Hand-knotted Carpets are no longer made in the British Isles, the last in England being the Royal Wilton Carpet Company, closed 1960, and Donegal Carpets Ltd Killybegs Co.Donegal Eire which closed in 1987. Herewith listed by CROR are the known handmade manufactures up until that time.
The ORU SPACE project to repurpose a disused department store in Surrey, (England), successfully and cleverly recycled otherwise discarded pieces of old antique Turkey carpets as banquettes. The supply of such material old or new is a facet of our business, in that we are occasionally requested to supply upholstery material, particularly in commercial premises where a robust solution is called for. Another similar project but not with Joanne, was done for Barter Books in Alnwick, Northumberland using flatweave kilims.
Working with the Handel and Hendrix Museum continues into 2024. A request has been made to provide two floor-coverings in keeping with the period second quarter 18th cent to reflect Handel's time spent at the Brook Street address. Making a new carpet to match the stye of the period seemed awkward and has difficulties to reflect the style of the time and was not considered as 'right' on two counts. Firstly a new carpet would look out of place in context to the period instruments and ‘ lived in ‘ furniture , Secondly - cost. Instead it was agreed to supply something old and non-specific since this was a time of changing fashions and exotic carpets were still uncommon particularly oriental carpets. Carpets were considered too precious for utility use on town house floors as evidenced by paintings of the period as seen used on tables. Trade with India was developing but the Saffavid Empire in Persia had just collapsed although Britain at the time maintained a commercial connection with Isphahan. Britain's Turkey Company was very active at the time in association with and protected by the Genoese but still bothered by the French in the Mediterranean until Nelson finally cleared them out in 1798. Part of the brief is that Handel would entertain friends and clients in the ' dining room ' space and so that room needed to be easily cleared for action or not depending on acoustic sensitivities as a working space. With the early emerging Industrial Revolution Loop-pile Brussels and cut-velvet Wilton carpets began to be made in 1740 and might have featured in the later part of Handels time in Brook Street as locally sourced products.
A lifetime’s experience with antique carpets has guided into making hand made carpets to individual requirements — be it straight replicas, moderated antique designs or entirely new concepts. The work also includes installation fit outs with specialty staircases. Most weaving is done in Turkey via our outpost in Istanbul using sustainable materials, natural dyes, hand spun wool and non-exploitative labour.