So my host father in Alleppey told us that he was into “exports.” We assumed something super sexy because he was a pretty suave gentleman. Kind of like a James Bond villain, but nice. He just had a very crisp English accent and was always impeccably dressed. Plus he can’t be Bond because Daniel Craig is Bond. Duh. Anyway, he offered to take us nosy Americans to his factory. His coir factory. Do you know what coir is? It’s coconut husks. Do you know what coconut husks make?
Doormats! The man is a doormat millionaire. Crazy right?? And I would have NEVER guessed that those kinds of mats were made from coconut husks. My mind was blown. I also learned that it takes 25 husks to make one mat. We toured the factory and learned all of the facets of the mat business. Seriously wild stuff.
The mats are dried in the sun after they are made.
The edges aren’t clean, so this guy feeds them through a machine to make them perfectly straight.
They have graphic designers who create all of the patterns and colors for the mats.
This guy creates the metal stencils by hand. He creates one stencil per color used on the mat. The stencil set he was working on required 8 separate ones for all of the colors. Pretty sure he hates whoever decided that a peacock mat was a brilliant idea.
This gentleman manually cuts out pieces for mats that don’t require the entire square. Almost everything is done by hand which explains why those things are so expensive. I shall never gripe again.
These guys paint on the colors and designs using the stencils.
Meow meow. I know some of y’all are just dying for that mat right now. DYING. Go play with your cats and relax. The ladies below attach the rubber to the mats and apply the finish.
His products are sold all over the U.S. and in my favorite store:
It was super exciting to visit there, I have learned so much. After the mat fest, we headed to home to clean up for a Rotary meeting at my host’s house. Rich people sure know how to throw a nice party.
Best meeting yet. Probably because they had mojitos. And freshly baked rolls.