Over the past few years Deirdre has increasingly incorporated grading – where different coloured silk or wool is woven together to create graduated layers of colour – into her designs to achieve a heightened sense of depth and complexity.
Last year’s SEA WASH showcased Deirdre’s skill for selecting colours that seamlessly segue to create a unique, almost water colour, effect.
The grading applied to this year’s DAWN brilliantly gives, what appears to be a very simple design, incredible layers of visual depth and contrast.
The success of the finished carpet is a true combination of Deirdre’s singular eye for colour and the craftsmanship of our weavers in Nepal, Deirdre says of the weavers:
My 2015 “Illusion” collection presented my hand-knotted makers with the most difficult challenge to date. The geometric designs may look deceptively simple, but the intricacy of workmanship involved is astounding. I have used colour grading in many directions and opposing paths. The makers, who work across the loom from left to right, row by row, have to change colour at almost every stitch. It requires them to think as if standing on their heads and reflects the complete labour of love that we dedicate to these exquisite carpets! The result is a dazzling contrast from light to dark, of shadows and optical illusions.
Here are some recent images of our weavers at work on a large-scale version of SEAWASH.
This version incorporates no less than seven different coloured silk threads and requires incredible skill on the weavers part to achieve the finished effect.
As an entirely bespoke product, no two designs will ever be exactly the same, whether hand knotted or gun tufted, Deirdre’s carpets are made to last and the ancient processes involved in their manufacture take time.
Each year Deirdre creates a new themed rug collection, but these designs are just the starting point, Deirdre Dyson rugs are infinitely customisable – colours, size, composition and the design itself can all be altered to suit a client’s exact requirements.
Whether Deirdre’s colour choices are perfect for your scheme or if you want to create your custom version of a rug design, the process remains the same and the result is a luxurious, heirloom quality rug or carpet of your own.
THE CREATION OF A COLLECTION:
Deirdre’s carpets begin with a simple, hand coloured, pencil drawing.
Over the year’s Deirdre has sought inspiration in nature, the sky, sea and shoreline, stones, flowers, leaves and trees to the abstract – geometric and organic forms or the refraction of light.
Working with her Designer Nichola to digitise the design, together they refine it if necessary and add Deirdre’s carefully selected colours to precisely match her vision for that rug.
Colour is of course key. Deirdre selects from over 5,000 colour poms in wool and silk – her ‘paint box’.
This is a considered process, where the colours are observed in different lights and times of day to accurately reflect their relationship with each other and realise Deirdre’s concept perfectly.
Deirdre’s eye for colour is fundamental – as a Fine Artist she has both the innate skill and technical knowledge to find just the right juxtaposition of colours or the perfect tones to create an intricate colour grade (the subtle change of colour from dark to light as seen in rug designs such as EAGLE pictured below)
Digitally colour matching Deirdre’s pom selection is a highly skilled task, Nichola has worked with Deirdre for almost twenty years and no amount of technology can mimic her colour matching abilities, which again can take days to refine, dependant on the hours of daylight available and how the colours appear in different lights, both on screen and in print.
Nichola’s accurate digital versions of the rug designs are stored for future adaptation and exact colour-perfect print versions are approved by Deirdre (or a client) before manufacture.
Once the design is finished to Deirdre’s exacting standard, it is sent to our trusted weavers in Nepal or, if gun tufted in 100% wool, to our manufacturers in Yorkshire.
We have long standing relationships with both and Deirdre has a strong, personal rapport with each. Communicating new design ideas involves close discussions regarding the technical elements involved.
Gun tufting is by far the quicker option (though no less careful and considered) and generally the suggested method of production for commercial projects or areas with higher footfall.
Given the limitations of tufting however, not all designs are suitable for this type of manufacture.
As with hand knotting quality control is paramount, with colour meticulously matched and designs executed to millimetre perfection.
However, Deirdre Dyson is primarily known for her hand knotted rugs and has built her brand’s reputation on their luxurious quality.
The vast majority of bespoke rugs and all collection carpets are hand knotted by our weavers in Nepal using traditional techniques which are indigenous to the area and have been passed down through the generations.
Hand knotting creates a dense, luxurious pile but allows for the finest of detail and subtle colour transitions which are impossible to replicate by machine.
The art of hand knotting not only takes skill and patience, it involves age old techniques and tools which have remained unchanged over centuries.
Climate is crucial to the process, as heat and sunshine is essential; from fixing dyes to drying and stretching the finished carpet, therefore the Monsoon season from June to August prolongs production time.
Additionally, weavers observe religious holidays and don’t work during these periods (particularly in January and February) Ultimately these carpets are intrinsically linked with Nepalese traditions and the Nepalese way of life.
Deirdre Dyson is a long-time partner of Goodweave ensuring no child labour is involved in rug making and that the highest level of work practices and standards are maintained for weavers and their families.
All Deirdre’s chosen colours are colour matched exactly, amazingly this is all done by the highly skilled dye master by eye.
The dye master mixes scrupulously measured quantities of pigments to create accurate dyes. The hand carded Tibetan wool and Chinese silk is then turned by hand in vats of the dye until precisely the right shade is achieved.
The dyed yarn is then allowed to dry naturally. As it dries the heat of the sun fixes the dye which is then spun by hand to the correct ply and thickness.
Meanwhile, exact mapping of the design has taken place to create a template which hangs above the loom from which the weavers work.
This intricate graph carefully maps the position of every knot and colour change within the design, all painstakingly reproduced from Deirdre’s original and replicated by the weavers by eye.
The hand knotting process itself is incredible to watch, the speed and dexterity of our weavers is truly astonishing, especially where there are complex grades (such as SEA WASH pictured on the loom below) or intricately detailed carpets with fine lines (such as PLUMES)
The weaver’s create knots on the vertical ‘warp’ threads using a metal rod, an incredible 100 knots fit the area of a postage stamp which gives an indication of the intricacy involved.
Once a row is complete it is hammered tightly on to the row below and the yarn is cut to create a rough pile.
When weaving is complete, each carpet is carefully washed, stretched and dried in the open air then precisely trimmed by hand to the correct pile height.
The fascinating and intricate carving process then takes place, where specific design elements are carefully clipped around to create definition.
Finally, the carpet is bound around the edges with matching yarn and our leather Deirdre Dyson label is attached.
Once approved, the carpet is then ready for packing and shipping back to our gallery in London.
A standard size rug will take approximately 14-16 weeks to complete from artwork sign off – with the production time rising depending on size and complexity of design.
Each element in the creation of your rug involves skill and a level of precision which cannot be rushed, this is ultimately an artisan process assisted by technology but not necessarily expedited by it.
The crucial elements of rug design and making are slow and considered and stand out in our world of mass production and instant gratification, the wait is worth it and the result is of the highest quality and designed to last a lifetime.
Our Company Manager Edison Abidi is a trained Interior Designer and every now and then he’ll share some of his expertise here on the Blog – today it’s probably the most essential element of your bespoke rug design – colour.
‘People can be daunted by the fact that we have over 2,000 colours to choose from when designing your bespoke carpet but fear not! We are here to help and make the whole process as smooth as possible.
At the end of the day, it’s not just about the quantity of colour involved, but most importantly, it’s about how the carpet will eventually harmonise with your environment.
The finished carpet should fit in, create a sense of order and be visually engaging without necessarily being the centre of attention.
Most interiors evolve from an idea or concept or they can just develop naturally over time. Whichever way, they will or should express something of the people that live in them.
Colour will ultimately play an important part of this overall expression.
Keeping the above in mind, we can utilise some very simple formulas (that anyone can adopt) and drill down to find the perfect colours for your carpet.
All these techniques use The Colour Wheel as a starting point.
From the three basic primary colours of yellow, blue and red, we can create our secondary colours of green, orange and purple.
Mixing these secondary colours gives us a further palette of yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green.
Now imagine breaking that down even further, having all those options of light to heavy saturation for every hue? Well, that’s a lot of colour to consider for anyone (hence our vast selection of colours!)
Take a look at a section from our colour range to see the subtle variations involved.
With a little thought we can select colours that work in your interior, and together on your carpet, using these further colour ‘rules’:
Firstly, a colour scheme based on those found in nature, is the most ‘natural’ one, obviously. Colours such as red/brown/green/yellow are all harmonious colours and any of these, in whatever hue, should sit well together.
Colours that are positioned directly opposite each other on the colour wheel. Think blue/orange or red/green. You can then veer off to the left or right of either of these for example, turquoise/brown or turquoise/orange.
Another colour scheme can be based on analogue colours, which are colours that sit side by side on a colour wheel. Think red/purple-red/purple as similarly used in our PLECTRUMS carpet (detail illustrated below).
Again this principle can be applied to colours from the same palette such as dark to light in shades of green, see FOREST MOSAIC or the grading in TORN BETWEEN design (detail illustrated).
Like I said, it’s not just about the quantity of colour used. Sometimes harmony is created by not using much colour at all.
Take a look at our SUHAILAH carpet (detail illustrated).
By only using one colour, the carpet is beautifully harmonised simply by the contrast of silk against the wool background. Perfect for an interior where enough colour might already exist.’
A hand knotted rug is a significant investment, the time, effort and skill involved in creating your custom rug or carpet cannot be rushed and depends on the highest-level artisan skills of our Nepalese weavers.
Hand knotting has always been Deirdre Dyson’s preferred method of rug manufacture and as a skilled artist, the choice and selection of colour is imperative.
The processes involved in creating a hand knotted rug cannot be rushed, starting with the initial design consultation and design work which takes as long as required to realise your perfect rug design and colourways.
BESPOKE involves a considered tailoring of a specific design to meet the requirements of each and every customer. Choosing the correct colours so that each carpet compliments rather than fights with your space is crucial.
The finished rug should feel that it belongs, just like the shawl for a dress or a style of shade for a lamp base, this element of the design process is probably the most important part of a carpets’ creative journey.
All of our hand knotted rugs are created from or inspired by one of Deirdre’s original rug designs in your preferred size and our hand knotted rugs are woven in 100% Tibetan wool and/or Chinese silk with the direct input of Deirdre and her experienced team.
With over 5,000 available colours, it can seem quite overwhelming when faced with such a selection. But our trained expert eyes are here to help, guide and assist you in your selection.
Take the colour red for example. We have many to choose from ranging from vibrant to muted, creamy to spicy, those that sit back or those that jump out; there are more variants of red than you could dare to imagine.
Selecting the right tone to match to your curtain fabric, a painting on the wall or not to fight too much with that grey sofa are some of the considerations we take into account when developing your bespoke carpet.
Our colour reference library is made up of ‘poms’ that are perfectly proportioned to take on our consultations and to use freely around the design studio at 554 Kings Road. An industry standard reference tool, our library is the equivalent of Pantone for the fashion world and is regularly updated and constantly expanding.
A selection of Deirdre’s designs incorporating a red colour palette clearly demonstrates the variations of effect on the finished piece. From the sublime grading of reds to blues in the DUSK design and the transition from reds to pinks in ROMANCE are studied, soft and fluid.
Whereas RUBY and SHIMMER use contrast of reds to emphasis shape, direction and geometry.
Just as much work and consideration goes into every rug we make for our customers as goes into making our original examples which are on display at the Kings Road gallery.
Ultimately Deirdre Dyson’s rugs are heirlooms and designed to last.
Wool and silk are by nature robust materials and by following our care instructions these rugs can be enjoyed for generations.
When you buy a bespoke hand knotted rug you are purchasing a contemporary collectable, an artwork for the floor which transcends trends and changing fashions.
Continuing his occasional series on Interior Design, Deirdre Dyson’s Company Manager & trained Interior Designer Edison Abidi gives his tips on bringing Spring colour into your home.
Although UK weather is never reliable or consistent (except when it rains!) we’re well into Spring and there’s no better time to draw inspiration from this seasons colour trend of pastel peaches, yellow, light rose quartz through to earthy, coffee colours and natural green and blue tones.
If there isn’t much in the way of sparkling clear waters, warmer sun and delicate flowers outside, then introduce these reference colours onto your walls, floors and accessories by applying spring colours in combination or by using only a select few.
It’s nice to think on a grander scale such as this interior featured by Elle Décor, where modern classic and traditional work well in a space.
If, like many other homes, you have plain light walls, then changing the general colour palette should be easy and won’t require a lot of time or expense. By introducing a few select items here and there, you can achieve the spring look that will take you right through spring, summer, into Autumn and way beyond.
Mix and match modern fixtures alongside vintage and vintage inspired pieces. These are often produced in vibrant, as well as muted tones.
A grey background (found here on the expanse of floor) really helps even the most muted colours to stand out.
For a bolder statement, try picking two or three contrasting colours and work them to the max. This bold wallpaper with vibrant red and dark blue leaves, works surprisingly well against the woven, blue carpet and the gold and black accessories.
Our Coral carpet is the perfect choice for a floor feature and encapsulates the feeling of spring and is bang on trend with this years, spring colours.
On a much smaller scale, try adding some vintage glass vases and beakers to a shelf, window sill or table top. These usually come in a variety of shapes and sizes and look spectacular when grouped together with simple, freshly cut flowers.
Creative inspiration comes from myriad sources. Taking our lead from a recent article in Dezeen, we’re having an alternative look at inspiration on screen – exploring what music videos act as a creative spur to the Deirdre Dyson Kings Road team.
I love the resonance of Lana Del Ray’s voice and her unconventional beauty often mixed with an orchestral backdrop. It’s a style of music that makes you feel dead and alive at the same time, that is both distinctive and unique.
I find her video for the song “Young and Beautiful” so inspiring.
It is highly influenced by the ‘Toccata and Fuge in D Minor’ scene from Disney’s ‘Fantasia’. The overlap of colours, the silhouettes, shadows and the play on dark and light both in the foreground and background. It reminds me how important lighting is to any interior and how it can either make or break a space and ambience. Lighting is so often overlooked in interior design and remains such an important element in creating atmosphere and drama. I love the understated luxury elements of her make up, hair and jewellery and the grandiose styling, amplifying height, scale and space. It all works so beautifully in combination with her voice.
Deirdre’s LIGHT BETWEEN design evokes the style and mood of Lana’s video perfectly.
This video is really clever – it’s set in one room but contains a multitude of vignettes in a tiny space.
Of course this is a set but I’ve always been intrigued by the way houses in cities like London are carved up into interesting living spaces, bursting with character and how cleverly people craft these corners into individual homes.
The turn of this stairs hints to more and forms a crucial link in the story as well as making you to want to explore this spare little space as it transforms over the course of the song. The ‘illustrated’ version of the room is inspired.
I really love colour pops and think the way the colour blue threads through the spot is inspired, from the metallic indigo on the first shot of the guitar pick ups through to the the paint dripping from the stars to the minimalist canvas flooding with Yves Klein blue, a colour favoured by Deirdre and used in a recent version of UP AND OVER.
The gold costume of the character sitting on the sofa at the beginning remind me of the colourways in Deirdre’s original version of UP & OVER shot with bold, gold panels.
I just think the aesthetic is fabulous, dark to light, surreal and common place all in a little studio or flat anyone could own.
The background of the video incorporates over 550 printers and numerous pieces of paper that were recycled later.
The patterns and spectrum of coloured paper used were stunning.
Right from the beginning I was drawn in by the brilliant use of white paper which then changed to a symphony of so many different colour combinations. It was surprising to see the contrast of subtle colours at the end of the video.
The speed and rhythm of the moving paper with the fabulous choreography of the band members works so well with the music.
I also liked how the band members were dressed in white which was such a contrast to the vivid backgrounds. Dancing whilst suspended in the air made the video even more unique.
All in all I found this to be very inspirational on many design levels – I could watch it again and again.
We thought Deirdre’s CHEQUERED carpet, graded in wool with silk was reminiscent of the aesthetic created by the graded grid of paper in Nichola’s chosen spot.
The installation-based exhibition took a deeper look at the way colour behaves in different lights, environments and on various shapes, illustrating the value of instability in colour and the freedom that gives.
Jongerius defiance of the uniformity in industrially produced colour is fascinating, especially for Nichola who works with colour every day.
In his occasional series on Interior Design, Company Manager Edison creates interiors inspired by Jean-Paul Goude’s images of his muse Grace Jones, who’s documentary film ‘Bloodline and Bami‘ is released this month.
A few weeks ago, at a work meeting, I ended up referring to one of my greatest source of inspiration; the work of Jean-Paul Goude. Through an extensive catalogue of iconic images and film, Goude mixes disciplines as graphic designer, photographer, film director and illustrator, exploring complex themes with passion and high-octane creativity.
I’ve taken inspiration from three of his images, featuring his one-time partner, the unforgettable Ms. Grace Jones and turned these into room inspiration mood boards. Once you’ve found your source, it’s amazing what you can draw from it.
Think postmodernism and sharp contrasts. Like a contemporary version of Mondrian ‘with an edge’, it’s about having fun.
Focusing on the colours used more sparingly in the image, I’ve used the red and pink to dominate as a feature. Don’t be afraid to use bright colours on walls and mix together for added drama. It’s all about creating that wow factor as well as symmetry, balance and a play on angles. Think punchy accent colours, such as yellow and electric blue and don’t be afraid to throw in some pattern too.
Probably the most famous of all images and certainly emphasising the ‘less is more’ motto.
The palette here is dusty and light. Delicate pastels with stronger tones here and there.
Think urban cool with a feminine touch. Chocolate brown statement sofa paired with some dusty pink cocktail chairs perhaps? Or alternatively, stick to rich velvet upholstery. Team with white and gold accents and introduce splashes of turquoise and green through plants and accessories such as green glass vases. “Slave to the Rhythm” and complete the look with our RHYTHMS carpet.
The slickest of the three images, it’s so highly charged, you don’t need to add much to your interior to achieve the same effect.
Offering a pared down approach, the emphasis is on sleek, smooth finishes and forms. It’s all about the darker silhouette with a strong edge, like Grace herself.
Palettes of cool grey as the backdrop to heavier, darker pieces. Be bold and mix matt and gloss such as these ageless Tolix chairs that work well when paired with a concrete top dining table. Think cool metal against natural wood elements. Soft, pale fabrics and thicker textured knits against flat surfaces adds contrast, shade and variety.
To warm things up a little, aubergines and plum colours work best; not too overpowering but statement enough. The perfect balance.