Issue 20 Scandinavia
A FEW YEARS AGO, I started taking my children ice skating on Christmas Eve and in what seems like an incredibly short time their skills have superseded mine to the point of embarrassment, but the event has become a family tradition and I love dressing them up in red knitted pom pom hats and sweaters. Everyone has their own festive traditions and there is no shortage in this issue from Daniela Gregis’ advent skirts, Carl and Karin Larsson’s family life, to Stockholm’s pretty Christmas markets.
People often ask me who reads Selvedge and my reply is anyone with a passion for beautiful things. They are geographically dispersed; groups of subscribers cluster in the textile heartlands of Kyoto Japan, San Francisco and Santa Fe USA and Salt Sea Island, Vancouver, Canada while committed individuals have their copies shipped as far afield as Akureyri in Iceland, Lavassan in Iran and St Petersburg in Russia. Scandinavia is another well known hub of innovation where we find a rich textile heritage. From Sweden we look at antique quilts, national costume and the rugs and woven textiles designed by Märta Måås-Fjetterström. It was in the years after the Second World War that the work of Scandinavian designers gained international attention. Buyers at the early Milan Furniture Fairs were smitten by their emphasis on user-friendly, accessible design coupled with sleek modern form. Many designers have explored their national identity by adopting a Scandinavian aesthetic sensibility, but it is in textiles that the links to earlier techniques and imagery were strongest. The evolution of Scandinavian textile design, from those grouped under the Marimekko umbrella to modern innovators such as Pia Wallen is tracked in Print Run.
The legacy of Modernism lies in a certain integrity of purpose and the desire to let the beauty of natural materials shine though. As a result many Scandinavian designers take ecological considerations in their stride – our Northern stars are good examples – but it’s an attitude that’s slowly filtering though the textile industry. In the first of a two-part look at the choice available to those want to spend their money wisely we weigh up the options in eco-interiors, from Toast’s new organic home range to the virtues of reuse and recycling. This will be followed by our return to eco-fashion in Issue 21. For now, enjoy your family traditions, hang your stockings and let’s hope we get some snow...
Polly Leonard, Founder