The Met Gala, fashion’s biggest night, was definitely an unusual occasion this year, with celebrities dressed to the nines at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. While Rihanna and Doja Cat stole the show with their elegant designs, the white carpet with its swirling blue and red stripes drew everyone’s attention as well.
The carpet, which was displayed for all to see, was created by ‘Neytt by Extraweave,’ a Kerala-based firm founded by Sivan Santhosh and Nimisha Srinivas. The carpet, which covered around 6,960 square metres, was constructed from sisal fibre (derived from the Agave cactus), which is usually found in East Africa and Central America. The carpet was made from the plant’s bark, according to Sivan.
“We obtained the natural fibre from Brazil, Tanzania, and Madagascar. The fibre is highly strong and 120 cm long, making it ideal for making carpets. We provided 58 different roles for the Met Gala. Every role was 30 metres long and four metres wide,” he explained. The carpets were manufactured in 60 days,” according to him.
Wondering how a Malayali design business from Cherthala ended up at the Met Gala? The explanation is straightforward: contacts lead to business. “We are supplying the carpets for the second year in a row.” We made contact with the Met Gala organisers through a customer named ‘Fibre Works’ in the United States. “We made the carpets, and they were hand-painted by artists in the United States,” he explained.
The red carpets that are usually set up for the Met Gala event were replaced with a white carpet this year. “The organisers had specifically requested white carpets to honour the late German designer Karl Lagerfeld,” he explained.
Neytt by Extraweave is only two years old. It does, however, have a long history, since Sivan’s father and family had been in the carpet industry for many years. His father, Santhosh, developed Extraweave more than two decades ago, and his grandfather, K. Velayudhan, founded the Travancore Mats & Matting Company in 1917.