Ryas Rugs


Ryas Rugs

Ryas rugs are shaggy and provided nice insulation on those cold winter days in Scandinavia. Ryas rugs were originally woven on a loom with the pile being knotted on the warp threads by hand which was very tedious. But now, the same laborious process can be done much easier by using a canvas backing where the wool is then knotted with something called a ratchet hook. Each finished piece will have unique style and color, made possible by each knot consisting of 3 wool strands, allowing for a more varied choice of color shades and texture possibilities.

Ryas rugs and other textiles such as patchwork quilts were very popular and used primarily by the lower to middle class, however around the turn of the 18th century, they became desirable to those in the upper class homes as well. Ryas rugs were typical of the textiles the Finns were producing and were used mainly for warmth in open fishing boats and sleighs. Their use was not limited here though, for they could also be found in castles and manor houses, used as either wall hangings or bedcovers

Ryas rugs as mentioned earlier, can be made either by using a hooking process or needle-weaving process. The earliest pieces had widely spaced knots often on the front and back of it. Today care is taken to closely set the knots for a more denser pile. There is a cousin to this style type and it is called a Flossa. A Flossa's main difference is it is a cut-pile version of it's shaggy relative.

Ryas had a bit of a resurgence from the 1950's up to present day. They fit in nicely with the different era's such as the 'space-age', hippie movement and 'mod' periods in the western cultures. It was also during these periods that machine made reproductions came on the scene bearing the actual name. Nothing however can come close to the hand-woven quality of these truly historic works of art.

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