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Ryijy-rugs in Finland

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Saila Hellsten

on 6 May 2016

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Transcript of Ryijy-rugs in Finland

Ryijy-rug as a sleeping cover
especially used by sailors at sea because woollen fabric was warming even when damp and salty water did not make it hard
common on land as a bed cover
part of soldiers equipment
King Gustavus Wasa (1497-1569) supported weaving ryijy-rugs in Finland
From undecorated ryijy-rugs to colourful designs
while sleeping, the pile side faced downwards and therefore the non-visible side was not decorated
little by little piling was also added on the upper side making the ryijy warmer and more decorative
geometric decorations first but soon various motifs were added
The wedding ryijy
ryijy was used as a prayer rug at weddings
after the wedding ryijy was used as a daytime bedcover and became a family heirloom
bridal rugs were decorated with magic signs bringing protection and good luck
19th century
unique ryijy-rug designs were developed in different regions
ryijy was used as a carpet on the floor or as a wall decoration
with industrial colours ryijy-rugs got strong colours
abundant motifs when foreign textile models were adopted
A brief history of the ryijy-rug
roots in Mesopotamia
the skill of weaving knotted textiles spread with vikings to the Nordic countries
The Finnish ryijy-rug
a woven, knotted, sparsely piled textile
long piling
similar to Moroccan piled carpets
20th century
artists and architects started to design ryijy-rugs
first one by the painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela
new interest: in the 1920s people started collecting old rugs and old models were copied and rewoven
ryijy-rugs started to be sewn with a needle on a ready-made background
in the 1940s art ryijy-rugs developed and became abstract paintings of wool
in the 1950s Finnish ryijy-designers were rewarded in international events
Design your own miniature ryijy-rug
What comes to mind when you think about a forest?
How does a forest make you feel?
Is it a safe or a scary place?
Is it a place of peace or hard work?
What memories do you have?
a ryijy-rug is a work of art
small models to decorate homes
new materials
Flame by Akseli Gallen-Kallela 1900
Kirsti Ilvessasalo
Laila Karttunen
Helena Koskivaara
Rows are worked from left to right and the
bottom up. Pass needle under one vertical
thread and pull through. Pass needle through
next vertical thread and hold loop down to required length.

Sopanen, T. & Willberg, L. (2008). The Ryijy-Rug lives on: Finnish Ryijy-Rugs 1778-2008. Varkaus: Lönnberg Print.
Saloniemi, M. & Willberg, L. (1991). Suomalainen ryijy. Tampere: Painomanse Oy.

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