H a r b o u r
Design Studio

"Hello, I'm Karen Harbour, welcome to
Harbour Design Studio
my online showcase of textile designs and hand tufted rugs.

About Me

I am a freelance Textile Designer who has been creating patterns of home furnishings, print, woven and wall covering products since 2007 when I graduated from the University of Bolton with a 1st Class Hons in Textile/Surface Pattern and won the Hallmark Award at New Designers in London the same year.

I have worked for both National and International clients and been represented by Agents at Heimtexil in Germany, Indigo in Paris and Surtex in the USA, as well as undertaking independent commissions from leading manufacturers in the UK for the home and interior products, hospitality design projects, wallpaper and bedding.

Since moving to Yorkshire in 2008 and finding an interest in natural handmade crafts in wool and yarn fed my imagination, which has now led me to create my own gun tufted pure wool rug collection.


Inspiration comes from the relationship between the natural and fabricated imagery found in and around the surroundings where I live on the East Coast. Natural contours found in the Yorkshire landscape that sit alongside forms generated by machinery or buildings inspire my shapes and texture that I incorporate in my kinetic designs.

Inspiration taken from the landscape is recorded for primary source visuals by photographing the land and water. The natural patterns of farm equipment imprinted on the land, the changing light of each day creating reflections, the ripples on the sand left behind when the tide goes out, or reflections on the waters surface in the sunlight. The space between empty branches on trees or the natural patterns formed from pebbles and rocks, from the first spring flowers to the wilting decaying plants in winter all form inspiration for my work.

From the photographs, drawings are developed in my sketchbook, these sketches are then used to create texture within my geometric patterns, with each arrangement being a journey of discovery in shape, form and colour.

Rug making

From my photographic reference I further developed the design on computer where I am able to move shapes around to create outlines that form new patterns. These patterns are then printed out on a large format printer so the pattern can be traced onto the backing cloth. Further development is established with colour and texture for each rug.

Sheep fleece is sourced here in East Yorkshire and a fair price is paid to the farmer then sent locally to be processed and spun. Yarn is individually dyed for each design keeping in mind colour trends in home furnishings that will compliment interior spaces.

I am available for commissions and am happy to discuss your requirements by appointment.

Workshops in gun tufting are available here in East Yorkshire, follow me on Facebook for availability.