Skip to content

Share this post

The Design Process – your carpet from inspiration to delivery…

Every Deirdre Dyson carpet or rug is by its nature unique.

HARELQUIN hand knotted wool and silk rug from this years Plumage Rug Collection

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 colouring her initial sketch for her CORAL rug design

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.

Deirdre has complete creative control over every design in her annual rug collections.

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’.

Some of the 5,000 wool and silk poms from which Deirdre selects the colourways for each collection rug

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)

Detail of grading on Deirdre Dyson’s EAGLE hand knotted rug

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.

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.

The gun tufting process which uses 100% wool and is suitable for some designs.

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.

HAND KNOTTING:

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.

One of our skilled weavers at work.

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.

DYEING:

All Deirdre’s chosen colours are colour matched exactly, amazingly this is all done by the highly skilled dye master by eye.

Raw yarn being dyed to exactly the right shade.

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.

Dyed yarn drying in the sun.

MAPPING:

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.

WEAVING:

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)

Deirdre Dyson’s SEAWASH rug on the loom

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.

FINISHING:

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.

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Label

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.

 


Share this post

One Design six ways – Bespoke SEA MIST carpets for a New York apartment

Deirdre Dyson recently completed a large-scale residential project which required her to design of six carpets for the bedrooms of a Manhattan apartment by celebrated Interior Design Remi Tessier.

Deirdre selected one adaptable rug design, SEA MIST, and then created six different custom grades for each carpet with corresponding bars picked out in complimentary silks.  This allowed continuity between the rooms whilst creating unique versions of each.

The finished carpets add cohesion and flow to the otherwise understated rooms, where surface materials have been carefully selected in muted tones for their luxurious, light and tactile properties.

The carpets add a burst of individuality to each bedroom and dictate the colour palette. Surrounded by the refined natural surfaces (marble, oak) and of course glass – the incredible views speak for themselves and remain uninterrupted. Each room now has its own identity without dominating as per the original brief.

Essential texture is added by these hand knotted designs, graded in Tibetan wool with bars of pure silk.  Another layer of luxury on the uniform oak parquet floors with a sumptuous feel underfoot.

Each bespoke rug defines the room it’s in – the upholstery on an eye-catching and fun pair of Edra Fauteuil Rose chairs was colour matched exactly with a deep red selected from the grade in the ‘red’ version of SEA MIST.

Whereas in the main suite the blues of the grade are reflected in oversized velvet cushions and even the blue of the en-suite taps.

Finally, pieces from the owner’s extensive art collection were selected to compliment Deirdre’s colour choice for each bedroom.

The entire scheme works in harmony anchored by these specially created rug designs – a sense of comfort, restfulness and luxury in this already architecturally impressive home.


Share this post

Deirdre Dyson launches her new rug collection – Paper & Stone

LOVE LETTER hand knotted in Tibetan wool & pure silk

‘I wanted to find beauty in simplicity at a time when life suddenly seemed rather complicated.’ 

Deirdre Dyson on the 2021 ‘Paper and Stone’ Collection

Deirdre Dyson has always brought her skills as a fine artist to bear on the beautiful colour palettes and compositions of her carpets.

March’s lockdown came at the time of year Deirdre usually focuses on her creative designs, so she was able to focus on her 2021 ‘Paper and Stone’ collection.

Deirdre’s themes have normally centred round the natural, but for this collection she focused on everyday materials like paper – including pieces that were crumpled, folded or torn. Deirdre elevated these every-day, sometimes discarded objects to create a collection of seven stunning hand knotted ‘Paper’ rug designs.

CONCERTINA hand knotted in Tibetan wool and pure silk

‘I’d often used overlapping or crumpled paper in my paintings,’ says Deirdre, ‘so it was fascinating using silk and wool instead and seeing a two-dimensional surface transformed into three dimensions, just by using the same colour in many different tones’.

UNFOLDED does just this, creating a three-dimensional effect with just seven shades. FOLD OUT is reminiscent of childhood with its playful paperdoll design, LOVE LETTER draws inspiration from a torn note with symbols of hugs and kisses, while NOTE PAPER and OFF CUTS make use of her craft cutting mat as a background.

OFF CUTS (floor) and NOTE PAPER (wall) hand knotted in Tibetan wool and pure silk

The extra lockdown time also enabled Deirdre to design three vertical wall hangings that can be adapted for the floor, inspired by stonework and paving.

‘They represent the stones used in walls and floors and highlight the amazing decorative skills of those who work with the materials,’ says Deirdre.  The result comprises artworks full of textural depth and light, made with large quantities of silk, like BLUE STONE, woven in silk with wool grouting, or DRY STONE featuring 13 natural stone hues.

 

L-R: STONEY GEMS, DRY STONE & BLUE STONE wall panels, hand knotted in Tibetan wool and pure silk

View the new collection and watch Deirdre discuss her inspiration for this collection with Design Journalist Amy Moorea Wong

Paper & Stone – Deirdre Dyson 2021 Collection (Short) from Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd on Vimeo.