Embroidery, updated

Design big (rugs); design small (embroidery): that’s what many textile designers of this period did.  That is, they did both, seamlessly (ouch).

The July 1959 issue of the American magazine, “House Beautiful” was titled, “The Scandinavian Look in US Homes.” Inside was a two-page color spread offering several Swedish needlework patterns.  There were six embroidered pillows, four of them designed by Edna Martin, one of the designers of rugs from this period.

At that time Martin was Manager and Artistic Director of the Association of the Friends of Textile Art/Handicrafts, and her job included designing not only rugs but all kinds of textile products to be woven or embroidered and then sold. The “Friends” (“Vänner” in Swedish) marketed and sold through US and British distributors, directions in English for making these embroidered pillows. The 1959 magazine photo looked like this:

croppedHB July59 copy

The pillows were labeled by name and price—each either $7.25 or $8.25. At the time a hard-cover book -which was the only kind there was— was about $3 to $4.00, so these were not inexpensive.

That was then. Fast forward: at the end of 2014, with a Swedish museum show on the subject, a book was published, which collected and reproduced lots of these charming  embroidery patterns of the 1950s and 60s.  These represented the collaboration of the Östergötland County Handcraft Association at that period with then-prominent Swedish designers. The book includes some of the patterns above by Edna Martin, and others by other of the designers who designed rugs I am looking at— such as Ingrid Dessau, Ingrid Skerfe-Nilsson, as well as others designers. The authors encourage the reuse of these patterns on more contemporary objects: small jewelry cases and book bags for example. Here are a few photos of some of the patterns:

Edna Martin, Salami design, shown in middle left in above photo
EdnaMartin 2 Sulamit when 27 yrs
Edna Martin, Sulamit design, shown in red in bottom left in above photo
Ingrid Dessau fireworks
Ingrid Dessau, Fireworks design, photo by Thomas Harrysson
traedgaard_groen Ingrid Skerfe- NIlsson 1956 phtot Thomas Harrysson
Ingrid Skerfe-Nilsson, Green Garden design, photo by Thomas Harrysson

The title of the book is Borderier Från 50-och 60-Talen, and the authors are
Ann-Sofie Svansbo and Anna Lindqvist, with photographs by Thomas Harrysson,published by Hemslojdens publishers.

It’s fun to see a reprise of these great designs!

Title image: “Citrin” by Birgitta Werner-Johansson, photographed for book by Thomas Harrysson. This is one of a number of faceted designs named after gem stones.



Please reference as follows:

Whidden, Anne, “Embroidery updated,” theswedishrugblog (March 7, 2016);
http:// theswedishrugblog.wordpress.com; accessed (month/day/year)

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