Gerd Hay-Edie

The textile designer Gerd Hay-Edie was born in Norway in 1909 and trained at the Home Industries School for Women in Oslo. She travelled throughout Europe and, on the recommendation of her school, came to Dartington Hall in England. From this base, she forged relationships with the Welsh woollen mills and by 1933 was designing textiles for Holywell Mills that would be the very first double-weave furnishing fabrics used by Gordon Russell.

On returning to Norway in the late 30s, Hay-Edie proceeded to establish herself as a designer of note and a key figure in Norway's textiles industry. After travelling extensively in Europe and Asia, she settled in Ireland during WW2. Here she founded the hand-weaving workshop that was to evolve into Mourne Textiles, after failing to find a suitable means of production for the textiles she was designing at the time.

From the 1950s onwards, Hay-Edie designed and produced textiles for clients such as Robin Day, Hille, Conran and Liberty as well as fashion designers Sybill Connolly and Sheila Mullally. Her collaboration with Robin Day was particularly fruitful, with Day writing in a letter: "Of all the rugs which I have seen, only yours have got the character enough as background for my new designs of furniture to be exhibited at La Triennale de Milano, 1951."

In the present day, Mourne Textiles - now run by Hay-Edie's grandson - works to bring these classic mid-century designs back into production while staying entirely faithful to the unique spirit of Hay-Edie's originals.

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