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Our Story - The Early Years

The Early Years

Born Gerd Bergersen in Trondheim, Norway in 1909, Gerd started her design journey aged 17 making tapestries. The young designer went on to study design and hand-weaving at the Home Industries School for Women in Oslo.

Gerd traveled widely in Europe, coming to Dartington Hall in England, on a recommendation from her school in Oslo. By January 1933 she was designing for the Welsh woollen mills and, through the Rural Industries Bureau, launched Holywell Mill’s double cloths. These cloths would become some of the very first double-weave furnishing fabrics to be used by Gordon Russell.

In 1937 Gerd returned to Norway to design for Nydalen, the largest textile mill in Norway. Gerd’s talent went on to secure her the title of Advisor to the Norwegian Home Industries. Her impact was instrumental in starting Roros Tweed and the Norwegian Tapestry Yarn Company: quite incredible for a young woman of 27. This was to be an early indication of Gerd's outstanding practical talent and leadership in the field of design.