Carpets that ripple like a stream | ET REALITY


Fashion designer Marco Zanini’s mother is Swedish, but growing up in his father’s native Italy, he never thought much about his Nordic roots. It wasn’t until he was 30 that he “became passionate about everything Scandinavian,” says the 52-year-old, based in Milan, who was creative director of Halston, Rochas and Schiaparelli before launching his eponymous ready-to-wear. brand in 2019. “I started spending my summers there, researching anything that looked and felt Swedish.”

One of her discoveries was the work of Märta Måås-Fjetterström (1873-1941), a textile artist known for her elaborate patterns that fused Swedish folk motifs with modernist designs. After purchasing two of her rugs at auction, he became fascinated with the idea of ​​visiting her studio (“I wanted to see those famous looms,” he says), which is still in operation in the small town of Båstad, in southern Sweden. and in 2016 he contacted the company which had been created to continue Måås-Fjetterström’s work shortly after his death. When Tina Swedrup, his current co-owner, received the message from her, “of course I Googled it,” she says. “And I realized that I really loved his designs.”

When the two finally met in person, they connected over their commitment to slow, careful production and their shared interest in traditional craftsmanship. Last December, Swedrup broached the idea of ​​collaborating on a rug. Not long after, Zanini was sitting on the workshop’s worn wooden floor sifting through thousands of skeins of hand-dyed wool to find 12 different color combinations for his design called A Righe (which is Italian for “striped”).

“My motto was ‘keep it simple,’” says Zanini, who counts traditional Swedish rag rugs and the distinctively glazed mid-20th-century glazed pottery of Berndt Friberg among his inspirations. Still, the magic of a Måås-Fjetterström creation lies in its inherent complexity. Each strip of the rug is made up of 25 different threads in complementary shades, the order of which is chosen by the weaver. However, when viewed together, they read as a single block of color. In preparation for the process, Zanini had to hand-select threads in 1,800 different shades. The resulting mixture creates the illusion that the stripes ripple like the surface of a stream. “I thought, ‘It will never match the beauty that (Måås-Fjetterström) created in his lifetime,’” says Zanini, whose rugs are available made-to-order in the company’s permanent collection. “But at least you can get close to him.” — Laura May Todd

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