a Craft Association designer

Ingrid Dessau’s entire time of study, from 1940-45 at Konstfack, the design school in Stockholm under Barbro Nilsson and others was during the war years. Although Sweden was a neutral country, materials were short and life was serious. Most of the young female designers of this period took their work seriously and intended to have careers in textile design. Like many of her peers, Ingrid went to work for one of the hemslöjd organizations in a town not far from her home after her graduation.

In 1945, Dessau became a pattern designer for the Kristianstad County Craft Association (“Kristianstad lans hemslojd”). In this position, she designed all sorts of patterns for textiles to be made or woven by about 100 women in the county —embroideries, lace designs, table linens, and rugs. She supervised the production of these products, which would be sold in the Craft Association store—and her standards for the quality of goods produced were high. She was good at her job, demanding, but generous with instruction and direction.

After three years Dessau was promoted to be head designer, coordinating also the professional weaving studio of the craft association, which wove commissions especially from local churches for carpets. It was clear that Dessau had two particular talents: for the design of rugs in particular, and for managing the process of weaving rugs, from design through production. These two talents were the basis for her career.

Dessau was married and moved to the United States in 1948. But even while she was abroad, she maintained contact with the Kristianstad Craft Association, and after she returned in 1953, they again wove rugs to her designs

Here are two rugs which were woven to her designs at the Kristiansted Crafts Association. I don’t know if these were woven before or after she went to the United States.

ID green Hakimian
Ingrid Dessau,  Flat Weave rug, Rölakan, Untitled, Kristianstad Lans Hemslojd (Signed KLH ID) 13’2″ × 9’2″ (401×279) sold by FJ Hakimian
ID KLH Hakimian 220075
Ingrid Dessau , Flat weave rug, Rölakan, Untitled in blue and brown,Kristianstads Lans Hemslojd,  ID KLH 9’4″ × 6’0″(284x 183 cm) sold by JF Hakimian #2207


FJ Hakimian, New York

Gustafsson-Seiffe, Inger, Ingrid Dessau, Textildesigner, Textilmuseet i Boras, 2008.

ibid, Ingrid Dessau, Virtuoso Colorist, Väv magazine, issue 2/08, p.6-9

Please Reference as follows:

Whidden, Anne, “A Craft-Association Designer,” theswedishrugblog (September 12, 2015);http:// theswedishrugblog.wordpress.com; accessed (month/day/year)


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