The traditional Scandinavian rug, Rya, is made from hand-knotted wool with thick shaggy pile. Simple geometric patterns and vignettes from day-to-day life, such as bouquets of flowers, a child’s sampler or a pet dog, traditionally have been incorporated into these flat woven tapestries and Swedish pile carpets, adding charm and a contemporary feeling to this folk art. The soft and colorful design style of Rya rugs brings warmth to create rooms with a homier feel.
Dating from the 15th century, Scandinavia (Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden) has a proud tradition of rug making on par with Persia and China, places more immediately associated with the craft.
How Swede It Is
The simplicity, as well as incredible artistry and superior craftsmanship, of Swedish rugs from the early and mid 20th century elevated these floor coverings to an art form, and have make them extremely sought after.
Though rug making came to Scandinavia notably later than it did to traditional rug-making cultures in the Eastern world, an equally complex and sophisticated methodology for weaving fine rugs did develop there.
Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom – Designer Extraordinaire
The popularity of Scandinavian rugs is largely due to the contributions of designers like Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom, one of the most important figures in the entire history of Scandinavian rug making. Her vision for uniquely sparse and geometric composition, plus her attention to detail and treatment of color created the sort of pieces that complement the design aesthetic of legends like Frank Lloyd Wright.
With pieces in some of the most exclusive art museums in the world, as well as an outsized reputation in the design world for more than 70 years after her death, Maas-Fjetterstrom’s accomplishments illustrate the importance of Scandinavian rugs.
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