Our Adventurous Journey to The World of Madur Mats!
Hello friends! We want to share something truly fascinating with you. Recently we visited villages of Paschim Medinipur in West Bengal, to observe how the artisans make lovely mats out of river grass. The history of these mats goes back to the Indus Valley civilization. As a point in fact, as the locals proudly pointed out to us, the Madur mat is actually mentioned in the records of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who lived here in the 15th century.
These mats are so colorful and amazingly soft and pliable. Most Bengali homes have at least one. They are part of West Bengal’s culture, and a treasured part of their heritage. They’ll be perfect for our home too, for our living room or for the kids to play on! Journey’s End and The Beginning of a New Adventure! It took us two hours of driving on the National Highway & then deviation into the village roads to find the villages of Paschim Medinipur. When we finally got there, we were bustling with anticipation. We were touched beyond expression by how warmly and sincerely the artisans welcomed us. They were so excited that we had traveled all the way from Bangalore just to meet them and observe their craft.
We followed them as they took us to the riverside where they showed us how they cut the 5-foot tall madur kathi grass, in July and in November. They explained the process of making these mats: from drying the cut grass to cutting it to multiple stripes to making the end product, its completely handmade. We watched the artisans the whole day long, utterly fascinated by their process. It takes 2 to 3 days to create a single mat, and for us, every moment of the process was a visual treat.
Madur mats are 100% organic; they are made of natural fibers, with no added chemicals. They are very soft and feel good against the skin, unlike synthetic mats. By the way, these mats remain cool even in hot temperatures! If they get messy, just wipe them with a soapy cloth, followed by a wash with a wet cloth. Dry them under the sun and they’ll be ready to use again. Madur mats are known to be used for generations.