Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few decades, you will know that the interior design world loves anything that’s Scandinavian. And not just the interior design world: think about art in general, like music for instance, where artists like Röyksopp and Avicii have gained huge international fame and success. Not to mention literature: nobody in the world doesn’t know about the adventures of Goth hacker Lisbeth Salander. There are various features of Scandinavian style that are appealing to interior design lovers specifically, however. First of all, the precise, clear-cut lines; then the high quality of the materials employed, and, last but not least, the general hygge vibe. Only the most relevant brands include all these three characteristics in the same package, and Woodnotes is for sure one of them. Are you ready to discover this brand?
First things first: where is Woodnotes from? Woodnotes is a Finnish brand that was founded about thirty years ago, in 1987, by textile designer Ritva Puotila and her son Mikko Puotila. The main idea behind the whole project was to create a line of home décor pieces that would fuse together the natural world of Finland with the latest technology. Which part of the Finnish natural world, you ask? Well, its main materials: wood and paper. Now, despite the fact that, also thanks to several collaborations with other designers, Woodnotes has been branching out, meaning the company started designing and producing different lines of products and home décor piece, the main creations everyone knows are the company’s world-famous carpets and rugs.
But what makes a rug or a carpet by Woodnotes so unique? Well, Ritva Puotila, who is a textile designer, was the first to think about using spun paper yarn to make rugs. Nobody had ever considered that option before, and the reason why Ritva Puotila wanted to employ this specific material instead of another, had nothing to do with wanting to use it as a substitute for other materials, but rather, it had to do with wanting to make the most of its unique properties. The use of paper yarn as a textile material is pretty recent, and in fact, one of the reasons behind the great success of Woodnotes was their ability to initially understand all the advantages of employing paper yarn instead of other materials. For instance, just a few of its inherent properties include being antibiotic, deodorant, moisture retaining, and absorbency-quick drying. Of course not everything about paper yarn is perfect: for instance, it’s a slightly less flexible material than what a manufacturer could be used to, and this characteristic can make the knitting process a bit tricky. However, thanks to their 30 years’ experience, Woodnotes doesn’t really fear this quality anymore.
One thing that is closely connected to the concept of employing paper yarn to knit high-quality rugs and carpets, is the core concept of “ecodesign”. In fact, “ecodesigns” is exactly how we could call every single piece coming out of the Woodnotes laboratories. Every piece is hand-knotted, hand-woven or hand-tufted; the colors employed are rigorously natural, and every material and chemical are not only natural as well, but also 100% non-allergenic. But these key-qualities are just a small part of the environment-friendly nature of Woodnotes. In addition to these, the paper yarn used by Woodnotes is always spun from durable heavyweight paper that can be recycled or burned to produce energy, Then, Woodnotes and their partner companies are continuously looking for finding new ways to reduce their environmental impact; a few that have been found during the years have been using biodegradable products, producing their white paper without the use of chlorine gas, and finally, employing dyes that do not contain halogen-organic compounds or heavy metals.
Every creation by Woodnotes is not the result of the efforts of one single person or manufacturer: behind Woodnotes, there are three partner companies that take care of various aspects of the production chain. For instance, one partner is valued for their mastery of spun paper yarn, while another partner contributes with their expertise in weaving and sewing. Finally the third partner is what makes everything possible, as it brings together industrial production with customization. This way, it doesn’t take ages to get to the final product, which still manages to be absolutely unique.
To be fair, except for the beginning, when the whole production used to revolve around spun paper yarn, Woodnotes started to expand to other materials -- more traditional ones, in a way. In fact, their carpets and rugs now can be made of cotton and wool as well. Still, even if the materials are different, the main principles behind the design and production are still the same: creating unique pieces that can adapt to the customer’s needs, and that can be produced with only an extremely limited impact on the environment.
Not only have the materials changed, but some of the products as well. Woodnotes is not producing just carpets and rugs anymore. For instance, at this year’s Salone del Mobile, in Milan, Woodnotes introduced the coffee table Twiggy to the world. It’s still characterized by natural materials and environment-friendly features and production process, and so it doesn’t really stray away from the Woodnotes philosophy. What’s interesting about it is that it’s the result of a collaboration between Woodnotes and Italian designer Raffaella Mangiarotti. As highlighted by the co-founder, Mikko Puotila, at Woodnotes the nationality of a designer is not that important, but Italy is one of the most fertile countries when it comes to fashion, style and design, and that’s why this ended up being a valuable and fruitful collaboration.
Are you curious to learn more about Woodnotes? Take a look here!