has a long tradition of weaving natural homespun flat weave
and shaggy colorful rugs that are necessary in order to cope
with long, dark days of the Scandinavian winter. This is a
home or cottage industry, with continuous tradition over the
centuries. It has never died out, but has evolved, particular
during the 20th Century, to produce highly modern designs
and patterns that are based on ancients' motifs.
rugs are double pile rugs, thick and shaggy, made for warmth
in various parts of Scandinavia (especially Finland), and
they may have been inspired by animal skins that would originally
have been used as rugs and coverlets. They date back at least
to the 10th Century, and were used both as floor coverings
and bed covers. They were initially in solid colors, but by
the late 18th Century, they were being decorated with designs
taken from pattern books imported from France and Germany.
double weave Scandinavian rugs and pillows from the south
of Sweden, known as Rolakans, also have a particular boldness
in juxtapositions of clear, bright colors, together with that
clarity and simplicity of design that is peculiar to Scandinavia.
They were often woven in wide stripes or repeating interlocking
triangles, using plain rather than slit weave technique. These
rugs use patterns that seem to have survived, more or less
unchanged, since Viking times.