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About Us

Hilly and Carrie in a Tuk-Tuk
Hilly at Stall

Samarkand Design grew out of a passion for textiles. It was founded by Hilly Grumbar and Carrie Hart; a pair bound not just by friendship but also by their shared passion for design and artisanal craftsmanship.

As inspired by the classic ‘English’ look as we are by our extensive travels across India and Africa, this first collection of our favourite things brings together the vibrant and the eclectic, reflecting the stories of craftsmanship from across the world.

Lamp Shades

Samarkand’s stunning collection of lampshades and lamps are designed to illuminate, complement and enhance any style. Whether it’s the cool and crisp feel of a beach house or the rich and romantic ambience of an English country house, our lampshades bring a distinctive quality to every room. The fabrics – either block-printed cotton voile or traditional silk sarees – have been specifically chosen for their contrasting aesthetics. If you seek a clean and contemporary feel, we suggest our range of hand-blocked lampshades, which come in three designs and two sizes. The Saree Collection offers a wide variety of designs. Each vintage silk saree has been picked for its jewel-like patterns, colours and textures, reflecting the richness of India’s textile traditions. Ranging from zinging oranges and fuschias to more subtle, neutral shades, we have endeavoured to curate a range to suit every design scheme. Take a look at our first collection – these shades are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from 25cm to 70cm.

Framed Embroideries

On our travels in India we have managed to find some of the most exquisite examples of antique embroidery work, including pieces made by the Banjara tribe of the Deccan plateau and intricately sewn bodices taken from traditional Rajasthani dresses. We’ve framed them, giving them a new context as pieces of striking contemporary wall art.

Vintage Throws and Cushions

We also have a wonderful selection of vintage kanthas, which make for brilliant throws, bedspreads or tablecloths. Take a look at our collection of cushions made from vintage fabrics mixed with neutral linens.

Fair Trade And Ethically Sourced

The idea of Samarkand grew out of a desire to encourage and promote the traditional skills of the people we encountered on our trips. Sustainability and education are at the heart of Samarkand, which focuses on improving the lives of each of the artisans we work with, bringing hope and prosperity to communities where opportunities and living standards are often limited. We aim to build lasting and positive relationships with our suppliers based on the principles of fairness and social responsibility.