Fabrics, Walls & Floors
Deirdre Dyson
Contemporary hand-knotted rugs, crafted in Nepal

Twenty years ago when fine artist Deirdre Dyson was struggling to find contemporary rugs for her home, a carpet dealer suggested she design her own. This led to a collection, a successful partnership between the pair and, in 2000, Deirdre taking over the now eponymous company herself. Fast forward to today and she is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning rug designer supplying global clients from her showroom on London’s Kings Road, and, more recently, a dedicated gallery in the St-Germain-des-Prés district of Paris.

 

Deirdre and her experienced team pride themselves on giving both commercial and residential clients a dedicated service, taking time to get all aspects of the bespoke process right. Colour choice is key and these are selected from a vast palette of over 5,000 hues, which are observed in different lights to ensure that they sit together tonally. Once the client is happy with the completed design render, artwork is sent to the company’s Nepalese weavers who confidently replicate it to knot precision by hand in either Tibetan wool, pure silk or both.

It is painstaking work: 100 knots make up the size of a postage stamp. The combination of Deirdre’s sketches and colour selection realised as carpets through the age-old craft of hand-knotting is slow design at its finest

Each rug is made to an exacting quality. The weavers first create an intricately detailed coloured ‘map’ of the design that is printed full-size and hung over the top of the loom for each worker to follow. It is painstaking work: 100 knots make up the size of a postage stamp. The combination of Deirdre’s sketches and colour selection realised as carpets through the age-old craft of hand-knotting is slow design at its finest.

 

Each year Deirdre creates a new themed collection, inspired by both organic and abstract sources (in the past she has drawn on elements such as plants, trees and birds). Some are technically challenging while others appear apparently simple, depending on the direction she chooses to take. The outcome is a stunning archive of diverse designs available to view on the company’s website. Of the design process, Deirdre says: ‘I let ideas float around for quite a while, mulling them over with vague colours in my head. I draw, then colour the designs, checking them all to make sure that each is different enough to hold interest on its own but at the same time work together as a group.’

 

Created during the first Covid lockdown, last year’s Paper and Stone collection was based around everyday materials, with seven new carpet designs exploring the myriad effects of folded, torn and crumpled paper. The stone aspect of the series was represented by three hand-knotted wall hangings, primarily rendered in silk and inspired by stonework, mosaic and paving.

As an artist, a large part of Deirdre’s success as a carpet designer is her eye for colour and there is no better showcase than her newly launched graded rug, Melting Sun. ‘I love grading colours; I just decided to make a seamless transition from red to blue, shading from dark to light in the middle to give a similar sensation to a watercolour wash,’ she explains. ‘The secret is to select each colour so it moves on to the next, but so closely that it doesn’t appear to the eye to jump.’

For Deirdre’s upcoming 2022 collection, which launches next January and is titled All at Sea, the designs are centred around her studies of the movement of, and light reflected on, water and the objects found in the ocean.

Deirdre Dyson 554 King’s Road, London, SW6 2DZ +44 (0)20 7384 4464

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