Intersection – a throw blanket collection inspired by Finnish wool
April 28, 2022
The Intersection collection started from a desire to create a throw blanket collection from Finnish wool to complement my Moonbeam throw blanket collection. In this blog post I’ll tell you about how the collection came into being!
Why Finnish wool?
In recent years Finnish media and textile organisations have written much about how Finnish wool is underused as a textile fibre—in fact a big portion of Finnish wool is not used at all but rather discarded. This has brought more press for those businesses that already produce, process and sell Finnish wool and products made with it, and consumers have started to seek Finnish wool much more eagerly than before.
I’m really happy about all this because Finnish wool is a fantastic local fibre that’s sustainably and ethically produced, and it really deserves to be seen, used and appreciated!
If you’re not too familiar with Finnish wool, you can read more about it in this blog post!
A pattern larger than the throw itself
For the Intersection throw blanket collection I wanted to design a simple and asymmetrical pattern; the kind where the pattern fills the whole blanket and seems to continue further outside the throw itself.
As a designer I always think about the end product and its size: in my bow tie fabrics the scale of the pattern repeat is very small in order for the fabric to be a good fit for a small product. In a bigger product like a throw blanket the pattern can be much much bigger since the product itself is large.
I chose a wide and asymmetrical stripe pattern for the Intersection collection’s pattern. In this pattern differently coloured warp and weft yarns intersect and form big (differently sized) colour blocks. This is naturally where the collection’s name comes from, too!
The design comes to life
The warp pattern was the starting point for the whole collection, and I chose three stripes in contrasting colours for it: off-white, dark grey and grey. Undyed wool is a perfect match for this design and collection since the different shades blend together perfectly and effortlessly. It was easy to create interesting combinations with the different colours, and the options were practically endless.
As the design process advanced, I decided to go with a concept of a double-sided throw. There are, in fact, two stripe patterns on each throw: a vertical pattern on the front (warp) side and a horizontal one on the back (weft) side.
The vertical warp stripes are the same in all Intersection throws, but in the reverse there is more variety: the weft patterns can feature bold contrasts between light and dark colours or be more calm and neutral with lighter colours only. These weft colour variations give every throw a unique look whereas the warp pattern and the weft stripes bring the designs together to form a collection.
User-centered textile design
The big colour blocks seen on the Intersection blankets are not only a visual pattern choice but a functional one as well: the colour blocks make it possible to fold the throw blanket in practically as many ways as there are colours in the throw.
This means that depending on the season and the interior, one can choose to highlight a different colour, making the throw a good fit for many kinds of interiors and moods. Whether looking for light shades and whites, earthy browns or darker greys and blacks, the Intersection throw blanket gives the user plenty of colours and textures to choose from!
An adaptable design
The stripes really are the core of this collection, to the point where the individual colours are not most significant when thinking about the overall design. The contrasts are what makes the pattern, and the effect can be achieved by using many different colour combinations.
The availability of Finnish wool still varies greatly from one season to another, and the throw blankets require quite a bit of yarn—this means that it’s not always possible to purchase every colour at the same time.
The Intersection collection’s advantage regarding this challenge is that the colours don’t in fact need to be exactly the same in every batch. Rather, a light grey could easily replace white and a darker brown could be used instead of grey, as long as a certain contrast is there.
This adaptability also enables me to make use of yarn producers’ “2nd quality” yarns that have slight variations in colour compared to their usual catalogue. This way these yarns—which are otherwise as good as any other!—are used and valued. I made use of such yarns in the first batch of the Intersection throws and this is something I can make use of in the future, too!