Women Behind the Weave – London Design Festival 2023

Women Behind the Weave – London Design Festival 2023

In our London Shoreditch Studio – from the 18th Sept to 23rd Sept 2023 – during London Design Festival 2023, we will host ‘Women Behind the Weave: Bauhaus to the Bosphorus’. This exhibition marks the launch of a new rug by Gunta Stölzl, the first female master at the Bauhaus. A true pioneer, Gunta Stölzl is the single most influential figure in the modern history of Western woven art.

The new rug ‘1923’, from original artwork by Gunta Stölzl, is woven in Turkey, which is the world’s centre for the very finest flat weaves.

Isokon Flats, photography Christopher Horwood, courtesy Tom Broughton, Cubitts
Bauhaus Weaving department, Gunta Stölzl (top row, second from right), Anni Albers, (bottom row, far right)

Turkish kilims were the starting point to the Christopher Farr brand, in the very early days dealing in antique kilims, which led to the introduction to the Gunta Stölzl family by the renowned textile specialist Jack Lenor Larsen:

‘I found Christopher Farr’s London galleries full of modern kilims and hand knotted rugs woven in in Anatolia. Their glistening, wiry fibre from sheep bread for millenia to produce the best carpet wools added to their quality. So did kettle dyeing streaky yarns handspun from ungraded fleeces.

All the organic richness was here, offset by the meticulous craftsmanship found in antique rugs. And here, it seemed, were the entrepreneurs one could trust with Stölzl’s repertoire. Right on! For her we have a design bank begun in the early 20th century, now timely and timeless for the 21st.’ Jack Lenor Larsen (NYC 7th October, 1999)

Cover of the Bauhaus magazine, 1931
Photo from Bauhaus Dessau (between 1925-1931)

Christopher Farr were then entrusted to produce pieces from the collection owned by the Stölzl family resulting in the 2000 RIBA exhibition ‘Gunta Stölzl’. Not only recognising her incredible body of work, this led to Karl Lagerfeld commissioning a number of Stölzl’s rugs for his private residences, later sold by Sotheby’s as part of his estate.

Some of the earliest known textiles were kilims, which were discovered as early as 7000BC, in the region of central Asia that covered from what is now called Turkey right across to Iraq. This is where all carpets originated from, so it is deeply embedded within Turkish, Afghan and Persian culture (many of the makers were nomadic).  As a result, carpet making is an important part of their cultural identity; the weavers and take inherent pride in what they do and know how to do it correctly. It is why Christopher Farr continue to make flatweaves in Turkey, to ensure their authenticity, high quality and enduring beauty.

Our trusted collaborators, the women weavers, in Turkey

During the London Design Festival 2023, visit our London Shoreditch Studio:⁠
Christopher Farr Studio, 18 Calvin Street, London, E1 6HF
‘Women Behind the Weave: Bauhaus to Bosphorus’⁠
18th Sept – 23rd Sept 2023, 10:00 – 18:00⁠
Mon – Fri 10:00 -18:00, Sat 11:00-16:00

Women Behind the Weave – London Design Festival 2023