At Scandinavian Made, our mission is to collect truly beautiful Swedish rugs, bringing our best selections home to the U.S. to share these beautiful pieces with our customers who will enjoy in their homes for many years to come. These pieces would simply not be available in the U.S. otherwise.
Being a small firm, we operate with efficiency which also means we are able to respond quickly to the acquisition of new decorative works as they come our way. Something's new and irresistible? We buy!
Swedish rugs were woven by women (usually) in their homes, typically in the deep, dark, Scandinavian winter when they could not otherwise work outside in the garden or farm. Therefore, these rugs are each unique, according to the vision of the weaver. They are not outsourced! Their styles, patterns and colors are made at the whim (or serious consideration) of the artist and the design may depend on her mood, available fabrics, skill, time available, trend or tradition, and certainly its purpose whether for use in the home, as a gift or to be sold locally at a market.
Another reason for our fascination with these rugs is that it is a quickly dying art. Times have changed. These skills are not needed as before; time is precious and of course, there are the less expensive, mass produced alternatives made in places far away from the Swedish countryside. These rugs are a piece of history that we believe should be appreciated, brought awareness to and shared.
We try to imagine the soul of the weaver in each rug
Each rug is a living and soulful expression of its creator and tells a compelling story. A variety of human traits of joy, creativity, pride, intelligence, humor, confidence, frugality, a modern or traditional point of view, practicality and a happy heart are woven into each rug. It is these human characteristics, seen in the physical forms of design, color, texture, and aged patina, that engage and connect with the viewer. The rug speaks in a language unique to every admirer.
Here's what we do:
We go to Denmark first, see family, seek out our favorite artisans to see what they are working on, visit flea markets, antique centers and crafts fairs, rent a car if outside of Copenhagen, sometimes on the island of Bornholm, purposely get lost and discover wonderful new decorative works and artisans on roads less traveled.
Then we meet up with our good friend, our rug whisperer, in the deep Swedish countryside and spend many hours going through hundreds of rugs one by one and always enjoy at least one meal together.
As we view each rug for our collection, it must speak to us in one or more of these ways:
- notable rug designs and patterns which may range from naive to sophisticated
- interesting, unique and/or highly skilled weaving methods
- unexpected or otherwise smart color combinations
- antique rugs which may meet some of the above criteria in addition to a soulful patina
- charm - regardless of wear or defects which simply touch my heart
- speaking of defects, some defects will add a special "something" to the rug; others will not
- if a rug is otherwise spectacular and has a few very small stains that are barely noticeable, it may be worth adding to our collection
The patina of vintage rugs
The handwoven rugs/textiles in our collection are "perfectly imperfect". The aged patina, the small handwoven corrections, or a few loose or knotted threads can greatly enhance the viewing experience, story, and appreciation of the rug.
We pay close attention to a rug's condition as we select each rug. A rug with a heavily worn, aged, patina, we know, could have a striking look when placed in a clean, modern interior. In traditional interiors, it will add another layer of historical reference. The condition of a rug plays an important role in the design toolbox to nudge a room's look in one direction or another.
Sometimes there is a small stain or two on a vintage rug which one can see close up but which usually disappears when viewing the rug at a normal distance, given a busy pattern, textures and colors. It's the same process one uses when considering other vintage or antique home furnishings. We don't like stains and actively avoid selecting rugs that have them. Sometimes, however, a rug's other qualities significantly diminish the perceived import of a small stain, especially when it is hard to see from a distance. That said, there are few rugs with stains in our collection. Send an email to email@example.com if you want a closer look of a rug and we will send more detailed images.
Some of our rugs were made in the 1930's or 1940s and were never or only occasionally (usually on holidays) used. Therefore, they will not have an obviously aged look. Our newly woven rugs have a near perfect appearance.
They have all been lovingly cleaned and are ready for their new homes.
Our rugs are freshly laundered. Most of our rugs are reversible (double the value!) and can be washed on a gentle, cold water cycle and laid on a rack to dry. For complete assurance of quality cleaning methods, it can be brought to a dry cleaner or other professional textile cleaner. Unless the rug has wool in it, washing at home works beautifully and is a good reason to design with these rugs in the first place, given pets, spills, children (have the children play on a rug to protect or add comfort to flooring) and other accidents.
A few words about our inventory
Due to the handcrafted nature of each one of our items, we usually have only one of any given piece. If you see a piece that catches your heart, grab it quickly while it is still available. All of our rugs are made on wooden looms by Swedish artisans in the solitude and comfort of their own homes and many are of historic significance. They range in age from the late 1800s to newly woven rugs. But, one thing is clear - each rug reflects one weaver's artistic expression and each one is an original work of art. Each rug tells a story.
If you’ve missed out and a piece is no longer available, don’t hesitate to contact us as in some cases we can work with the artisan to have another piece made and shipped over just for you. Sometimes an artisan may have moved on artistically to a new creative philosophy and might refuse to make the same type of piece over again and others are happy to do so. We have access to a collective of Swedish rug weavers.
Search through our categories by color, size, cost, pattern and more to find the perfect rug.
We wonder what the weavers, spanning many generations, would think if they knew the rugs they made for their own homes traveled an ocean away, decades later, to people who would treasure them as the beautiful works of art they are.
Please take a moment to look at the incredible beauty and traditional weaving techniques of the rug making process ...