Ege/FX Carpet Award ~ WINNER!
I like to enter design competitions. It can be a bit intimidating, especially if your entry isn’t placed, but I find it a healthy exercise to put yourself through. Unfortunately, there aren’t many out there for textile designers or pattern designers like myself.
I found out about this competition on LinkedIn and straight away put together some concepts. I have loved Ege Carpets for several years so realised this was a big opportunity to connect in a really healthy way. I actually completed 3 designs over about 10 days. I looked at the company website and learned about their colour palette and resolutions. But the incredible thing is that I always believed Ege Carpets wove their pattens rather than injection dying, so kept my colour down and stayed in a more monochromatic range. I settled on one design and sent off my entry by email.
The unbelievable happened, I was selected as one of the 3 finalists! A week later and I am flying out to Billund in Denmark to visit the factory, see the creation of my sample and meet the judges. The factory tour was really interesting and I wrote a blog click here.
I met the other finalists who were Caitlin Simcock and Sunhil Kim. All three of us had different versions of our design created, but not before the wonderful design team: Signe, Mette and Bettina showed us the digitisation process. We were able to edit colours after seeing the latest colour palette, as well as change the the crop area from our large format designs to a 1m x 1m swatch.
The judges arrived and deliberated over our designs which were all very different from each other. I was delighted to be announced as winner! Thank you to all the judges who were kind enough to select my design.
Thank you also to Jan Magdal Poulsen who looked after all the finalists and made us feel very welcome.
The design is called Alpaca. Because the competition specified a multi use product, I thought it would be interesting to see a pattern that made the flooring look like a different type of luxury fabric. So I designed Alpaca to connect a hardwearing flooring to the softer imagery of a plush textile. Alpaca fibres have a crimped nature that I built into the design to look deep and textured. I put a gradient shadow into the pattern as to give the impression the fibres go deep into the tuft of the carpet. The end result was a very large scale shag pile, it has great movement and contemporary feeling.
I guessed it would be helpful for the team and the judges to see the design visualised in a specific environment. I chose to illustrate it as a flooring for a Cathay Pacific airport lounge. Hardwearing yet top end.
I carefully repeated the design at 2m square, making sure to eliminate tramlines, whilst maintaining the random fall of Alpaca fur.
This is the digitised version of my design. The horizontal colours are the mainline dyes from which other colours were mixed from.
Kindly, the design team manufactured my design in two sizes. It was exhilarating to see Alpaca as an actual carpet. The colour translated really well into pale beige and darkest ink blue.
This was the final sample I chose for the judges, I went for the larger swatch. The injection dye technique they use for the carpet manufacture, is fantastic. None of the darker colours polluted the palest colours. It was a remarkable quality, thick pile and super soft.
I would like to say a big thank you to Ege Carpets and FX magazine for the opportunity to see this amazing product being made. Thank you for the trip to Herning and the prize win of a trip to Copenhagen. Thank you to Caitlin and Sunhil, the judges and the entire Ege factory. I really hope we can build on this new friendship.