On 23 November 2018, Dyson is releasing a new Dyson Supersonic 23.75 karat gold hair dryer. Designed by James Dyson, this hair dryer is gold leafed using a traditional hand-gilding method and is the first of its kind. Every cap is hand gilt in 23.75k gold.
Hand-Gilt to Ensure Everything Gold Can Stay
The art of gilding has been in practice for thousands of years. Dyson design engineers and model makers first learned the skills for gilding under a master guilder, learning the process and technique to gild. Once learnt, the design and engineering team sought how to scale the process, making it more repeatable and perfecting the surface finish specifically for this application.
Exploring industrial processes, the team quickly learned the process could be aided by technology but ultimately a craftsman’s hand skills remained paramount. At approximately 333 atoms thick, 1/775th the diameter of human hair, each layer of gold leaf must be applied by hand.
Beneath the gold leaf is a red loop which honours the traditional method of gilding. Dyson matched the red found on artwork, sculptures and other artefacts where gold leaf is applied. Like other gold-leafed pieces, the red loop on the product will reveal some of its colour over time, giving each gold-leafed hair dryer a distinctive and unique patina.
During development, Dyson engineers rigged a robotic paint arm to carefully apply an adhesive called ‘size’ onto the surface of the red loop. The robotic arm ensured the adhesive was repeatedly applied the same each time, ensuring a perfect unblemished finish.
Once sprayed, two layers of 23.75k gold leaf from Florence, Italy, is applied by hand and carefully brushed to form a smooth and even finish.