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The making of the rugs…

UsefulBeautifulTrendyTuftMichaelSmithSeven rugs cover the once bare floor of The Yellow Drawing Room at Harewood, designed and hand-dyed on surplus wool from the carpet industry by artist Max Lamb, inspired and created from the trees and foliage of Harewood itself…and bespoke tufted by Yorkshire-based business Trendy Tuft, just down the road from Harewood.

Here’s an insight into the whole process from Michael Smith, Trendy Tuft owner and director.

Q. How did you start working in the bespoke rug business?
After completing a Textile Technology degree course I decided that I would like to go into manufacturing so set up in my parents’ garage with a hand tufting gun. I have then grown the business over the past 35 years to where we are now. We are a totally unique business in the UK employing manufacturing techniques which are bespoke to us.

Q. What do you love about your job?
I love to see the designers’ vision come to fruition, seeing their drawing being made up full scale is a buzz and after 35 years still very fulfilling.

Q. How do you work with artists and designers to create their vision?
Designers send in their artwork and colour pallet, we match the colours in yarn form and then after approval we manufacture the rug.

Q. This wasn’t the first time you have worked with Max Lamb, can you tell more?
Max is a very enthusiastic and creative designer, we have made rugs for him before in similar styles using the space-dyed yarns, but this is the first time we have used natural vegetable dyes.

Q. What was particularly interesting about this project?
The method of dyeing that Max employed using material collected from around the Harewood estate to create the amazing colours  tell a very interesting story. This created random patterns and colour combinations from the space dyed yarn and this was truly amazing to see. We didn’t know what the final rug would look like.

Q. And what were the challenges?

Making rugs is always a challenge, we had limited amounts of yarn in each colour so there was no room for miscalculation as we knew that if we ran out that was it!

Q. How does it feel to see the work in place at Harewood House?
It makes us all very proud to see the work exhibited in the beautiful Harewood House, and knowing that these seven rugs are truly unique and the only ones like it in the world, I hope that they will be appreciated by all the people who come through the exhibition.