Made in Kerala carpet weaves magic at Met Gala

The white carpet with its swirling blue and red stripes, was designed by Neytt by Extraweave, a Kerala-based brand founded by Sivan Santhosh and Nimisha Srinivas. Photo: Special Arrangement

Met Gala, fashion's biggest night, was truly an eccentric affair this year as celebrities turned up in their wackiest outfits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. While the likes of Rihanna and Doja Cat stole the show with their elegant designs, the white carpet with its swirling blue and red stripes, also managed to catch everyone's attention.

What is interesting is that the carpet, which was laid out for the world to see, was manufactured by 'Neytt by Extraweave', a Kerala-based brand founded by Sivan Santhosh and Nimisha Srinivas. The carpet spread around 6,960 sq metres, was made with Sisal fibre (taken from the Agave cactus), which is mostly found in East Africa and Central America. According to Sivan, the bark of the plant was used to make the carpet.

“We sourced the natural fibre from places like Brazil, Tanzania and Madagascar. The fibre is very sturdy and is 120 cm long to make carpets. We supplied a total of 58 roles to the Met Gala. Each role was 30 metres long and four metres wide,” he said. According to him, it took the team 60 days to manufacture the carpets.

Wondering how a Malayali design house based in Cherthala found its way to the Met Gala? The answer is simple, connections convert to business.

“We are supplying the carpets for the second consecutive year. We got in touch with the Met Gala organisers, through a customer of ours named 'Fibre Works' in the USA. We manufactured the carpets, while it was hand-painted by artists in the USA,” he said.

The red carpets, which are laid out for the Met Gala event, every year, were replaced with a white one, this time. “The organisers had specifically asked us for white carpets to stick to this year's theme honouring the late German designer Karl Lagerfeld,” he said.

Last year, however, the design house manufactured red-coloured carpets, sticking to the original style. “To be honest, we were not very sure, how the white carpet would look, especially on the steps under the lights, at the Met Gala. However, when we saw it laid out at the event, we felt very proud,” said Sivan.

He added that they have been flooded with messages from people, including celebrities, across India. “We have created rugs and carpets for many Taj properties. Sonam Kapoor's house in London has been furnished using our rugs,” he added.

Neytt by Extraweave, is just two years old. However, it has a huge history, since Sivan's father and grandfather have been in the carpeting business for years. His father Santhosh had founded Extraweave over two decades ago, while his grandfather K Velayudhan set up the Travancore Mats and Matting Company in 1917.

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