Rölakan (or röllakan or flat weave) is a special weaving technique used for weaving carpets. The technique has been used in Sweden for a long time, and is therefore seen as typically Swedish. In recent years, Röllakan carpets have become increasingly popular.
The name comes from the old Swedish word “ryglakan” (originating in the corresponding German word ruggelakan). This word means “back cloth” since many of the carpets woven in rölakan technique were hung on walls, behind the backs of the people.
The rölakan weaving technique is somewhat simpler than that used for tapestries. It is characterized by all joints between different color areas in the pattern of woven fabric can be either scalene or equilateral, depending on what the designer prefer. Therefore rölakan carpets are often reversible. A rölakan carpet is almost always made of 100% wool.
Swedish weavers developed a passion for designs incorporating simple geometric patterns and artful motifs based on regional folklore. By the 20th century, Swedish rugs were international art objects that were partly the product of government funding. Today, rölakan carpets are increasingly popular and works so good with modern, mid-century as well as contemporary designs.