Josef Frank was a jack of all trades and has deeply influenced the Swedish history of design. After fleeing the burgeoning antisemitism for Sweden, Svenskt Tenn’s founder Estrid Ericson gave him room to design and express his creativity. Josef Frank was extremely productive, and throughout his life and active years at Svenskt Tenn, he created over 2 000 furniture sketches and designed over 150 prints and textiles. His personal expression and unique sense of colours and combinations gave rise to timeless motifs that span over generations.
Josef Frank's unique style combines strong colours and shapes that are often inspired by nature. When it comes to rugs, he believed that they should show a real, preferably decorated surface, providing the feeling of solid ground under your feet.
With his colourful designs, Frank also wanted to give the observer a chance to breathe and feel freedom and a change of pace even in confined rooms. “The monochromatic surface appears uneasy, while prints are calming, and the observer is unwillingly influenced by an underlying slow approach. The richness of decoration cannot be fathomed so quickly, in contrast to the monochromatic surface which doesn’t invite any further interest and therefore one is immediately finished with it.”
Decorating with rugs gives your home personality and life. Create a cosy atmosphere in every room with the use of strong colours and patterns. Consider the purpose of the room and rug, the mood you want to create and if you would like to enhance or contrast the interior. Choose a rug that harmonizes with the surroundings and use complementing colours and patterns in other interior details, such as cushions, curtains and vases.
Josef Frank gave rise to the design philosophy Accidentism. In his manifesto, he expressed a strong desire to create harmony through combinations that are perceived as unexpected and unintentional. “We should design our surroundings as if they originated by chance.” Josef Frank argued that strong colours and soft textiles were things that added joyfulness and provided relief from the stress that is caused by our everyday life and living. “It doesn’t matter if you mix old and new, or different styles, colours and patterns. The things you like will always blend, by themselves, into a peaceful whole.”
At Svenskt Tenn, it is important that sustainability and craftsmanship remains in focus. Founder Estrid Ericson was a big friend of Swedish craftsmanship and the company has a constant goal to support and develop high quality Swedish handicraft. When you choose a carpet from Svenskt Tenn, you are supporting Swedish industries and protecting the knowledge that was once passed down from generation to generation. The wool in the rugs comes from New Zealand, which is known for having the best animal husbandry in the world, and the warp is either of flax cultivated in France or of polyester made in Germany.
The rugs from Svenskt Tenn are delivered by two factories: Kasthall and Hitex. Swedish Kasthall outside of Kinna is Sweden’s oldest carpet factory and has been a partner to Svenskt Tenn for several decades. Here, rugs have been woven and tufted since 1889, and the factory has full control of the production process – from yarn to finished carpet. The images below show how the rugs are brought to life at Kasthall. For example, wool is shot in the fabric with a tuft pistol, and the carpets are then stabilized and finished by hand.