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Finnish textiles

Ryijys have been made and used throughout history at least from the Viking ages, but the oldest preserved Finnish ryijy is from the 17th century when ryijys were used by royalties and the rich as bed covers. With the nationalistic ideas of the 19th century, a new interest was aroused in Finland to preserve and to pass on the traditions of handicraft that were starting to be forgotten. In 1897, The friends of Finnish handicraft were founded and began working with reviving the traditional ryijys by remanufacturing traditional ryijys and by create new ryijy designs in a nationalistic style.

In the 1920’s The friends of Finnish handicraft had their first ryijy design competition, with which they wanted to bring young and talented textile designers to the spotlight. These young designers combined the old traditional motifs with the international style influences in their works to create the new ryijy. During the 1920’s the way of using ryijys also changed, and from being a bed cover the ryijy now became a tapestry or rug and therefore became a active part of the interior design.

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