The article in WSJ Magazine was called “Dream Weavers”.  I’m not a subscriber but they sent me a magazine anyway. And I’ve never received another one and in a way I’m glad because who knows for where I would have next booked a ticket. I tore out the article but it has no date on the two pages so I can’t even tell you when. I read it and in rapid succession developed an inexplicable covetous urge to own a weaving from the Swedish textile atelier of Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom, then booked a flight to Sweden. Let me tell you no one was more surprised than me. 

I’ve always loved fabrics and rugs and linens. I’m a tactile human, always reaching for things in no touch places, but until recently I couldn’t have told you it was TEXTILES in which I have immense interest in and appreciation for and a few regrets about not having pursued this passion before now.  I’ve brought back a textile from every country I’ve traveled but I was unknowing of the broad, beautiful term, textiles until this purchase and the research I did as a result. 

On various travels to Paris I discovered Aubusson rugs and Gobelin tapestries.  I bought a small, sweet red fox needlepoint kit from Bucherie of which I’ve not begun, but it’s here next to me, always calling for someday.  I’ll eventually get to it.  My grandmother taught me to sew.  Home Economics honed the skill.  4-H brought it all home because there were blue ribbons involved and wearable clothing (beyond my Mom’s pretty feed sack shorts and matching tanks).  I taught myself to do cross stitch embroidery and laboured for months on a crewel pillow that I gave my Mom. She still has it and I’m amazed every time I see it.

But it was the choosing of the fabric for the sewing projects that I most enjoyed.  I recall shopping for fabric for a prom dress and telling Mom I wanted something to stun. It was for my 1st husband’s senior prom and since I was a year older, I had graduated and would be returning on his arm and wanted to make sure all the girls knew who was in charge.  Mom and I found a gauzy pale pink fabric with raised dots of darker pinks and pale tans that had enough body to stand up to the dress pattern we had chosen (I hope it was Vogue but it may have been McCall’s). The fabric was zephyr thin, requiring a lining in the body and the entire project was decadent and gloriously tactile and I was so happy to wear that dress.  A few years later a friend wanted to borrow it for a wedding and they never returned it.  It slipped my memory at the time, but once I (much) later recalled the favor and the absence and loss of the dress, I’ve never gotten over it.  That dress and its fabric was the beginning.  

Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom 1873-1941 was a Swedish textiles pioneer.  She opened her weaving shop in 1919 in Båstad Sweden at the age of 46. Already a Swedish design icon, she’s been likened to a composer, her weavers the musicians.  Her rugs and tapestries hang in museums, grace the floors of palaces all over the world, and occasionally the smallest ones find their way into homes of new converts. Works of art in linen and wool, I can’t imagine having one underfoot.  It would be like constantly looking at the new pair of shoes bought for the new school year. I’d never want to look up again.  She left behind over 700 designs – a legacy of an extent the textiles world may never see an equal. 

I don’t know why I travel, I really don’t. I had such an intensely passionate desire for one of those weavings in the article that I created an overseas itinerary to procure one despite the fact I hardly knew what a loom was. If I can be moved to book a trip abroad to a country I’ve never been spurred on by an article in a magazine I don’t subscribe to about woven wall hangings and rugs by a Swedish textiles design icon of which I’d never heard, there is no rhyme or reason.  I like that idea.  To be driven to go see something on as slight a whim as this is as good a cause for exploration and discovery, as any I think.


Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom

Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom Atelier, Båstad Sweden


Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom

Full tour. Antique looms.


Marta Maas-Fjettersrom

glorious, intricate, intoxicating textiles


MMF International Executive

Win Win. Martin Chard International Executive MMF.


Swedish Flat Weave by Kaisa Melanton for AB MMF


Kaisa Melanton

Woven 1974. Kaisa Melanton design. Linen warp, wool weft


Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom

Hello Marta I Love You


Workshop at Agardhsgatan 9, Bastad Sweden


Kaisa Melanton

Kaisa Melanton 1920 – 2012, Swedish Textile Designer and director of Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom studio in 1970


MMF Studio & Shop

MMF design in progress


Post purchase wind-down


Mom's crewel pillow

The Crewel Pillow, circa 1999


I posted all these pics so my son will someday know what he’s inheriting.


Join the Road Trip Revolution at the Solo Road Trip Facebook Fan Page, here.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...