I was so happy to publish the new issue of the Norwegian Textile Letter last night, a special issue on Vestfoldsmett, a brocading or inlay technique from the area of Vestfold in Norway. It started with another in the series of “Retro Reprints,” in which older articles from the black-and-white newsletters of decades past are republished with color photos. Lila Nelson wrote an impeccably-researched article in 1999, “Vestfoldsmett–New Interest in an Old Technique.” But then–there was so much more to add about history and technique!
Largely due to Lila’s work and teaching, many American weavers became familiar with Vestfoldsmett. See their work in “Some Vestfold Weaving by Americans.” (I wrote about my own Vestfoldsmett exploration here.)
“I’ve seen that pattern before,” you might realize after reading “Vestfoldteppene: Discovery, Documentation and Inspiration.” In “Symbolic Weaving from Vestfold,” the life cycle of wheat is described in the pattern bands of the Asketeppe, one of the 16 rediscovered coverlets. It was so fun to correspond with Marianne Løchen from the Hillestad Bygdekvinnelag about the use of a reproduction Vestfoldteppe in a church service in 2018 (and she is a wonderful photographer).
Finally, if you are a weaver inclined to try the technique yourself, check out “Vestfoldsmett–Weaving Tips and Technique.”
Having fallen in love with a golden yellow and navy rug/coverlet in the Albuqueque museum, I was surprised to be told that the lovely warm yellow had originally been red but the dyestuffs used had lost their color in the 150 years plus since the wool had been dyed. I wondered if the warm, pale yellow in the Tønsbergteppe might once have been red too.
All the best, Joanna
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