Barbro Nilsson for AB Märta Måås-Fjetterström 'Tånga' Carpet
Barbro Nilsson for AB Märta Måås-Fjetterström, carpet, model ‘Tånga, W lätt grön och brun’, wool on linen warp, Sweden, design 1955
Exceptional hand-woven carpet designed by the celebrated Swedish textile designer Barbro Nilsson in 1955. Not only is this carpet beautifully designed, its size of 273 x 211 cm (107.5 x 83.1 in.) makes it even more impressive. Nilsson applied the gobeläng flatweave technique to make this specific carpet. This technique is introduced by the artist herself to the MMF studio in 1942, which allows for more liberated and expressive forms compared to the traditional flatweave techniques. In this process, a full-scale working drawing featuring the pattern contours is placed underneath the warp in the loom. The wefts are then meticulously handpicked and woven to follow the outlined shapes. For every design, Nilsson would make a drawing she would use as a guideline for the carpet’s pattern. Many of her carpets can be categorized into distinct groups based on their underlying motifs and the names associated with their creation. ‘Tånga’, means Seaweed in Swedish, and belongs to the “fish and sea” theme. As with all her designs, Nilsson wove her initials ‘B N’ and AB MMF (meaning AB Märta Måås-Fjetterström) at the edge of the carpet.
Barbro Nilsson (1889- 1983), née Lundberg, was a Swedish textile designer from Malmö, Sweden. In 1904 her family moved to Stockholm where her father, Carl T. Lundberg, was the manager of the department store ‘Nordiska Kompaniet’(NK). At the age of fourteen, Nilsson started her education in weaving and textile design at the Brunssons Vävskola that was founded by Johanna Brunsson in 1843. Nilsson continued her education at the ‘Tekniska Skolan’ (technical academy) in Stockholm where she enriched her skills in weaving even further. In 1928 she married to the sculptor Robert Nilsson (1894-1980) with whom she collaborated with on numerous of tapestries. Barbro Nilsson excelled in combining color and form, and her creative combinations and different weaving techniques makes her work unique among other Scandinavian textile designers from the 20th century. She became the right hand to Swedish textile designer Märta Måås-Fjetterström (1873–1941), who founded a weaving studio Båstad in 1919. After Måås-Fjetterström passed away in 1942, Nilsson took over the leadership of the studio. Here she created new carpet patterns and experimented with different techniques such as the traditional Swedish hand-knotted ‘flossa’ technique in relief, flat weave and knotted-pile technique. Up until this day, the studio is widely recognized for its carpets and tapestries of remarkable skillful craftsmanship and designs of artistic and cultural value. Their approach to design and weaving is passed on from generation to generation. A team composed of well-educated weavers using the exact same techniques devised over 100 years ago. In 1983 Barbro Nilsson passed away and will be remembered as one of the most accomplished textile designers of the 20th century.
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