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5 Benefits of Hand Knotted Rugs

Why Hand knotted Rugs?

As with all interior genres, the huge variety and range of rug styles available on the market can be daunting – from flatweaves to Kilims, antique Persian carpets to modern fibres such as Bamboo silk.  The choice available can seem overwhelming.

Deirdre Dyson’s preferred method of manufacture for her bespoke rug designs has always been the ancient process of hand knotting.  The qualities of hand knotted rug are many and for sheer luxury they are hard to beat.

A bespoke rug is a big investment and must stand the test of time.  Hand knotted rugs provide longevity and integrity whilst providing the best medium to showcase Deirdre’s unique contemporary designs and colour selections.

THE TOP 5 BENEFITS OF HAND-KNOTTED RUGS BY DEIRDRE DYSON.

  • Craftsmanship – From the weaving process through to the hand spun yarn, hand knotted designs are created entirely by hand.
  • Unrivalled Quality – With the knot count making unravelling impossible, hand knotted rugs are created to last a lifetime.
  • Luxury – The high number of knots per square inch mean that the rugs never feel flat.
  • Bespoke design – Every Deirdre Dyson carpet is unique with the size, colour, design and materials available for custom selection.
  • Produced with the highest ethical standards – All carpets are produced ethically thanks to Deirdre’s partnership with Goodweave, a charity working to end slavery in the carpet industry.

Craftsmanship:

Deirdre’s designs begin by hand and are created entirely by hand.  Our artisan Nepalese weavers use skills unchanged over the centuries and hand-crafted tools to weave each carpet knot by knot.

Quite apart from the intricacy of the weaving process itself, the layers of expertise involved in the creation of one carpet is incredible – from hand spinning of the raw yarn, which is then precisely coloured by the Dye Master, to the intricate mapping of the original design which creates a template for the weavers to work from and finally to the finishing – an art in itself – the careful trimming of the carpet to the correct pile height, the carving of design elements and ultimately the carefully stitched edging.

Quality:

The knot count of a Deirdre Dyson carpet means unravelling is impossible – each knot is unique and design and colour is replicated exactly.   Deirdre Dyson carpets and rugs are of heirloom quality and designed to last a lifetime.

Deirdre’s close relationship with our manufacturers ensures her designs and colour selections are reproduced faithfully no matter what the scale of the finished carpet.

The Tibetan wool and Chinese silk used in Deirdre Dyson’s carpets is of the highest quality – processed entirely by hand to strictest quality standards.

As natural fibres, colour takes to wool and silk in a very different way to manmade fibres – there is a softness and depth which contrasts sharply with the brashness of coloured synthetics.

In Deirdre’s graded carpets the art of hand knotting really comes into its own – the subtle shift between the tones selected by Deirdre is only best realised in the delicacy of hand knotting, so beautifully illustrated in this year’s EAGLE rug.

Luxury:

Nothing quite matches the feel of 100% Tibetan wool and Chinese silk underfoot.  The dense 100 knots per square inch (unbelievably an area the size of a postage stamp) creates an opulence which is impossible to replicate with man-made fibres or machine techniques.

We always encourage our clients to visit our Kings Road gallery to touch and feel Deirdre’s carpets in person – the lustre and decadence of a hand knotted rug contributes to the overall effect of the rug’s design.  A hand knotted rug will never feel ‘flat’, the depth of the pile and quality of materials adds to the intensity of colour and drama in the finished carpet.

Bespoke:

Each Deirdre Dyson carpet is by its nature unique.  The  size, colour choice, design and mix of wool and silk can be custom selected to your exacting choice.

Even when Deirdre’s versions of designs are recreated exactly to knot precision as a handmade product no two can ever by 100% the same.

Dye takes to natural fibres in a very special way  – the naturally occurring subtle tonal shift of ‘abrash’ is unique to hand knotted designs and occurs over time.

This is a natural phenomenon that cannot be deliberately produced and has been sought after in carpet design for centuries and  is something that sets hand dyed, hand knotted carpets apart.

Ethics and Sustainability:

You can rest assured all Deirdre Dyson hand knotted carpets are produced to the highest possible ethical standards.  Deirdre is a proud partner of the charity Goodweave, whose aim is to end slavery in the carpet industry and beyond.

Goodweave undertake spot checks to ensure no child labour is used in the manufacture of our carpets and ensure working conditions and schooling is available to weavers and their families.

Additionally, weaving provides a vital income to many Nepalese families, particularly women most especially since the devastating earthquake of 2002.

Deirdre is proud to support artisan skills and produce rugs and carpets using ancient skills at the same time empowering and improving the lives of the Nepalese weavers and their families.


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The 16th Century Aradil Carpet – The Oldest Carpet in The World

Lockdown has made us value our museums and galleries more than ever and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is one of our favourites.

We thought we’d explore one of their most fascinating exhibits, the oldest dated carpet and one of the largest and finest displayed anywhere in the world, the Ardabil Carpet

It is one of the most important objects in the V&A’s Middle Eastern Collection, and is the centrepiece of the Jameel Gallery of Islamic art, displayed on the floor in a specially engineered case created to conserve the carpet for at least the next 500 years.

The carpet is incredibly delicate and needs careful preservation, which is documented in the fascinating film below.

The display case makes sure dust and dirt particles are minimised and includes insect traps to ensure moths and other pests detrimental to the carpet are kept at bay.  The carpet is lit for 10 minutes every half hour to preserve its rich colours and the effect of this minimal light on the carpet is carefully gauged.  Opening the case is an intricate operation involving a hydraulic lift.

It was made in the town of Ardabil in north-west Iran, the burial place of Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili, who died in 1334.   The Shaykh was a Sufi leader, ancestor of Shah Ismail, founder of the Safavid dynasty (1501-1722).

While the exact origins of the carpet are unclear, it’s believed to have been commissioned by the court for the shrine of the Shaykh, which, by the 16th century, had become a place of pilgrimage.

The carpet can be dated exactly due to an inscription woven in its edge date, 946 in the Muslim calendar, equivalent to AD 1539 – 1540.

The wool carpet is extremely dense, an astonishing 5,300 knots per ten centimetres square (compared to 100 knots per square inch on a Deirdre Dyson hand knotted carpet)   This allows for a mind bogglingly intricate level of detail in the complex, bordered design featuring a central medallion, different sized lanterns, arabesques and foliate detail typical of carpets of the period.

There are 10 dyes used in the design, these create ‘Abrash’ a naturally occurring variation in shade due to the slight differences in dye batches which is unique to hand made carpets and even more apparent in a carpet of this scale.   It is well documented that Middle Eastern carpets were deliberately imperfect, reflecting the belief that perfection belongs to God alone.

The carpet has been part of the V&A’s collection since 1893, prior to that it was documented as still being in the shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din in 1843 –  it was sold when an earthquake struck the shrine in the late 19th Century.  Inspecting the carpet on behalf of the V&A, prior to acquisition designer William Morris reported it of “singular perfection … logically and consistently beautiful”.