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Selvedge Magazine | Issue 96

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WORDS BY Polly Leonard, Founder & Editor of Selvedge Magazine

"Nordic style, from the cosy interiors created by Karin Larsson and the iconic Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair to IKEA’s Wonderful Everyday, has always inspired many. There is no denying an innate sense of style, but what exactly is it about Nordic design that makes it so desirable? In this issue we examine its roots in the chalky Gustavian use of colour and the celebration of natural materials: wood, wool, linen and leather. But for me, it is something about the juxtaposition between the restraint of the clean cool northern light and the pops of colour and energy that make Nordic design a perennial, and personal, favourite. 

In this issue we indulge our love of wool through our exploration of the Nordhordland Biosphere Reserve around Bergen on the west coast of Norway, an area dotted with mills. On our way, we chance upon a sweater detective in Annemor Sundbo and find comfort in a collection of colourful coverlets and marvel at the enthusiasm for the Setesdalsbunad. Across the five Nordic nations we see again and again a respect for the environmental benefits of wool in the work of entrepreneurs and companies reviving old skills and promoting a circular economy. But within the importance placed on sustainability and hand- work there is still space for great innovation in the use of recycled material, for example by Bolon and Emma Olbers.

I would like to extend my thanks to Cia Wedin who co-edited this issue. Without her enthusiasm, knowledge and hard work, our insight into these incredible cultures would not have been possible. Our contributors all subscribe to a passion for the circular economy, culture and crafts of the Nordic countries. I am delighted to share with you the sophistication and energy of this extraordinary group of nations."


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