Old Weavings, New Knowledge

One of the great benefits of Weavers Guild membership is the opportunity to and learn from other members in the Guild’s interest groups.  I am constantly reminded about how much knowledge is held by members and constantly amazed at the generosity of time and talent by those members.  Our Scandinavian Weavers Interest Group has a long history of providing support to one another, and several new weavers have been nurtured.

We had a great learning opportunity at our January meeting, held on a frigid, cars-not-starting day.  Even so, many members met for a special viewing of Swedish art weave textiles at the American Swedish Institute (ASI), assembled by group member and super-volunteer at the ASI, Phyllis Waggoner.  She brought out treasures for examination and inspiration.

Counting Threads

Counting ends per inch

One amazing textile was a set of two curtains owned by Swan Turnblad, the turn-of-the-last-century owner of the Swedish American newspaper, the Posten, whose mansion is now the main building of the American Swedish Institute. The brown wool curtains, over 8 feet long, are embellished with Swedish brocading techniques, dukagång and krabbesnår. 51.03.132

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The reverse side (this is the side that would face up while it was woven)

Here is the reverse of the bottom of the curtain.

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Since that meeting, we learned more about the curtains.  Lisa Bauch wrote, “FYI,  I was curious about the date on the curtains from the Turnblad mansion, so I had my mom do some research. (She’s a retired reference librarian.) The Turnblads travelled to Europe in 1895 (including Sweden) and bought furnishings for the home they lived in before they built the house on Park Avenue. I think it’s safe to assume that the curtains were commissioned and woven in Sweden that year, hence the date and SJT initials.”

 

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Here’s a detail from the top of the curtain.

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Watch for more photos of beautiful Swedish textiles from the American Swedish Institute… posted soon.

 

About Robbie LaFleur
Weaving in Minnesota, when I can!

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