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100% Norway 2006

Textiles at 100% Norway

The award-winning manufacturer of upholstery fabrics, Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik, and Oslo-based textile designer Sari Syväluoma will at 100% Norway showcase some of the fabrics they have produced. The fabrics will be displayed on the walls and, for the first time, draped on some of the furniture that are being exhibited.

Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik

Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik (GU) was founded in 1887 and has become one of the leading manufacturers of upholstery fabrics in Scandinavia. On the Norwegian market they are also a considerable supplier of fabrics for national costumes.

GU has adopted a proactive environmental policy targeted to minimise the environmental impact of wool fabric manufacture by the adoption of the best available environmentally sound processing technology.

The whole production process, from dyeing of fibres, spinning of yarn and weaving till the finished fabric, is done in the mill in Lillehammer, two hours north of Oslo. GU has its own design department which is constantly working to develop new designs and improve the quality of their products. In addition freelance designers are used in this process, one of which is Sari Syväluoma.

Sari Syväluoma

Sari established her own company 1999 and has been working as a freelance designer, mainly for clients requiring textile concept development, consultancy and styling. Originally from Finland, Sari has lived in Norway since 1994 and brings the best of two cultures to her design. Finnish architecture and design has a long tradition, and as a result plays a central role in the world of design. Norway has in the past years not only expanded tremendously in this field, but also successfully marketed itself both locally and internationally. Design is the order of today, forming a vital part of product development, and in the marketing of Norway.

In this context, Sari has played an important part. Using her Finnish influence within Norwegian design, she has represented Norway at the various design trade fairs in Milan, London, Brussels and US. Her work has been published in books (‘Scandinavian style’ by Bradley Quinn), and in series of newspapers and magazines.

Now, she is working with her own collection ‘SARI’ of soft furnishings and home accessories. Her textiles have many associations: sensuous, decorative, functional and ritual. They encompass a broad range of human traditions and histories and provide a source of comfort and warmth as well as luxury and décor. The essential style of Sari’s textiles are rooted in the Scandinavian heritage of simplicity, yet combined with the bold colours and rich textures of the Indian subcontinent. As they bridge the distance between the Far North and the Exotic East they also span the design culture of Finland and the restrained sensibilities of Norway. Her fabrics are designed to drape across chairs, sofas, beds and windows as textile art for the home, constituting part of their vision to create a clutter-free interior.

Sari’s background from the Nordic arts and crafts tradition functions as a strong basis when she implements ideas into industrial production. She utilises both traditional and modern techniques to give the products the desired finish.

Per Bjørnsen, Head Designer at GU

At 100% Norway, textiles by GU's head designer Per Bjørnsen will aslo be displayed. Bjørnson was educated as an industrial textile designer during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Since 1982 he has been employed by Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik AS. GU develops and produces mainly upholstery fabrics for contract use, but also one-off and special designs for the transport and hotel sector. The latter projects often involve the active participation of the responsible architect.

Per has developed a number of best selling designs for GU and received a number of awards for this creativity. He is focused on finding subtle solutions using simple means in a context that result in a calm harmony and good functionality in different environments.


See textiles designed by Sari Syväluoma and manufactured by GU at 100% Norway
Photo: Espen Grønli

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The whole production process, from dyeing of fibres, spinning of yarn and weaving till the finished fabric, is done in the mill in LillehammerPhoto: gu.no

GU and Sari have worked closely together for several years - see their latest fabrics at 100% Norway in SeptemberPhoto: Espen Grønli