Friday, October 16, 2009

What does a Scandinavian Hooked Rug look like?

I love it when we receive a different kind of rug for cleaning. Today we got a hand hooked rug from Scandinavia.

Rugs from the Scandinavian regions are also known as Rya rugs. They started out as a way for fisherman and hunters to keep warm and turned into area rugs.

The weaving technique is different from the rug hooking we do in North America.
They use a wool woven flat rug for their backing then they loop through the shaggy pile.

To get the multi-tonal look several wool fibers of different shades of the same colour were pulled through the same hole. To do a blended colour change several fibers of different colours would be pulled through together.

These rugs came in complete kits, same as you would buy here in North America. This particular pattern is called Birch.

From the back, you can see the fibers are hooked in straight lines. The weaver used every second line for a less dense rug.

I am curious to know if the pattern called for using every second line to be used or if you had the choice to use every line to make it thicker?

If you have family or friends who are from Finland, Sweden, or Norway ask them if they know of the Rya rug kits used to make hooked rugs back in the "Old Country" and post your findings.

Here is a close up of the front of the rug. You can slightly see the different colours of wool in each knotted tuft.
To keep these shags looking their best you need to vacuum between each row of fibers.

Shaking the rug will cause the loose dirt to get caught up in the fibers, not recommended.

As with all shag rugs it is near impossible to remove all the loose dirt trapped at the bottom of the fibers. The fibers fan out or lay down trapping the dirt.

The best place to use shaggy rugs is in an area that doesn't get walked on a lot or near food areas.
I love seeing unique area rugs that have a history. If you have such a rug please bring it in to Luv-A-Rug and your rug can also be featured on my blog.

Thanks for reading, RugloverMary

I found two great blog written on Scandinavian/ Rya rugs:

The Textile Blog tells about the 1960's rug trends

The Ouno Blog tell about the history of how these rugs came to be and how they changed over the years

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