Deirdre Dyson
Design counts: it's been a good year for heirloom-quality hand-made rugs

Deirdre Dyson has always brought her skills as a fine artist to bear on the beautiful colour palettes and compositions of her carpets. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the brand thrived in 2020. Indeed, 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 normally centre around the natural, but for this latest 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.

All the rugs are Goodweave-certified and hand-woven by Nepalese craftspeople, using only the highest quality 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 paperchain design, Love Letter draws inspiration from a torn up note with symbols of hugs and kisses, while Note Paper and Offcuts make use of her craft cutting mat as a background.

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 a wool grouting effect, or Dry Stone, featuring 13 natural stone hues.

Deirdre’s vibrant 2020 Looking Glass collection previewed at Masion et Objet in Paris, where she annually exhibits. Deirdre also opened her first Paris gallery in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, with French tastemaker Julia Van Hagen as her French representative. ‘After such a long relationship with Paris, it’s exciting to have a permanent, physical space there,’ Deirdre says. Despite Covid scuppering the launch, the French interiors press was wowed by Deirdre’s rug designs, which attracted particular attention from contemporary art gallerists and collectors. When French lockdown restrictions lifted, Deirdre collaborated with French furniture designer Rinck to showcase her Transparent and Silvers rugs from the Looking Glass collection.

Each Deirdre Dyson carpet is bespoke and can be made to order in any shape or size, fitted or free-standing. All are Goodweave-certified and hand-woven by Nepalese craftspeople (observing social distancing), using only the highest quality Tibetan wool and pure silk. The carpets can also be produced here in Britain, using a less expensive gun-tufted method.

Her new collection launches virtually in January and, as soon as it is safe, clients will be able to visit her galleries in London and Paris. Asked the secret of her success in such a challenging year, Deirdre says, ‘I wanted to find beauty in simplicity at a time when life suddenly seemed rather complicated.’