Authenticity is what makes a Ralo rug precious.
For centuries in Tibet, a newly married bride brought the cherished gift of the family rug into the marriage. This rug was passed down for generations. Ralo rugs honor these age-old traditions. Our artisans use the same techniques as those used to make the dowry rugs of centuries past.
A Ralo rug is created from raw, Tibetan wool that is hand-carded and hand-spun into yarn; the yarn is hand-dyed. The dyes are derived from organic plants sources—munjeet, or madder, for red; walnut for browns; Tibetan rhubarb for yellow; and indigo for blues. The product of centuries of knowledge and craftsmanship, Ralo rugs bring this Tibetan cultural legacy into your home.
Out of Tibet comes the heart of Tibet.
Tsering Lhungay, an expert in Chinese and Tibetan art and history, is the founder and creative director of Ralo. Beginning in the 1970s, operating from a small workshop in Nepal, he and his family sought out Tibetan dye-masters, and master weavers who held the immemorial knowledge of Tibetan rug making. Today, following the ancient ways—from obtaining and processing the highland wool into yarn, to producing the dyes, and dying the yarn, to making the design templates and weaving the rugs—Ralo artisans produce rugs that reflect the deep historical, philosophical, and spiritual roots of Tibet.
After the cataclysmic political tragedy that Tibet suffered beginning in the 1950s, rug-making expertise was all but lost. The efforts of Tsering and his family, and others, revived this nearly extinct art. The result is a sustainable livelihood for Nepalese and Tibetan crafters that brings warmth, peace and compassion - the heart of Tibet - to a new global audience.
A Ralo rug is past, present, and future.
Along with modern designs, and those sprung from ancestral village life of Tibet, our themes often incorporate the two thousand five hundred years old tradition of Tibetan Buddhist iconography that gives expression to transcendent truths. Motifs such as the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism have a life of their own, imparting ultimate virtues and spiritual ideals to all humanity.
Our mission is not just to preserve Tibetan cultural heritage, but to nurture a living tradition, to provide care and a livelihood for our craftspeople, and to honor the past while moving into the future—all without compromise to the dictates of the mass market. The Ralo rug in your home is an eloquent expression of Ralo’s visionary quest.