Rya Rugs (or Ryijy) are the traditional Scandinavian rugs made in Sweden and Finland, and word “Rya” actually means Rug. The vintage Scandinavian Rya rugs that were made in Sweden have extremely long, dense pile and were inspired by the Turkish “Yataks” or bedding rugs. Simple patterns, stripes and geometric designs are emblematic of these textural treasures. Thanks to the recent revival of mid century decors the vintage Swedish Rya rugs seem to have made a strong comeback.
Interior Designers and decorators from all four corners of the world are seeking out vintage rugs from Scandinavia and more specifically the mid-century vintage Rya rugs because of their art deco feel and modernist designs. From all the different types of Scandinavian carpets, the Rya rugs are easiest to recognize due to their pile which is much like the modern day “shag carpets”.
Scandinavia’s fantastic vintage rya Rugs are modernist, luxurious and superbly stylish. With such rich textures, bold colors and abstract designs, it’s not surprising that these luscious mid-century rugs are working their way back into modern interiors. After Islamic textiles were introduced to the far north around the 10th century, it didn’t take Scandinavian craftspeople long to produce their own re-creations. The first long-pile Ryas were worn by sailors and fishermen, and they were also used as insulating bed-covers.
This enduring Nordic textile enjoyed centuries of popularity first as an upper-class bed covering and later as a local handicraft. During the 1600’s, decorative Rya rugs were made for dowries, featured in wedding ceremonies and displayed in homes. The popularity of these luxurious, colorful rugs really took off in the mid-20th century when shag carpets were must-have accessories, and Scandinavian design pieces were all the rage. The scrumptious texture and rich colors of vintage Scandinavian Ryas have earned them a place in stylish homes once again.