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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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Alternative version of DAWN in a London office space

This bespoke version of DAWN was commissioned as part of a large-scale commercial project which includes several of Deirdre’s designs, in both freestanding hand knotted and fitted hand tufted versions.

We are particularly thrilled with the blue and copper grading in this alternative colourway.

You can also glimpse a bespoke version of Deirdre’s OPTIC carpet through the doorway.

We’re looking forward to revealing more images of the project as it nears completion.

 

 

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Deirdre Dyson’s inspiration for the LOOKING GLASS rug collection

Deirdre’s 2020 collection has just launched at Maison et Objet, Paris.

These hand knotted designs were inspired by Deirdre’s observations of colours and forms through glass, glass objects and water.  Nine new designs take her carpets in an entirely different direction.

Read all about Deirdre’s inspiration for each carpet in the LOOKING GLASS Collection here in her own words:

Last summer I found myself mesmerised by everything I could see through glass and water, particularly on holiday where the sun made everything glitter.

I decided to try to make my designs seem ‘glassy’ even though I was working in wool!  If I failed, I might create something unexpected – I love the challenge of the unknown result and you only discover if you explore.

GLASS CUBES

I started with two little rectangular vases of different colour, photographed them and analysed the colours they created when they were overlapping each other.

I designed two simple geometric shapes representing the cubes and inserted the exact colours from my palette of wool poms to represent where the two colours overlapped which gives the illusion of looking through glass.

I finished the piece with wide silken borders to add the shine and glitter of glass.  I was hugely surprised and excited at the finished carpet which really looked glassy and also very three dimensional.  This encouraged me to explore several different ideas about glass.

SLIVERS

The next attempt led on from this overlapping idea.  I didn’t even need real glass, I just created four shapes, selected four colours and overlapped them creating the colour I imagined would occur if they existed.

What made this carpet successful was the grading I decided to do within each piece.  I had to select about 8 grades of each colour to grade from dark to light, and from the outside in, to give the illusion of seeing through the glass.

This was the first time that we had tried to grade within a random shape which was very difficult to specify for our craftspeople and a new challenge for them too.  Again they succeeded and have given me a new skill to work with in the future.

TRANSPARENT was designed from an existing vase with various shapes and colours in the glass.

I created my own shapes and colours and again looked for the overlapping colours that I knew would occur.  Because the inspiration was a vase I added some silk highlights to represent light against the outside of the vase.  Each of these highlights was a paler colour of the colour underneath.

LIGHT FRAGMENTS

I have a very simple water flask and thought of two different things that I could do with it.  One was to paint exactly what I could see inside through the water which were random abstract shapes and colours which looked distorted and bent through the water and also to add highlights again of paler colours and in silk as seen on the outside of the vase.

LOOKING THROUGH

The second idea was to paint what was behind the vase ie. boat rigging and blue cushions with reflections on a shiny table and then paint the distortions of these within the flask without drawing the outline of the flask.  I knew from exercises in my student days that without trying, the flask would slowly appear and it did, and it does in the carpet, although I made the colours within the flask a tiny bit paler to help it reveal itself.

 

FLOATING GLASS

Being on a boat made me think of all the bits of worn glass that we often find washed up on beaches so another idea was to include chinks of floating glass in a flowing, watery setting.

LIGHT BETWEEN

I had used a great deal of colour in the collection so finally decided to do some monochromatic grading with a path of light and two simple glassy bars in silk that you feel you can see through as they pass over the greys and light between.

This was an accidental idea caused by placing a plain glass bowl, which had a glass ball as its base, on top of a patterned glass plate.  This created a magnification which I decided to represent in silk with just a tiny lightening of the colour inside the area.

STAINED GLASS

On a visit to the Amalfi Cathedral and in one of the small rooms at the back behind all the magnificence of marble and gold was a small plain window high up with beautiful, simple pale colours.  The light behind it made it impossible to photograph but the colours stayed in my mind and I thought that in silk, it might make a lovely wall hanging for a windowless room.
Click here to view all Deirdre’s new designs online or contact us to arrange a viewing of the new collection at our Kings Road gallery.

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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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Sale Inspiration

In his occasional interiors series Edison creates mood boards based on two carpets reduced in our Summer Sale.

Now that we’re into our sale period I’ve just taken a look at two of the latest designs that have been added to our ex display sale list. I wonder who will buy these gorgeous pieces of art for the floor?

Being bang on trend and both having a timeless appeal, here are two mood boards which take inspiration from the DAWN and FOREST MOSAIC designs.

Mood boards are great tools to help co-ordinate a look, piece together elements of a design or simply help you focus on a colour, theme or mood.

DAWN MOOD BOARD
“FROM CHARTREUSE TO MUSTARD, BOTH COLOURS WORK WELL AGAINST SHADES OF GREY”

L-R: DAWN hand knotted wool and silk carpet, ‘Ocean Mist’ ombre wallpaper by muralwallpaper.co.uk, chartreuse decor living room, Vintage Italian fauteuil, Ligne Roset vase from Heals and set four Orrefor glass vases.

FOREST MOSAIC BOARD
“WITH ELEMENTS OF ART DECO, THINK STRUCTURED GREEN FORMS WITH A TOUCH OF LUXURY”.

L-R: FOREST MOSAIC hand knotted wool and silk carpet, original Art Deco interior and furnishings, 1930s palm floor lamp, Ercol chairs, House of Hackney x Jeremy Scott for Puma trainers and original Lalique vase from amara.com £11,900.

 

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Bespoke Carpet Art for Walls

In recent years Deirdre Dyson has experimented more and more with hand knotted wall art and wall hangings, using the same principles of fine art which she applies to her carpet designs.

Common practice in Medieval times, hanging carpets and textiles has become an increasing contemporary trend and bespoke carpets accepted as artworks in their own right – equally enjoyed on the wall as the floor.

Easily transportable for renters wanting to inject personality into sparse apartments, wall hangings can instantly add colour and warmth to a large surface area with the additional advantage of the acoustic properties of dense pile against wall.

Wall panels create the perfect focal point.  This is a version of Deirdre’s visually striking GLASS CUBES design, recreated here as a runner and hung to draw the eye on this rough stone wall.

Clever lighting from above and the side emphasise the silk panels which juxtapose satisfyingly with the stone surroundings adding an unexpectedly luxurious feel and relieving what could otherwise be a cold, austere space.

For this lifestyle image from the current collection Stylist Louisa Grey took the full-size version of GLASS CUBES and used it as a backdrop on a pink painted brick wall.  Again, careful lighting highlights the vibrantly coloured silk panels and enhances the 3D quality of Deirdre’s design adding depth and interest to an otherwise dead space.

In this image Deirdre’s STAINED GLASS runner, hand knotted in 100% silk and inspired by a stained glass window in Amalfi Cathedral, is hung high to emphasise the highest point of this vaulted room, drawing the eye upwards.  Here also, there is the satisfying contrast of silk against stone.

Ironically, given its inspiration, the panel creates an alternative ‘window’ in this otherwise windowless dining space.

Deirdre’s LOOKING THROUGH is a really clever design.  The inspiration isn’t immediately obvious on the floor but when hung the rug creates an impact when the abstracted form of a water filled flask is revealed – as Deirdre says I knew from exercises in my student days that without trying, the flask would slowly appear and it did, and does in the [finished] carpet.

Any of  Deirdre Dyson’s rug designs can be redeployed as wall hangings – we generally recommend lowering the pile height to reduce weight and make hanging easier.

Practically, hanging solutions range from the unobtrusive (high strength Velcro) to making a feature with a hanging rail (such as the wrought iron rails used in the first two images) Framing is achievable for smaller panels where weight isn’t an issue such as 2019’s UNBOUND (pictured below).

The options are endless – as wonderful as Deirdre’s bespoke rugs are underfoot why not try them on the wall?


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Bespoke GRAPHIC PEBBLE in a London Sitting Room

Bespoke GRAPHIC PEBBLE

Bowood Design’s Rebecca Middleton created this fabulous sitting room around a bespoke hand knotted wool and silk version of GRAPHIC PEBBLE.

Rebecca selected a marginally different grey palette to the original which melds brilliantly with the room’s colour scheme and really anchors the space.


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@DeirdreDysonLLP LDF ‘WINDSWEPT’ COMPETITION exclusive to Instagram

For this year’s London Design Festival, the Chelsea Design Quarter Design District has selected the theme ELEMENTS from which Deirdre has chosen WIND as the inspiration for a bespoke runner to be displayed during the event (16th – 24th) and until the end of September.

Architect of our 554 Kings Road gallery, Timothy Hatton, has loaned some of the wonderful 3D printed leaves produced for his Human Nature installation at Aqua Shard last December which will be displayed with the WINDSWEPT runner and has kindly donated a display box of five 3D-printed leaves for us to give away to one lucky winner.

To enter the competition simply follow us on Instagram @DeirdreDysonLLP, upload a picture that encompasses WINDSWEPT, tag us in the image and use #WINDSWEPT and #LDF17.  The competition will run during the festival period and we’ll post the winning image across social media.

These 3D leaves were sold to raise funds for Sir David Attenborough’s Fauna & Flora International charity and can still be purchased here to support this worthwhile cause.

Full competition terms and conditions here.

 

 

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FROM LOOM TO ROOM…Part One

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?!?

Deirdre Dyson bespoke large scale version of ATTITUDE for a Chelsea penthouse. Copyright Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd
Deirdre Dyson bespoke large scale version of SCATTER. Copyright Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd

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.

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Label
Each Deirdre Dyson hand knotted rug has its own unique, numbered GOODWEAVE label

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.

 

A large scale version of Deirdre Dyson’s PINNACLE hand knotted rug. Copyright Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd.

 

A version of Deirdre Dyson’s DAWN hand knotted graded wool and graded silk rug. Photograph Simone Bossi. Copyright Alexander Martin Architects.

Learn more in part two of this blog post.