From Icelandic Weaving of Viking Times to Contemporary Tapestry

The new issue of the Norwegian Textile Letter is up! 

This spring I ran across an issue of a Norwegian publication about local history, Lokalhistorisk Magazine. They had a whole issue devoted to art and handcraft, “Kunst og husflid.” I felt like I found gold; the issue includes several interesting articles on textiles.  I contacted the publisher, and editor Audhild Brødreskift was very gracious about allowing us to publish translations of the articles in The Norwegian Textile Letter. The first appears in this issue, “A Synopsis of the History of Norwegian Tapestry – and Some Thoughts about Tapestry Today,” by tapestry artist Unn Sønju.  Unn was delightful to work with, and she supplied the English translation.  I asked about her own influences for a bio, and that turned into a separate article featuring her amazing work. 

In March I wished I could hop over to Norway to take a course in Icelandic Glit, a weaving technique on the warp-weighted loom.  That didn’t work, but I managed the second-best option, getting a wonderful article about the class and technique from Hildur Hakonardottir. For added interest, there are comments from three students in the class, Marta Kløve Juul, Monika Ravnanger, and Randi Anderson.

Interest in warp-weighted looms is high these days!  When Melba Granlund demonstrated weaving a traditional Sami grene at the Shepherd’s Harvest Festival in Minnesota this spring, she was barely able to weave four inches in two days–she was talking nonstop to curious visitors to the Weavers Guild of Minnesota booth.  Clearly this is a perfect time for the new book, The Warp-Weighted Loom, by Hildur Hákonardóttir, Elizabeth Johnston, Marta Kløve Juul. Read a review of the book in this issue by Wendy Sundquist. 


HIlsen, Robbie LaFleur 

2 thoughts on “From Icelandic Weaving of Viking Times to Contemporary Tapestry

  1. Sonja Hoie

    Do you know where we can obtain The Warp-Weighted Loom, by Hildur Hákonardóttir, Elizabeth Johnston, Marta Kløve Juu ? Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, Iowa, has apparently had it in the past but does not presently have it in stock.

    1. Post author

      Hello Sonja, I don’t know of other outlets in the U.S. at present, but I wrote to Ken Koop at Vesterheim and he said that more copies are on order. I will send a post to the Norwegian Textile Letter subscribers when they arrive. I’m sure there will be connoting interest. Warp weighted weaving is hot right now! Marta Kløve Juuhl will be teaching classes again at Vesterheim in the fall of 2018.

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