The term “vintage” when applied to rugs, is used to describe those seeped with nostalgia “retro rugs” that were produced during the mid 20th century and through the 1970’s (for the most part).
Rugs that are considered “vintage” showcase what the 20th century was largely defined by – the experimentation and innovation in the arts, industries, the sciences and popular culture. Typically, a mid-century area rug is a rug or carpet that was produced between the 1920’s and 1970’s. These rugs explore the boundaries and push the limits of textural and visual style to create rug designs that provide a strong sensory experience and can quickly change the look and feel of one’s interior home design.
The diversity seen in these productions may be one of the secrets behind their renewed popularity. These marvelous carpets feature formal geometric motifs, whimsical folk-art influences and colorful Deco inspired designs that are truly abstract. Whether collectors and designers are seeking a luxurious long-pile Rya or charming flat-woven vintage rugs from Scandinavia, the most versatile and colorful rugs, make superb statement pieces. In the 21st century, the world has a renewed interest in these carpets that thrilled modern design aficionados years ago.
The 20th century rug production of that followed the art Deco period was increasingly experimental and avant-garde. In Europe, the works of mid century modern artists were celebrated in phenomenal vintage carpets that were woven in France and Europe’s oldest weaving centers. Like any Renaissance, this transitional period welcomed innovators and ushered in outstanding artistic personalities.
These innovators of classical modernism influenced the trends that supported the popularity of these carpets during the mid 20th century. The functional, luxurious rugs of the past were replaced by modern fresh new statement pieces that were elevated from their standard purpose as decorative floor coverings and were featured and celebrated as works of art.
Beautiful Vintage Mid Century Modern Rugs And Interiors
Mid century modern rugs, as opposed to antique rugs, includes abstract, pop-art, artist designed, surrealist and minimalist styles. These vintage rugs were able to set or keep pace with the ever changing interior decor trends. In many ways, the new and innovative trends what were developed during the mid 20th century, were based upon a revival of folklore and traditions that were turned on their ear to become a new genre.
In Scandinavia and Denmark, the patrimonial Danish design trends reached an unprecedented level of global popularity through manufacturers like Ege as well as other professional weavers.
Like the aesthetic movement of the late 1800’s and the Luddites (who destroyed the British power looms in the early 1800’s), the artists and master weavers who created mid century modern rugs during the mid 20th century also rebelled against the increasing industrialization of carpet production.
Ege Rya and other manufacturers used hand-made woven techniques borrowed from Axminster to produce durable machine-made rugsand shag carpets. While a separate group of designers was dedicated to producing hand-made carpets and involving themselves in all aspects of production.
Ironically, the designers specializing in handwoven vintage rugs have often been the product of industrialization. These designers were schooled in industrial design and textile art production to meet the growing mid century modern demands. The designers developed their own unique styles which often included influences from local or regional history and folklore.
The Beauty of Mid Century Modern Vintage Rugs
In recent years, mid century vintage rugs such as Moroccan rugs and Scandinavian rugs have swelled in popularity for a wide variety of interiors. Most notably a mid-century modern decor benefits best from these artistic masterpieces. They can draw a room together, transforming it from sparse and minimal to cozy, inviting, and luxurious, without breaking the bank.
Their popularity comes from their ease of use and the wide range of color palette options, not to mention their uniqueness in design. Indeed, the fact that these vintage rugs are as desirable as they are is a testament to two things: first, to the incredible craftsmanship that went into the original composition; and, second, to their enduring beauty.
Vintage rugs from Sweden and Morocco are among the most desirable and sought after commodities in the art word, and are one of the greatest values. Swedish rugs of the early and mid 20th century are hugely sought after due to their incredible artistic qualities and superior craftsmanship.
For Swedish rug designers in the early 20th century, the production of rugs and textiles was raised to an art form, which had a great international appeal. A fresh and appealing aesthetic was sustained during the first half of the twentieth century by the weaving of the celebrated Swedish carpet designer Marta Maas Fjetterstom and her peers. The simplicity and purity of design in vintage Scandinavian rugs give them an immediate relevance and contemporary allure.
Swedish weaving tradition reaches back hundreds of years when encounters with eastern civilizations taught Scandinavians how to create the lushly woven, warm Rya rugs that are still made today.
In the twentieth century, aesthetics evolved and the Swedes called for flat-woven kilim rugs with simple, geometric patterns. Rollakans, as they are called, are Swedish national treasures, and many of the vintage pieces we might buy for our home were created for government funded regional Arts and Crafts fairs.
The Marta Maas Scandinavian Vintage Rug Company:
The establishment of Marta Maas Fjetterstrom Atelier in 1919 was quite possibly the most important thing to happen to the Swedish Rollakan. Fjetterstrom got her start as a weaver at one of the aforementioned regional Arts and Crafts fairs in Malmohus, but her talent soon became too big for the small town and she moved to greener pastures in Vittsjo.
When her work was featured in an exhibit in Malmo, she was noticed by Ludvig Nobel (brother of the founder of the Nobel Prize) and under his patronage, she moved to a new workshop in Bastad where she lived until her death, weaving masterpieces and training prodigy in the likes of Barbro Nilsson and Marianne Richter.