Beautiful vintage carpet offering of Scandinavian rugs

Scandinavian Rugs – Scandinavia is known for their Rya and Rollakan Scandinavian rugs. Named after a town in southwest Sweden, Rya Swedish rugs date back to the 16th century.

At first the Scandinavian rugs designs were woven in solid colors, featuring black, gray, white and yellow but as time passed geometric shapes and floral designs were introduced. Used by nobility as bedding and a display of social standing, Rya Swedish rugs were often displayed as tapestries and exhibited as family heirlooms. Scandinavian design rollakan rugs are distinctive folk weaving and many are flat woven kilim tapestry rugs.

In recent months we have seen a tremendous increase in the demand for Mid Century Rugs and for vintage rugs from Scandinavia especially. Vintage Scandinavian carpets work well as transitional pieces by adding an art deco feel and look which goes hand in hand with the current interior design trends. The shift towards mid-century modern decors has surely done wonders for the prices of Scandinavian rugs and they are finally being recognized for the great work of art that they truly are. Scandinavian Rugs can be found in both flat weaves as well as piled carpets.

Prices for the good vintage and mid-century modern Scandinavian rugs have been increasing tremendously. The recent spike in interest in Mid-Century modern interiors has rejuvenated the demand for rugs and carpets from Scandinavia in a big way.

Without a doubt, the Scandinavian rugs, from the mid 20th century, are amazing textile art pieces. They are sought after and appreciated by many Scandinavian rug collectors, interior home decorators and consumers from the four corners of our globe.

The great examples of Scandinavian rugs, such as the carpets by Marta Maas are usually more modernist and, in some cases, nostalgic. This recent surge in value as well as the massive increase demand seem to be here to stay – at least for the foreseeable future.

So now is the best time to shop for these breathtaking mid-century modern Scandinavian rugs!

Scandinavian Rugs Throughout History

In the Western world, the art of fine rug weaving is generally perceived as being a development unique to Near Eastern culture. When most Westerners are asked to imagine antique rugs, many will automatically picture something with an elaborate central medallion, ornate borders, and complex vine scroll and floral detailing; basically, they picture classically designed antique Persian rugs.

Though it is certainly true that artisanal rug weaving is a particularly important tradition in places such as Persia, Turkey, and the Caucasus, there are specific locales outside of this region where rug weaving has always been practiced.

Perhaps the most important such example is Scandinavia. Scandinavia boasts both an ancient history of weaving as well as a thriving new modern rug industry. What is most intriguing about the Scandinavian rugs is their unique development which is rooted in folk art.

For centuries, the Scandinavian people wove rugs out of necessity. The frigid winters and driving snows have always made the region particularly inhospitable, especially by European standards.

Of course, these adverse conditions have never proven too much for the people of Scandinavia whose culture dominated large portions of Northern and Eastern Europe as far back as the eight century. An integral part of this culture, which gave rise to the long-ships and complex social habits of the Vikings, was the art of weaving.

Scandinavia is comprised of the modern nation states of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. In these countries, rug weaving has long been an important practice. The arctic conditions and active lifestyles of the Scandinavian people combined to give rise to the practice of crafting traditional, distinctly regional rugs that had a wide range of utility.

As early as the sixteenth century, the Scandinavian weavers began to produce styles of rugs that were uniquely and distinctly Scandinavian – Ryas and Rollakans.  These fascinating styles are remarkable for several reasons.

First, they are distinctly Scandinavian in their overall aesthetic presentation. While these rugs were initially composed in muted, solid colors (often yellow, gray, or black), they would soon go on to incorporate patterns and design elements that were significant to their actual weavers.

Further, Ryas and Rollakans are notable for their transition from purely utilitarian works to pieces that were woven explicitly for decorative purposes. This mirrors the development of weaving in other cultures across the world and perhaps most notably in Morocco. In Morocco, the traditional weaving of rugs for utilitarian purposes evolved gradually into the production of pieces designed to be purchased and displayed.

In Scandinavia, beginning in the mid-seventeenth century, local weavers began to incorporate the geometric constructions and floral motifs that were (and remain) common in traditional Oriental rugs. Naturally, the master weavers of Scandinavian rugs made these designs their own by incorporating design elements that are significant to Scandinavian culture.

For instance, tulips were the flower of choice for Scandinavians. Therefore, the tulip motifs became a staple in Scandinavian rugs. Local animals and birds also made their way into these new designs – creating an intriguing synthesis of Eastern and Western aesthetic preferences.

The traditional use of Scandinavian rugs is best exemplified in the Rya rugs. When the Rya rug style fist came into its own as a distinct style of weaving, they were generally woven to be used as blankets or cloaks.

As time passed, this began to change. Initially, a widely available folk craft, Rya rugs were soon noticed by Scandinavian nobility. This began a transformation for the Rya rug. Ryas began to be woven for wealthy lords and patrons, who enjoyed decorating their manors with these distinctly Scandinavian rugs.