THE DESIGN PROCESS: DESIGNING BY HAND IN THE DIGITAL AGE

January 21st, 2021
THE DESIGN PROCESS: DESIGNING BY HAND IN THE DIGITAL AGE

We believe that British luxury brands have become synonymous with well-designed products and beautiful craftsmanship.

At Loomah luxury is not about expense, it is about creating something carefully designed and beautifully crafted. Our design service allows our customers to create something truly unique to their space.  “When a customer approaches us to commission a bespoke carpet or rug they are making an investment,” says, Andrew.  “Loomah’s strength has always been our design integrity and originality with a focus on creating bespoke designs tailored to the client’s individual specifications.”

In today’s economic climate we feel it is more important than ever to ensure our customers appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that not only go into the manufacture of our products but also the design process.  This year we are celebrating the provenance of our craft and the skill in design that helped to establish Loomah.


“When a customer approaches us to commission a bespoke carpet or rug they are making an investment”


Whilst technology is fundamental to our practice, so many aspects of the design process are still done by hand.  Our in-house design team will often draw or paint elements of the carpet design on paper before scanning them into our design programme for further development.

LE CHAMPLAINE_PONANT_By Loomah Bespoke Carpets & Rugs_Inteior Design Studio Jean Philippe Nuel (1)

“Although I was trained on computers and have spent my career designing on computers, my early interest in fashion and textiles was heavily influenced by my grandmother who is a seamstress,” says Antonina Depczynski, designer at Loomah. “Creating with my hands is seemingly in my genes, and my creative process has become a synthesis of the hand and the computer.”

“I am reluctant to rely too heavily on the computer as it doesn’t always interpret my hand in the way I want it to,” continues Antonina.  “When I draw on paper, my mind and hand are in direct conversation with each other and the result is a more direct expression of my creative vision.”


“I am reluctant to rely too heavily on the computer as it doesn’t always interpret my hand in the way I want it to”


However, there are things that the hand can’t perform that the computer can. Working with computer aided design programmes allows us to manipulate designs precisely and gives the freedom to play with colour and scale, exploring more possibilities and accelerating the design process.

Loomah were recently commissioned by Jean-Phillipe Nuel to design and manufacture a hand tufted rug for the reception area of each new vessel in luxury French cruise operator, Ponant’s, innovative Explorer series. Whilst the overall inspiration followed the same theme, each ship featured an original rug design, reflecting their unique character and interior fit-out.

The initial design brief for the reception rug for Le Champlain, the second ship in Ponant’s explorer series, was inspired by Aztec motifs and the patterns created from the movement of water.    Antonina worked with Jean-Phillipe Nuel’s inspiration to generate the first proposed design, utilising Loomah’s expertise to get the proportions and scale just right.   “Studio Jean-Philippe Nuel were keen to avoid uniformity in the overall design” says Antonina, ”so to create an organic feel within the design, I hand-painted the motifs and background pattern on paper, scanned them into the computer and using CAD, continued to play around with their placement and direction until the first concept was realised.”

HAND PAINTED MOTIF_By Loomah Bespoke Carpets & Rugs_Inteior Design Studio Jean Philippe Nuel

HAND PAINTED MOTIF

A lot of time was spent going back and forward with the Studio to develop the layout of the design and the finer details, in a conscientious effort to bring their ideas to life. ARTWORK DEVELOPMENT_LE CHAMPLAIN_By Loomah Bespoke Carpets & Rugs_Inteior Design Studio Jean Philippe NuelARTWORK DEVELOPMENT

Similarly, much of the production is done by hand, but facilitated by technology. The primary cotton canvas backing of the carpet is stretched taut onto a frame. The design is blown up on the computer and then hand drawn at full size onto the backing. Colours denoted by number are then filled in using a tufting gun that the craftsman utilises in the same way an artist would a paintbrush. “It is almost comparable to painting by numbers,” says Andrew. “We are essentially artists, but carpet is our medium.”


For more information on Loomah’s custom design service please contact us.

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