Unique tapestry

The Staffan Stalledräng tapestry can now be regarded as fairly typical of its era, 1909. It has clear elements of national-romaticism: Nordic blue light and colours that give a grounded, vegetable dyed impression. The style is reminiscent of mediaeval weavings like the Baldishol weaving from Norway and the pattern is influenced by popular textile traditions. As the title implies, the motif is inspired by the folksong about Staffan and a variant of the text is woven into the picture.

Inspired by folk art
For Märta Måås Fjetterström, the starry night was the inspiration for the entire tapestry; she was inspired by stars in folk art and in a particular oriental carpet that depicted a night sky that she saw in Stockholm in 1897. “I will make a starry sky of this blue, thought my internal, youthful enthusiasm. Several years later I did make a Staffan Stalledräng tapestry with horses under a starry sky”.

Strong reactions
Staffan Stalledräng caused strong reaction in Malmöhus county arts and crafts society where Märta Måås-Fjetterström was a pattern constructor. The work was not considered to be compatible with her task of preserving Skåne’s textile traditions and independently compsoed works were not accepted. When the tapestry was shown at the 1909 Stockholm Exhibition and bought by Röhsska Museum the following year, the arts and crafts society chose to fire Märta Måås-Fjetterström.

Haute lisse tapestry. Unbleached linen warp with some wool yarn in tones of blue, brown, yellow, green, grey and black. Woven as a Flemish waving with interlocking teeth at most colour changes. Kelim splits at the horses’ manes and tails. Openings between the yarn changes are particularly obvious after the steep line by the horse heads. Hachures in the sky. Sewn together between the text and image sections. Warp density: 37-41 threads/10 cm, 4 ply linen yarn Weft density: 130-148 threads/10 cm. Signed at the base, woven in: “Märta Måås-Fjetterström 1909. Hemslöjden Malmö. A.S-m.S.A.n”. Weaver: Augusta (Asta) Stenström (from Slöinge) and Signe Ahlgren. Inv.nr. RKM 52-1910