As a rya fan, I love all variations of woven pile, including halv-flossa, which is a pile weave that doesn’t cover the whole woven base. It’s popular in Norway, and several years ago I took a class on the technique at Vesterheim from Bergen-based teacher Ingebjørg Monsen (documented here and here). Lately it seems I see halv-flossa everywhere.
It started with a wonderful description of halv-flossa Swedish rugs in a post, Halv-flossa, by Anne Whidden on The Swedish Rug Blog (my current favorite blog). Here is a rug she featured, which I picked because I like woven lions.
The day after I read this post I visited my dermatologist. Her office is in International Design Square, which means that getting my skin checked included the perk of walking by my favorite favorite rug store, Woven Arts. I lingered over the gorgeous rugs, wished I had some tens of thousands of dollars to buy a few, and considered amazing color combinations for my own work. This time I saw some wonderful Afghani rugs with partial pile, like these.
They were so charming, beautiful, and richly-colored. Another Afghani rug had a very interesting edge treatment.
My serendipitous views of halv-flossa continued on a trip to Boston. On an afternoon stroll, we stopped at Anthropologie, where I was most amazed at how much really terrible quality fabric can be in one supposedly-upscale store. In the home goods section, I spotted a halv-flossa-like pillow.
While it had the same tribal look as the beautiful Afghani rugs I had recently seen, the quality of the work and the fabric/yarns in the Anthropologie pillow were sleazy and inferior. It’s the type of schlocky consumer good that makes me annoyed, a piece destined for a short life on a couch before entering the trash bin. And yet it cost $88.
My half-flossa month went from the Swedish sublime, to the Afghan authentic, to the Anthropologie awful.