A two-part blog post where Edison reveals some fascinating facts about our hand knotted rugs, their history and production…
The history and production of carpets goes back centuries and there are countless facts, tales and accounts of the evolution of carpets from past times to the present day.
At Deirdre Dyson Carpets Limited, we pride ourselves on supporting the ancient technique of hand knotting on the loom, using only natural wool and silk. This combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern design, guarantees the livelihood of our Tibetan makers (the majority being women) and supports their local communities, whilst guaranteeing our customers a unique, quality product that is both timeless and exclusively theirs.
Historically, carpets were not used on the floor but were used as textile coverings for walls and tables and only became associated with floor treatments in European interiors from the 15th century onwards. The term “carpet” is widely used interchangeably with the term “rug” although nowadays we typically refer to smaller, free standing pieces as rugs. But who say’s rugs should only ever be small?!?
Behind every Deirdre Dyson carpet lies a story and here are a few interesting facts and snippets of information that you may not be aware of but might be interested to know more about.
Take a look from behind.
The best way to appreciate the skill of making a quality hand knotted carpet is to take a look at the back, an area of the carpet so many of us rarely focus on. It’s from here that you really understand just how many knots it takes to make a rug, and the particular time and skill required when changing or grading colours across a large area. It reminds us of just how unique each bespoke carpet is; each one being entirely handmade and finished.
On the back of every Deirdre Dyson carpet, you’ll also find the ‘Goodweave’ label, with a unique code to ensure your carpet was made ethically and in line with Goodweave standards. Additionally, through our Goodweave membership, a percentage of our profits go back into local community projects such as schooling and education for the young. By purchasing our carpets, you are directly supporting the Nepalese carpet industry and communities in a positive way.
Custom made is best.
With the environment on everyone’s minds and lips, a bespoke carpet offers one of the best solutions for interior decoration.
Being custom made, we’re creating a carpet that is tailored to your needs in size, shape, design and colour and therefore you will most likely want to treasure it for a long time. Custom made also decreases unnecessary waste, as every rug is created on a ‘made to order’ basis. Our carpets are knotted in the traditional method just like antique carpets but are created with contemporary style and superior materials that are made to last.
Edison’s concept of double height banners making the most of the gallery’s atrium ran to 19m and Jan’s bold ‘Zebramane’ brushstrokes create an eye catching backdrop for Deirdre’s rug from this year’s PLUMAGE Collection and Jan’s customised tops for Stephenson Wright’s Plink and Plonk tables, their black scalloped bases reflecting the monochrome banners and black detailing in Deirdre’s rug design.
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.
There is no better way to bring life to your interior than commission a perfectly proportioned hand knotted luxury rug, custom designed and coloured to suit your space.
The right rug anchors a room, can create a template for the colours used in an interior, frame a piece of furniture, ‘zone’ a space or be a focal point in itself. Within Deirdre Dyson’s Rug Collection there is something for every scheme.
We’ve selected five of Deirdre Dyson’s luxurious bespoke hand knotted rugs to show how the right design can really bring a space to life.
This dynamic design uses three colours, one wool and two silk, making it an easy rug to incorporate into any interior.
It’s the intricacy of this hand knotted rug that truly brings it to life, with a lower pile height and the careful carving of elements, this fine rug sits comfortably in a traditional or contemporary context.
An apparently simple design that actually uses five colours in the silk ‘bars’ which can reflect the colours used in your interior, dialling up or down the colour to suit the mood of the room.
In this light and airy open plan penthouse apartment, a range of blues reflect not only the blue supporting columns and the furniture and accessories selected by the owner but also the sky outside.
The carpet also zones the seating area bordered by an L shaped sofa, whilst glass coffee tables are cleverly used so the view of the entire rug design is unobstructed, adding to the light and airy feel of the space.
What better way to breathe life into a room than bring the outside in? The rich palette of green silks used in FOREST MOSAIC would bring an organic freshness to any interior, particularly restful tones for a bedroom or sitting room.
Mosaic is one of Deirdre’s signature motifs and the intricacy of mosaic carpets allow the introduction of several colours which can have varying tonal shifts – for instance ROSE MOSAIC uses graduated reds and pinks whilst the mosaic effect adds a contemporary edge to the floral theme.
This modernist hallway is lifted by the bold primary colours in Deirdre’s HARLEQUIN hand knotted rug from this year’s PLUMAGE Collection.
The pops of red, black and white provide focal points and elements of drama contrasting with the strong blue shades in its wool/silk mix background and work perfectly with the stark simplicity of the brickwork walls and carefully selected furniture and objets.
The graded silk copper bars in this hand knotted design reflect the burnished metal fence enclosing the patio outside and the graded blue wool reflects the sky.
Referencing the outside expands the sense of space in this narrow room, cleverly creating an optical illusion as the design is also reflected in the large expanse of glass.
Deirdre Dyson’s colour choices in this rug lifts this otherwise stark garden room and gives focus and softness to a space that could otherwise seem austere and unwelcoming. The perfect place to relax on the classic Eames lounge chairs!
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.
Inspired by our recent World of Interiors feature, Edison explores the links between street art and style and interiors.
It’s evident by our latest feature in the World of Interiors rug promotion (featuring FLIGHT and HARLEQUIN below) that the cross over from street art and style into fashion and interiors is ever increasing.
Street influences can offer exciting and graphically enhanced motifs, patterns, colour and form that would otherwise have only been applied to the walls of a derelict building or any accessible public surface on which to paint.
Thanks to Banksy, the street style has become widely accepted for its creative contributions and output. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to see the urban ‘out’ creeping ‘in’ by way of graffiti inspired feature walls, whether for the home or the office.
Back in 2015 Ray-Ban collaborated with collectable street artist ‘Mr Brainwash’ applying his distinctive splattering of paint to their iconic frames.
But street style doesn’t have to mean complicated, political or overworked.
These modern creations by French artist ‘Remi Rough’ (below) and Portuguese Street artist Vhils (bottom) use clean lines and textures to form their sublime creations. Both artists sell through galleries internationally and have had their work commissioned for architectural projects worldwide.
Lady Deirdre Dyson was commissioned to create fourteen contemporary carpets – six hand knotted, free-standing rugs and eight gun tufted, fitted carpets together with a stair runner over four floors for this 18th Century listed Georgian townhouse.
The house, actually two adjoining properties, was restored and repurposed by Alexander Martin Architects (AMA) for use as private offices in Mayfair, London.
The brief required Deirdre to design a total of 350 square metres of highest quality wool and silk floor coverings for the entire property.
The incredible gun tufted 100% wool graded carpet created for the oak barley twist staircase.
Materials throughout the building were selected for their timeless quality, echoing those present in the original building. A palette of natural oak, stone and pale grey provides a backdrop for the bespoke Deirdre Dyson carpets used throughout.
The expanses of wool and silk used in the rug, carpet and runner designs sit perfectly with remaining original features and the stark modern interior application in the office spaces on the upper floors.
The central oak barley twist staircase is dramatically hugged top to bottom by a stair runner that creates a sense of movement with graded hues that flow from dark to light (pictured above)
A bespoke gun tufted, fitted version of TWILIGHT in one of the top floor office spaces.
Through her use of bold geometric designs, Lady Dyson developed a scheme to bring contrast and complimentary accent colours which define and enhance the individual rooms. A total of fifty separate colours were used across the project with some carpets having up to sixteen colours alone.
The carpets give each room a separate identity and interest but Dyson has connected the spaces using a similar colour palette, often through the use of colour grading, adding personality with dramatic bursts of colour, be it a bold blue or vivid terracotta. All working in tandem with remaining original features and the architect’s contemporary reworking of the building.
The scale of these carpets created challenges for both our weavers in Nepal (in some cases measuring up to 5m square) and the skilled tufters here in the UK as well as specialist fitters but a close, collaborative team effort realised Deirdre Dyson’s vision to stunning effect.
The project featured in an extensive editorial feature in Wallpaper* magazine, click here to read.
Last month Deirdre joined a host of hand-picked luxury interiors, fine art, couture and automotive brands exhibiting at ‘Curation of the Finest’, a collection of rare and one-off contemporary collectables and objects, showcased by Luxury Cave at London’s Design Museum.
Deirdre Dyson in front of her UNBOUND limited edition carpet artwork.
Luxury Cave‘s aim is to ‘present a new viewpoint of luxury that focuses on objects that speak of craftsmanship, emotion and investment of time.’
Deirdre Dyson’s carpets fulfil this brief perfectly – the combination of Deirdre’s sketches and colour selection realised as carpets through the age-old craft of hand knotting by artisan craftspeople and the bespoke process, cannot be rushed, assisted by but impervious to technological advances. This is slow design at its finest.
Deirdre was excited to create and unveil her first ever Carpet Artwork exclusively for the event.
The ultimate expression of her background as a Fine Artist and Carpet Designer – UNBOUND will be created in a limited edition of three (the first of which is available to purchase exclusively via the Luxury Cave website)
Deirdre took inspiration from ‘the rising steps to freedom and breaking away from the ties that bind us’ and the piece is a joyous juxtaposition of colours hand knotted in wool and silk.
Deirdre also exhibited her intricate PLUMES carpet from this year’s PLUMAGE Rug Collection, bespoke versions of which will also be available exclusively through the Luxury Cave website for the next three months.
Deirdre Dyson’s PLUMES carpet on exhibit at the Design Museum, London
PLUMES is a masterly intricate carpet design of interlocking feather barbs on a deep navy background with striking turquoise tips, the fine detail of which posed a real challenge to our incredibly skilled Nepalese weavers.
Both pieces, as with all Deirdre Dyson carpet designs, are Goodweave certified.
Other exhibitors and curated objects included Fine Jeweller Fabio Salini, fine art by Lucio Fontana and Alighiero Boetti, the intricately embroidered handbags of Parisian Designer Carole Tessier’s label ‘Preciously Paris‘, Auto Fabrica, Furniture by Studio Drift, Thomas Heatherwick and Pinto Paris, the Aston Martin Lagonda and Fashion Designer Mary Katrantzou celebrated the 10th Anniversary of her brand as part of the event.
Luxury Cave’s Chanda Pandya and Darren Miller with Fashion Designer Mary Katrantzou in front of Deirdre Dyson’s UNBOUND artwork and PLUMES carpet.
Continuing its expansion in Paris, Deirdre Dyson now meets the needs of the most prestigious French architects, interior designers and specifiers by showcasing selected contemporary carpet designs at luxury interiors showroom Luxe d’intérieur.
By doing so, Deirdre Dyson now offers the same bespoke service provided in the UK, with design consultations held in a showroom dedicated to design.
Luxe d’Interieur brings exceptional design brands together in a unique location, where interiors specialists can view the very best furniture, fixtures, lighting, heating solutions and home automation in an apartment-style setting.
By appointment, Agnès Guillard (Sales and Marketing Manager Europe) will welcome you to this elegant space where selected Deirdre Dyson carpets sit within elegant surroundings that utilize the latest technology.
Every month, a lunch is organized with invited guests from the interiors industry – a convivial opportunity to share views and projects and explore the brands on display in ‘real life’ surroundings.
The Luxe d’intérieur showroom is situated in 81 rue du rocher, Paris 8 – Metro Villers.
Strictly by appointment only.
Luxe d’intérieur – un lieu unique à Paris
Deirdre Dyson poursuit son développement et souhaite répondre aux besoins des plus prestigieux architectes, architectes d’intérieur de la capitale française et leur offrir le même niveau de service et de conseil qu’en Grande-Bretagne en intégrant un lieu dédié au design.
L’espace est disposé, comme un appartement au design des plus raffinés articulé autour d’un salon, une salle à manger, une cuisine, une chambre, une salle de bains et une salle de cinéma privée. L’ensemble est géré par les dernières technologies domotiques qui rendront votre quotidien plus agréable.
Sur rendez-vous, Agnès Guillard (Responsable Commerciale et Marketing Europe de Deirdre Dyson) vous reçoit dans un lieu intégrant élégance et technicité.
Chaque mois, un déjeuner est organisé au showroom. Un moment de convivialité en présence des architectes, de leurs partenaires et des marques de référence, afin de partager leurs visions et leurs projets autour du design.
The Luxe d’intérieur showroom is situated in 81 rue du rocher, Paris 8 – Metro Villers.