“We want [companies] to think beyond the factory gate…GoodWeave’s unique offering is the combination of inspection and monitoring and community mobilisation throughout the supply chain… making this initiative a viable complement to those already underway, as well as a stand-alone best practice.” — Joost Kooijman, UNICEF
The GoodWeave label is as important to us as the Deirdre Dyson label on our carpets.
GoodWeave was born in an Indian jail cell in the early 1990s. After reuniting a trafficked child weaver with his mother, future Nobel Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi was outraged to see dozens more children with a labour broker.
Imprisoned overnight for causing a disturbance, he awoke with a simple idea: follow the money. If companies and consumers refuse to buy products tainted by child labour, producers can’t make them. Kailash reached out to allies and GoodWeave International was officially established in 1997. It was the first organisation to use product labeling to remediate a human rights issue.
Today, GoodWeave’s market-driven model includes company engagement, supply chain inspections, product certification, consumer awareness, victim rescue and remediation, and preventative efforts such as educational programmes in at-risk communities. GoodWeave reaches layers of the supply chain that were previously invisible — making child labour a thing of the past.
Harness Market Forces in partnership with rug importers and high street brands to create demand for goods made without child labour. GoodWeave prevents children from toiling in labour by distinguishing products with the GoodWeave label.
Clean up Supply Chains by independently monitoring against the GoodWeave Standard, including all tiers of production from factory to individual home, and remediating all cases of child labour.
Create Educational Opportunities to stem the tide of child labour, ensuring that all children from vulnerable worker communities are attending school and learning.
Improve Conditions for All Workers by addressing a broad set of workers’ rights throughout the supply chain and offering skills training and other improvement programmes.
The Figures* involves are staggering:
152 million child labourers worldwide
72 million children performing hazardous work
25 million people living in forced labour
6.3 million children in forced labour
Child labour and global supply chains are getting increasing attention, yet practical solutions that respond to the priorities of both workers and businesses remain elusive. While many organisations work in this field, the collective effort is not yet reaching the most vulnerable at the very bottom of the supply chain, such as in sub-contracted sites and where homeworkers are found. GoodWeave addresses this gap.
*Data from “Global Estimates of Modern Slavery,” International Labour Organisation and Walk Free Foundation, 2017
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.
We recently completed our largest ever bespoke hand-knotted carpet commissions, each measuring approx. 6.5 x 6m (over 38 square metres).
Both carpets were created for a private client for use in adjoining private offices by Deirdre who, inspired by the surroundings and detail in one of the upholstery fabrics, created a selection of concepts from which the two final designs were chosen.
Given the scale, Deirdre decided to make a dramatic statement with grading – creating a palette of 13 colours from muted cream to darkest brown for both designs and selecting an ox-blood red, also used in the upholstery, to highlight the ‘stitching’ and ‘branch’ motifs on the designs.
The finished carpets are stunning and a testament to the incredible attention to detail and craftsmanship of our Nepalese weavers and an absolute masterclass in grading, an astonishing feat on this scale.
It was very exciting for our team to meet the writer Victoria Nixon when she visited the gallery last week.
Victoria has already written two helpful books based on her experience as a sixties super model and we look forward to a new autobiography which describes tragedies in her early life and the glamorous whirlwind of the 1960s.
Victoria and Deirdre watch our film about carpet production in Nepal.
Rugs are an ideal way to zone an open plan living area or link spaces – the perfect example being a double reception room.
Sometimes a room calls for contrast but, where required, many of Deirdre’s designs work in pairs or partners, see our previous post on the successful use of Deirdre’s FALLING RIBBONS design in a St. Mortiz chalet.
Of course we can change all colours on any design and adapt them to suit but we thought we’d put some ideas together from our sample rugs to inspire anyone furnishing a space where a connection between the designs would work that’s not entirely dependant on colour.
Different versions of the same design
Link by theme
Organic design elements
Connect by decorative style
There are so many other elements to consider such as texture, size and scale but hopefully this post will tempt you to think more about two or more rugs working cohesively in your interior when space and budget allows.
The Nepalese weavers who create our hand-knotted rugs are highly skilled craftspeople and work at incredible speed. As such it is notoriously difficult to capture the creation of a single one of their knots as the process is so accelerated in practised hands.
However during the recce for a film commissioned by Deirdre to showcase the creation of her rugs, the exceptional skill of our weavers creating a single knot was ‘captured’ by our Photographer Colin Peacock.
Take a look at the following series of images of a weaver working on one of Deirdre’s SEA WASH rugs and imagine the work that goes into your bespoke rug, there are 100 of these to every inch of carpet, astonishing.
FALLING RIBBONS is one of Deirdre’s classic designs and a favourite with both Interior Decorators and private clients.
We were approached by interior designers Woodstock Designs (a subsiduary of Spencer-Churchill) to create a hand-knotted, oval-shaped version of the design with an accompanying runner for the living room and hallway of a chalet apartment in St. Moritz (see floorplan below).
The designers had settled on bold primary colours for the silk ‘ribbons’ on a cream wool ground and our Designer Nichola set to work selecting harmonious shades and adapting the designs to suit.
We love how the finished carpet sits with the curved shape of the sofa and the way the complementary runner connects the open plan space.
The designers choice of blue and yellow patterned cushions and the bold red drum lampshade subtly pick out the ribbon colours and the choice of a clear glass coffee table is an inspired one, allowing the central tangle of ribbons to be enjoyed fully.
We are long-time affiliates of GoodWeave. For over a decade Goodweave has worked tirelessly to end child exploitation in Nepal’s carpet industry and provide education and opportunities to rescued and at-risk children.
As we all know, entire sections of Kathmandu, where GoodWeave operates, have collapsed, leaving thousands dead and injured and many more without shelter, food, water, and electricity. All of the children and staff at Goodweave’s Hamro Ghar building are safe, but the building is damaged.
Goodweave has set up an Earthquake Relief Fund and outlined to it’s affiliates the problems faced on the ground in Nepal, their strategy to address them and the potential long term impact of the disaster, which we have set out below.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
The earthquake has caused extensive damage to buildings, roads and communications systems. Families have been separated, their lives and livelihoods disrupted. People living in poverty and former victims of child labour and trafficking are always hit hardest by natural disasters and the recent earthquake has put them at even greater risk of exploitation.
How will this project solve this problem?
GoodWeave will deliver urgent services to the children and weaving communities we serve through:
Addressing the immediate needs of the children in Goodweave’s rehabilitation centre and schools and weaving families with food, shelter, medical care, and other necessities. Support will be coordinated with major relief organisations to ensure that our community of about 16,000 people receive the support they need;
Rebuilding of GoodWeave’s programmed infrastructure to ensure schooling for 785 children isn’t interrupted for an extended period;
Providing support for rug exporters for rebuilding infrastructure, a critical long-term economic recovery need for Nepal’s top export sector.
Potential long-term impact
GoodWeave was operating in Nepal long before the earthquake hit, and will continue to work with the weaving and brick-making communities long after the news cameras have gone. By working on long-term recovery with the children and communities GoodWeave serves, they will ensure that they are better equipped to face future disasters and come out of this tragedy stronger than before.