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The Tale of the Prince and the Magic Carpet

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

This beautifully illustrated children’s book The Tale of the Prince and the Magic Carpet was written by James Dyson’s father Alec, whilst posted in India during the Second World War.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

The book, published by Blackie & Son of London and Glasgow, was inspired by his surroundings and was written for and features his three children – a blonde James and his brother and sister.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

Whilst discussing blog content, Alice (our Head of Contract Sales and Marketing) suggested exploring the origins of the magic carpet at which point Deirdre mentioned this book.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

We thought it would be lovely to share some of its beautiful illustrations and background with you.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

Only one tatty copy of the novel remains which James Dyson has now copied for his siblings and grandchildren to enjoy.  A lovely legacy given that Alec Dyson died when James was only 9 and a wonderful link to Deirdre’s passion for carpet design.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet


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Widder Hotel, Zurich

Widder Hotel, Zurich

Deirdre recently visited Zurich and stayed at the wonderful Widder Hotel in the Augustiner Quarter.

Its refurbishment  some years ago was lead by Swiss Designer Tilla Theus.

Widder Hotel, Zurich

The hotel prides itself on its design credentials and this extends to the flooring – Deirdre was immediately taken by the carpet treatment in the foyer and suites.

Widder Hotel, Zurich

The carpet melds almost seamlessly with the geometric terrazzo in the reception area.

Widder Hotel, Zurich

…and with the hardwood flooring in the bedrooms.

Widder Hotel, Zurich

This very clever design feature works so well with the Widder’s extraordinary collection of mid-century furniture and illustrates how perfectly this unique hotel mixes the classic and contemporary.


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The Lifecycle of a Hand-knotted Carpet or what happens while you are waiting 14-16 weeks

After we’ve helped you choose the right design in the right colours and size to suit your scheme, the finished artwork and exact colour palette is sent to Nepal.

It takes 14-16 weeks to produce a hand knotted carpet, which can seem a long time in our world of instant gratification.

These images show just why your bespoke rug takes such a long time to make and some of the age-old artisan processes used at each stage of its production.

Sorting Wool
Sorting the raw wool
Carding Wool
Carding the wool
Yarn making
Spinning the yarn
Raw Yarn
Bales of yarn ready for dyeing
Bales of Yarn
Bales of yarn ready for dyeing
Dyeing Yarn
Dyeing the yarn
Dyed yarn drying
Dyed yarn drying
Weavers at Work
Weaving
Weavers at Work
Weaving
Finished WINDOWS carpet on loom
Finished WINDOWS carpet on loom
Washing
Carpet being washed

Once it’s washed, dried and checked your carpet is shipped directly to our London showroom and the finished product is revealed!

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From Carpet to Runner

We can alter any of our carpet designs to suit your specific requirements.

Runners are particularly popular and a great way to inject interest  into a hallway, landing or stairs.

We’ve recently finished some commissions where our Designer Nichola has cleverly altered Deirdre’s carpet designs, creating particularly effective results.

Angulus

For this project Nichola adapted ANGULUS and used the client’s chosen colour ways to create a really vibrant entrance runner for a solicitors office in London.

The client’s colour selection worked particularly well in this long form version.

Rhythms

RHYTHMS is one of Deirdre’s classic designs, incorporating her trade mark ribbons.

In this case the client chose a slightly lighter colour palette with the elongated copper ribbon trailing through the design.

Sand Trail

In the example above the Interior Designer wanted to transform SAND TRAIL from the 2014 collection into a runner for a hallway.

As the name suggested SAND TRAIL was inspired by the patterns left by the sea on the sandy beaches of the stunning Archipiélago de las Perlas, near Panama, Central America and the extended pattern in the original colour selection looks spectacular.

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PLECTRUMS at the British Consul-General’s Residence in Hong Kong

We were delighted when the British Consulate in Hong Kong chose Deirdre’s PLECTRUMS design as part of the interior scheme at the Consul-General’s residence.

Plectrums

The Consulate makes a point of showcasing British Designers and goods and we are thrilled to be in the company of  well established British brands such as Liberty and Colefax and Fowler.

The Consulate’s representative selected Plectrums for the scheme and our Designer Nichola created a pair of oversized versions  in a slightly different colour arrangement to Deirdre’s original colour choice.

They were then hand knotted in 100% wool in Nepal.

The rugs have been positioned to mirror each other, creating two distinct seating areas and look stunning on the parquet floor, blending brilliantly with the residences existing colour palette.

Plectrums


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RHYTHMS at the American Cemetery in Cambridge

Rhythms at the American Cemetery

Several months ago Interior Designer Andrew Thorne of Think Thorne commissioned us to create a hand tufted 100% wool version of Deirdre’s RHYTHMS design for the Grade I listed American Cemetery at Madingley in Cambridgeshire.

Rhythms at the American Cemetery

As part of a £4m refurbishment plan which has seen the construction of a new interactive visitors centre, Andrew was enlisted to design the interior of what was the visitor building but is now the cemetery’s reception area.

Rhythms at the American Cemetery

With a 1950s aesthetic (the cemetery was founded in 1956) Andrew has turned what was a sombre and functional area into a bright, light contemporary space whilst maintaining a reverent atmosphere.

Cleverly Andrew’s choice of ‘Rhythms’ echoes the shades of green in the mosaic mural on the back wall of the cemetery Chapel which is housed in the Memorial Building.

Memorial Chapel


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Uncovering History

We thought we’d share this piece of history uncovered during the refurbishment of our showroom at 554 Kings Road – a newspaper from 1897, parts completely preserved and stowed away behind a wall.

Newspaper

The Situations Vacant page has an interesting entry showing the rates of pay for various household staff – from £20-28 for cooks to a mere £10 a year for ‘girls’.

Newspaper (close up)

It’s been fascinating watching layers of history appear as the building has been gutted. Pictured below are scraps of wallpaper and paint revealed on the first floor.

Wallpaper

And most exciting of all the original sign for ‘Loud & Western Ltd’ laundry was preserved almost perfectly beneath the existing shop front.

Refurbishment


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All about GoodWeave

Ethical production is hugely important to Deirdre and all our hand knotted rugs are GoodWeave certified.

GoodWeave logo

GoodWeave certification is your guarantee that no child labour has been used at any stage of your rug’s manufacture.

By buying a GoodWeave labelled rug, you are supporting the work GoodWeave does to ensure children discovered manufacturing rugs are returned to their families, given an education and taken out of child labour permanently.

Goodweave School

Though GoodWeave’s ultimate goal is to end child labour in South Asia, it also actively supports weavers, improving training and working conditions and provides essential day care and schooling for their children, who would otherwise be left hanging around workshops whilst their parents work.

Goodweave School

GoodWeave labelled rugs may cost a little more but the work they do is essential in increasing welfare standards for weaving families and expediting the end of child exploitation in the rug industry.

On 10th October 2014 GoodWeave founder, Kailash Satyarthi, deservedly won the Nobel Peace Prize. You can read more about Kailash and what inspired him in his mission to end child labour.

GoodWeave recently highlighted the plight on one child, Sanju, in this award winning short film Stand With Sanju:

You can donate to GoodWeave here.


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Staff Profile: Sonia McEwen

The final member of staff to be profiled is Marketing & Social Media Manager Sonia McEwen who joined Deirdre Dyson last December.

Sonia McEwen

No two days are the same but a large part of Sonia’s time is spent managing Deirdre Dyson LLPs social media, including this Blog.

1) Looking back over the past year, what would you say was your most memorable moment working at Deirdre Dyson?

Having seen the design process from start to finish for the first time; the arrival of the 2015 Collection of rugs from Nepal.

2) From the choice of Deirdre Dyson designs, is there a particular favourite that you have and if so, why?

DAWN from the 2015 collection – at first glance it appears to be a really simple design but it’s so cleverly graded and the colours used blend so well that it creates an optical illusion.

DAWN
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs DAWN

3) As a member of the CDQ, (Chelsea Design Quarter) is there a particular company or showroom within the vicinity that you like or would recommend to others?

VILLAVERDE for their elaborate lighting, it’s always worth a glance in the window.

Murano

4) Seeing that Christmas is fast approaching, what would be on your ‘Christmas wish list’ as the ultimate present?

I can’t think of anything for myself but if you asked my children it would be Lego, they can’t get enough of the stuff!

5) And what are you looking forward to in the New Year?

Moving back to our newly refurbished showroom, it’s been really exciting watching it’s transformation over the past few months!