Image: Millefleur 2016 (detail), Aino Kajaniemi.
The new issue of Selvedge, Issue 96 Nordic, is now available to buy. The issue, a ‘Northern Highlights,’ celebrates and explores our fascination with Nordic design. From the cosy interiors created by Karin Larsson and the iconic Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair to IKEA’s Wonderful Everyday, it has always inspired many. What makes it so desirable? In this issue we examine its roots in the chalky Gustavian use of colour and the celebration of natural materials: wood, wool, linen and leather. We celebrate those working with wool in Sweden (John Sterner), Norway (Røros Tweed), Finland (Myssyfarmi), Denmark (Kvadrat) and Iceland (Thingborg) and talk to Norwegian sweater detective Annemor Sundbø.
Image: Annemor Sundbø. Photographer: Eva Kylland.
Across the five Nordic nations we see again and again a respect for the environmental benefits of natural fibres in the work of entrepreneurs and companies reviving old skills and promoting a circular economy. Cia Wedin looks at the historical context: “The importance of sustainability to Scandinavian style began with the Nordic tradition of being careful with nature's gifts. A strong connection to nature is often emphasised in the work by contemporary designers and brands. But the tradition runs a long way back, to the time when everyday objects were made for a purpose and had to be functional and durable. There's also often a highly aesthetic quality present in the careful handicraft by individuals who aimed to create something beautiful.” This is why a Växbo Lin washcloth deserves its place in the Nationalmuseum (Sweden's museum of art and design) collection.
Image: Pink Madder Lake 2012, Bente Sætrang.
Issue 96 was co-edited by Swedish design journalist and editor Cia Wedin, to who we send enormous thanks. Without her enthusiasm, knowledge and hard work, our insight into these incredible cultures would not have been possible.