom occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India. Foremost it is a symbol of beauty, prosperity and fertility. According to Hinduism, within each human is the spirit of the sacred lotus. Representing eternity, purity and divinity it is widely used as a symbol of life, fertility and ever-renewing youth.
I could not resist including a Chital within the scene, they are beautiful, light and graceful and native to the Indian jungle, a favourite for the Tiger, we spied these in abundance along with the Langur monkeys. They make great companions protecting each other from danger…..
Hindus revere the monkeys as a symbol of the monkey deity Hanuman, whose Simian army helped rescue Sita, the god Rama’s wife, from a demon king, according to a Sanskrit epic. Their unusual, black faces and extremities call to mind the burns that Hanuman suffered in the course of his heroism.
In contrast to the monkeys the azure kingfishers made such a colourful appearance fluttering around the waterholes. Representing a symbol of prosperity and good luck to come.
The Banyan Tree is revered and sacred in Hindu philosophy, it makes a wonderful habitat for a large number of creatures.
It is also a central point for the village communities of India. The tree produces figs and is colossal not only from the outside but also on the inside sending new shoots from its roots, making it a web of branches, roots and trunks. It towers magnificently over its neighbours and has the widest reaching roots of all known trees, covering several acres.
The life of the banyan tree is long and it’s thought of as immortal. It symbolizes longevity and has many medicinal properties. We saw lots of animals hanging out here under its shade. Apparently a favourite spot for the leopards but we didn’t manage to catch a glimpse of one!
The exotic tree Acacia Tree with its glorious yellow flowers was a delightful bright yellow accent of colour in the jungle. It has a delicate scent with almost fern-like leaves and their yellow flowers radiate beautifully, symbolising the golden sun. In terms of symbolism it is an image of triumphant life because of the hardness of its bark representing victory over the forces of evil.
We are clearly extremely privileged to have made this journey to the Indian jungle as we are to have our rugs made in this beautiful country, however amid all this beauty it was also quite shocking to witness the effects that industry has on this amazing country. The reality of global over consumption and the waste produced as a result, hit home hard whilst just breathing the toxic air. Pollution levels are alarmingly dangerous for the population who live in the cities. So needless to say we are continually striving to minimise the impact our rugs have on this remarkable country and the planet as a whole. In addition to reforms we are continually making to our packaging and distribution we’re also reviewing and researching more sustainable yarns. On this journey we discovered Tencel. Though I’ve been aware of its uses in clothing and towels, it is not until recently I discovered its attributes can be applied to rugs too.
Tencel is created from wood pulp sourced from sustainably grown forests and transformed into yarn through intricate nanotechnology. There are very few emissions during Tencel production – 99.3% to 99.8% of chemicals are used repeatedly in a closed loop system. In addition to being a more sustainable yarn it also has a natural lustre similar to that of silk and can take the place of viscose in our designs. It’s also biodegradable, hardwearing and has a natural capacity to absorb moisture, harbouring fewer bacteria for a healthier living environment. Tencel has been used extensively in all the many details of our new design ‘Dreams of the Jungle’. Furthermore we’ve decided to take it forward into new developments starting with the flora and fauna details of Birdsong.
Naturally this yarn comes at a little extra cost but worth it I’m sure you’ll agree!
Thanks for reading! Wx