Made in Britain: Susan Deliss

Susan Deliss is a textile designer specialising in bespoke ikats, lampshades, embroideries, kilims and furniture.

susan deliss

It was a career setting up investment funds in Egypt that, somewhat unusually, inspired Susan Deliss to move into design. ‘I’d always collected textiles and was the type of girl who’d decorate her doll’s houses in offcuts from Colefax and Fowler,’ she explains from her studio or souk, as she calls it, in Notting Hill. ‘I spent a lot of time working in the Middle East and, between meetings, I’d be scouting the local markets. The former ambassador to Egypt tolerated a number of taxi journeys with a carpet stuffed between us.’ Then, the revolution broke out in Egypt in 2011 and a new venture had to begin.

After spotting a gap in the market for textiles that ‘have a story and aren’t shiny and new’, Susan set about finding craftsmen to work the fabrics into lampshades and also weave her own designs inspired by her travels. With a vast store of collected textiles including vintage saris, kilims and antique fabrics, Susan has developed her trademark eye for colour: ‘I have a total horror of beiges and nudes and don’t understand why anyone would want to live in such dull surroundings.’

Today, she is growing her fabric collection and among the bestselling items are the ikat lampshades. ‘You can buy cheaper versions, but I’m such a purist for things being hand-crafted and hand-printed.’ She describes the search for a loom to make her designs on as enlightening. ‘I found fabric weavers in Suffolk who have a huge amount of skill and have, for years, made scarves and ties for France and Italy’s finest fashion houses—they just don’t shout about it.’

For more information telephone 07768 805850 or visit

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