Friday, 21 February 2014

Rya rug

Wikipedia is inconclusive in its coverage of rya rugs, or long-pile rugs, or floss rugs. According to Swedish sources, the technique was used already in Ancient Egypt. But it is true that they are popular in Sweden, and I have always wondered how they were made. Some days ago I decided to find out. I was inspired by a post in my dollhouse group that I couldn't find afterwards. I was a bit down in mood and thought that an elaborate piece of craft would do me good. It did. I went online to find descriptions and stumbled over this video (in Swedish), which struck me because it was done by a young man, and he was making his first ever rug. I felt I was in good company.

I had embroidery canvas that I had bought some years ago with vague intentions, which came handy. So I started, with a ball of yarn and a darning needle.

Rya technique is fascinating, and actually this is more or less how Oriental rugs are made, only the pile is of course much shorter. It took me three evenings to finish this small square. For a first try, I think it looks fine.

The other side gives a better idea of the technique:

You make a loop and then you make a knot, and another loop and another knot, until you have made a row. Then you cut through the loops. It takes a long time, but I wasn't in a hurry.

Apparently, these rugs were first used as blankets, imitating animal skins, with the pile down. Decorative rugs have the pile up, and you can make various patterns with yarn. I really enjoyed making this rug, so I will definitely make more. 

Here it is in its environment:


  1. hehe, this looks great. And very cosy.

  2. Mattan ser väldigt fin och mjuk ut =) Jag ska nog testa att göra en i miniatyr nån dag jag med, känns som det är mer praktiskt att ha dem i miniatyr än i verkliga livet, det skulle bara försvinna små leksaker i den mattan, som jag skulle trampa på sen ;)

  3. Very beautiful rug, looking very cozy! the texture of the rug is very plush.