Welcome to Surrey's award-winning The Oriental Rug Gallery Ltd, a solely independent company of Rug Specialists, Rug Dealers and Master Rug Craftsmen, established in Wey Hill, Haslemere, and a family rug business since 1910. ::::: Step into a World of Wonderful Weavings at The Oriental Rug Gallery Ltd and explore our treasure-trove collections of fine quality, hand-woven and rug-knotted pieces. As Rug Specialists, we source from authentic and traditional rug regions. Our latest fabulous array of decorative and stylish weavings are specifically designed to enhance your home and adorn your interior decor - all woven with added 'WOW! factor'. As Master Rug Craftsmen, we undertake a full range of expert rug and tapestry repairs, restoration and bespoke alteration services, professional deep-wash cleaning - using our specially-devised RugRescue system, and stain and corrective treatment works and services for all types of damaged, stained or dust-worn rugs, carpets, kilims and tapestries. All rug works and services are undertaken in our Rug Gallery's custom-built Repairs, Restoration and Cleaning Studios - so all under one roof! We also provide insurance-approved Written Valuations, a specially-devised Rug and Tapestry Wall Hanging Technique and professional Anti-slip Rug Underlay Services. So contact us today! :::::
HM THE QUEEN'S DIAMOND JUBILEE EMBROIDERY

Each piece, in the hundreds of beautiful, hand-woven weavings, individually sourced by Anas and Sandre from the Silk Road Rug Regions, that adorns The Oriental Rug Gallery Ltd’s interiors, is created in a unique moment of weaving history, time and place, ensuring its legacy as a treasured piece of craftsmanship

Galvanised by the forthcoming Royal Jubilee occasion, Anas and Sandre – through their passion as skilled artisans – wanted to capture the pomp and regal splendour of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee Commemorations and portray this rich legacy of heritage, by creating a Diamond Jubilee Embroidery, especially commissioned as a Gift for the Queen

Here, Anas and Sandre were inspired to create a bespoke-crafted piece to encapsulate the Queen’s 60-year reign, through using an eclectic mix of threads, textures, colour imagery and motif symbolism in its design, while showcasing an array of traditional and specialist embroidery techniques. The collaborative design process began with Anas and Sandre creating an inspiration board of ideas, where initial design concepts for their proposed bespoke Diamond Jubilee Embroidery began to take form

Next, Sandre assessed the measurements for the three component crosses incorporated in the Union Flag, more often called the ‘Union Jack’, which they had decided to depict in their proposed embroidery design. These initial calculations were needed to encompass the slight pin-wheeling of the St Patrick's and St Andrew's crosses in conjunction with the overlay of the St George cross, known technically as ‘the counter change of saltires’, to ensure the Union Jack flag would be designed the correct way up. Based on these calculations, Sandre created a line drawing of a Union Jack flag, that encompassed these exact measurements, where they could be scaled up to size

Next, she colour-matched the Union Jack Flag’s tricolours, where these colour and measurement specifications would be vital for the embroiderers, as a guide for hand-crafting the main body of the embroidery design

Anas and Sandre wanted to create a bespoke embroidered piece that would encapsulate ‘moments threaded together’ of the Queen’s 60-year reign. During the Silver Jubilee Celebrations in 1977, the Queen gave a speech, where Her Majesty likened her duty of care for her many and varied subjects within Britain’s United Kingdoms, as tending “the flowers of the field”, while also pertaining to Psalm 103, Verse 15: “... As for man, his days are as grass, as a flower of the field, so he flourishes”. These words

became the inspiration for Anas and Sandre to choose one of their rare and antique weavings: a Tehrani Carpet hand-woven in silk and wool, whose floral motifs would be replicated by Sandre, to form the ‘royal blue’ background, in their Diamond Jubilee Embroidery’s ‘Union Jack’ design. Here, the carpet’s finely crafted, floral-embellished weave highlights The Oriental Rug Gallery Ltd’s ‘treasure-trove of beautiful hand-knotted weavings’ legacy, while helping to create a unique ‘signature’ piece for Her Majesty the Queen.

With the initial ideas for the embroidery taking shape, Sandre draughted a series of preliminary pen and ink drawings – blending together royal heritage research, a hand-drawn carpet motifs patterned background, with possible design concepts, layouts and colourways. Next, she made some cross-hatched sketches, followed by a series of water-colour ‘roughs’ that further honed and developed specific features that both she and Anas wished to include in the embroidery’s design

To create impact, Anas and Sandre wanted to depict a graduated, gold-coloured laurel wreath motif that would surround and encase the Queen’s Royal ‘ER II’ insignia. A traditional and ancient symbol, the laurel wreath symbolises regal status and moral virtue in its highest form, while the bay leaves in the wreath symbolise strength, courage, honour and continued commitment – as a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s 60-year reign as our Queen.

Further research revealed that in 1707, with the aegis of Queen Anne (an ardent supporter towards Union) and her ministers, two Acts of Union were agreed. These Acts now joined the Kingdoms of England and Scotland – having previously been separate states with separate legislatures, but with the same monarch, as augmented by James I – into a single, unified kingdom entitled: ‘Great Britain’, where the ‘Union’ flag became the nationally-recognised flag of this United Kingdom.

Here, Sandre created 12 graduating levels of bay leaves in the laurel wreath design, to represent the Royal succession of 12 British monarchs – from Queen Anne to Queen Elizabeth II, to embrace this historical legacy.

First, she sketched a series of pencil roughs formulating the initial laurel wreath on to paper, with the finalised wreath designs being drawn out and applied in oil pastels to textured board. Here, the board’s grainy finish would help simulate a raised ‘Goldwork’ textural effect for the wreath template. As part of the embroidery’s design process, and once all the individual motif templates, samplers and roughs had been created, they would be layered together to form various montage sample layouts, so that Anas and Sandre could then choose the motif arrangement best suited for their proposed embroidery design.

Next, Sandre carefully mapped out paper samples (in varying sizes and fonts) of the crown motif and the Queen's Royal Cypher detailing the 'ER' monogram and number motifs, for the proposed Diamond Jubilee Embroidery design. After Anas and Sandre had reviewed and then chosen the samples that best suited the design, Sandre carefully pinned these paper samples to fabric, and then marked up and cut out a series of fabric templates. Next, she hand-tacked these fabric templates on to a linen-base, and then placed this textile montage in an embroiderer’s tension hoop, to hold it taut

Once in place, she then over-stitched the fabric templates, using filigree gold thread, to form ‘embroidered samplers’. These samplers, along with the design roughs she created earlier, would be used by the embroiderers, commissioned to help craft the piece, to colour-, thread- and size-match the embroidery design, while applying the techniques and materials Sandre and Anas had researched and designed for its bespoke creation

In a tradition dating back hundreds of years, Damascene weavers and embroiderers were commissioned to create the original Damask silk that was inlaid within the ceremonial robes worn by her Majesty the Queen during her Coronation in 1953, whose precious materials also included: cloth-of-gold, silk, satin, mantua, ermine and sarsnet.

Renowned for their beautiful craftsmanship through the ages, Damascene weavers and embroiderers have been historically employed and are much sought-after around the world, for their skill in crafting royal and ceremonial robes, liturgical vestments and coronational decorations.

The State Trumpets, heralding the moment of the Crowning of Kings and Queens at Westminster Abbey, have traditionally been hung with specially commissioned, Goldwork-embroidered, red Damask, silk banners.

Once all the templates, samplers and drawing roughs were completed, Anas and Sandre rolled back the floor rugs display in The Oriental Rug Gallery Ltd, to reveal a large flat space. Here, they could review their proposed montage sample layouts of the motifs they had created, spread out before them. Having decided on the montage arrangement they wished to use as their embroidery design, it was then photographed as a ‘flat relief’. Next, Sandre used this printed flat-relief to create a ‘Visual Design Spec’ – similar to an architectural plan or interior design mood boards – detailing all the elements of the design, as a guide for the embroiderers to use, when crafting the piece. Here, she included: measurements, thread colours and types, textural specifications, and the design scaled-to-size information. Once produced, the Visual Design Spec was carefully rolled and then packaged with the crafted design samplers.

The proposed embroidery design was then shipped to Damascus, where members of The Damascene Embroiderers Guild were awaiting its arrival. As part of the collaborative design process, and having carefully searched for skilled craftsmen to undertake these high-end works, the Damascene embroiderers were commissioned to help craft the Diamond Jubilee Embroidery. Thereby weaving together, threads of ancient traditions, royal heritage, visual design, and the age-old art of embroidery craftsmanship

In-house at the embroidery workshops, the embroiderers began by carefully mapping out the Diamond Jubilee Embroidery design outline by hand, onto a Damask plain-weave, linen ground. Next, threads of fine silk were individually hand-dyed, spooled and then colour matched to the original Visual Design Spec and samplers provided, to ensure the best and closest representation possible. The linen was then mounted onto a embroidery wooden stretch frame, to ensure an even tension of thread and material, while the works were being crafted for the piece.

Although the embroidery was being created as one entire piece, individual aspects of the design such as: the Tehrani carpet floral motifs, the laurel wreath, the crown, the individual numbers and lettering motifs, and The Oriental Rug Gallery Ltd’s signature logo were all individually applied over the base relief of the embroidery in Goldwork, Crewel Work and Silk Work, thereby giving the stitched threads a raised, three-dimensional aspect within the embroidery, and heightening the motifs’ details

As Masters of their craft, The Damascene Embroiderers Guild excel in works, where an embroidery blends together traditional and specialist embroidery techniques such as ‘raised’ and ‘flat’ Goldwork, Crewel work and Silk work. Here, silk and gold metallic threads are interwoven in varying hues, and then meticulously embroidered onto a damask plain-weave linen ground

Goldwork, is a technique that uses varying shades of twisted gold silk and metal embroidery threads, to create a luxurious sheen on decorative pieces. The elite of royalty and nobility, Gold work has traditionally been applied to high-end embroidered pieces for Royal Ceremonial robes, Chivalric, Peer and Parliamentary vestments.

Crewel Work is a decorative form of embroidery that follows a design outline applied to fabric and is traditionally worked on a linen ground, which also forms part of the design. This embroidery technique is at least a thousand years old and was most notably used in the depictions of French Tapestries and Jacobean embroideries. Linking back to James I’s reign (the Jacobean era was named after him), when the initial conception of a ‘Union Flag’ was first decreed in 1606

Once the main body of the embroidery was completed, it was carefully packed in muslin and shipped back to The Oriental Rug Gallery Ltd, to continue its journey of creation. Upon arrival, Sandre first reviewed the array of works already completed and then marked up the areas of the embroidery still needing completion and the ‘final touch’, which would be undertaken by Anas – The Oriental Rug Gallery Ltd’s Master Rug Craftsman.

Next, Anas meticulously applied the professional ‘hand-finishing’ works and the ‘edging’ of the piece, using specially dyed threads that he colour matched to the original embroidery, thereby securing the woven threads and completing the decorative embellishments for the piece.

Now complete, the embroidery was ready for mounting and encasing. First, it was carefully stretched and then mounted onto specially-devised protective backing, before being encased in a gold gilt frame, with non-reflective UPVC-enhanced glass to protect the embroidery from wear and tear.

This unique, bespoke commemorative Diamond Jubilee Embroidery took 13 months to create, from conception through to designing and crafting, and measures 1270 mm x 970 mm. Only the finest quality, hand-spun silk, metallic threads and hand-dyed, spun cotton threads were included in its creation, where all is meticulously embroidered onto a damask plain-weave, white linen ground.

As well as a shared passion for all things hand-woven that is The Oriental Rug Gallery Ltd, Anas and Sandre’s long-held, creative vision is to establish a philanthropic legacy of bequeathed woven and embroidered artworks. Thereby creating and producing works of decorative beauty that not only inspire, but also serve to highlight the preservation of heritage through traditional craftsmanship skills and, in doing so, create a rich and vibrant legacy for future generations to enjoy.

Upon completion, the Diamond Jubilee Embroidery Queen’s Gift continued its journey at The Honorary Unveiling and Formal Presentation Ceremony. Here, the High Sheriff of Surrey Mrs Karin Sehmer, was the honoured representative for and on behalf of Her Majesty Queen, accompanied by the Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey Colonel Nicolas Davies.

This special occasion took place at Haslemere Town Hall on 22nd August 2012, where Haslemere Town Mayor Mrs Cyndy Lancaster presided over the honorary proceedings, with dignitaries, councillors and invited guests in attendance.

The occasion proceeded with the High Sheriff praising the bespoke piece: “It is my very great privilege to formally unveil this absolutely stunning Diamond Jubilee Embroidery. It is awe-inspiring to see the craftsmanship that has created this beautiful piece. Haslemere is a very lucky town indeed to have crafts men and women of this high calibre, in the form of Anas and Sandre and The Oriental Rug Gallery Ltd”.

The High Sheriff in turn, formally presented the Embroidery to Haslemere Mayor Cyndy Lancaster: “I am honoured and delighted to accept this exquisite embroidery on behalf of the Town Council, as the chosen custodians in perpetuity,” said the Mayor during her acceptance speech.

Prior to the The Honorary Unveiling and Formal Presentation Ceremony, a Special Dispensation had been granted, thereby allowing Anas and Sandre to bequeath their Diamond Jubilee Embroidery Queen’s Gift to Haslemere Town Council to reside at Haslemere Town Hall, where they are now the proud custodians of this bespoke piece for and on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, in perpetuity.

The Dispensation and bestowal was made in recognition of Haslemere’s Mayors and Councillors in office, assisted by the Town Clerk, for their unstinting commitments and endeavours through the years, in working with and on behalf of the community, as the elected representatives for the Town.

“We hope the Diamond Jubilee Embroidery, now entrusted to the custodial care of Haslemere Town Council, will not only inspire, but also enrich the lives of its viewers through reflecting the pride of being a British Citizen with her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as our sovereign, for many years to come,” said Sandre.

The Union Flag design set within the Diamond Jubilee Embroidery is truly a symbol of unification, where this crafted piece is a poignant reminder of how humanity can work together in a multi-tude of creative ways, to produce an inspiring and enduring legacy that positively reflects our Town’s affections, our pride in being British Citizens, as well as celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s Sovereign rule and Royal heritage

This ‘unification’ continues, where Her Majesty’s jurisdiction is relayed through the undertakings of her representatives: the Lord Lieutenant and her Deputies, the High Sheriff, and with our Mayors, Councillors, and the Town Clerk

The Diamond Jubilee Embroidery is now in the Trusteeship and Custodial care of Haslemere Town Council at Haslemere Town Hall in perpetuity, where it takes pride of place mounted on the wood panelling behind the Mayor’s Chair in the Council Chambers

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