Sent to Mari, Finland
Sent to Lori, U.S.A
Sent to Priyanka, U.S.A
Ryijy is a form of Finnish tapestry or cloth rug.
The name ryijy originated with the Scandinavian word rya, which means "thick cloth". The decorative ryijy rug is an art form unique to Finland. In the late 19th century, ryijy rug weaving developed as a folk art. Some of the most beautiful tapestries were woven then.
Originally woven for use as coverlets and bedding, they were mainly in natural colors, white, gray, and black. Some tones of yellow, red, green, and blue were introduced with vegetable dyes. Later, aniline dyes added another dimension of color and design.
The use of color and pattern is especially unique to the Finnish ryijy. Dating back to the 18th century, a ryijy was often used as a prayer rug during wedding ceremonies; the tapestry was then hung for display in the couple's home.
Different regions had designs specific to the event and colors specific to the local plants for dyes. Designs were often geometric shapes and florals, or figures of humans, animals, or birds. A very typical motif was the Tree of Life signifying family heritage.