We discovered Minneapolis-based American textile designer Josi Severson at a trade show in New York and loved her hand drawn approach to textile design and immediately wanted to collaborate with her to develop a series of rugs. A few months later we worked together to select the designs that would be used with different qualities and constructions to get different desired effects.
One construction is a traditional Aubusson weave made of New Zealand Wool that is ideal for well-defined, clear patterns. Another construction is a hand knotted quality with hand-spun wool that is more organic looking. The third construction is used to make a new rug look old using a sheered down knotted technique that has a patina and richness to it.
During the development, Severson was especially excited by “understanding the material potential of what the design can become” in the different rug qualities.
Since graduating from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and later from the Academy of Art in San Francisco Severson has been creating beautiful geometric textile patterns for leading home and fashion clients alike. Her online retail shop, Josi Severson Home Fashion Fabrics, sells pillows, dresses, scarves and fabric by the yard.
Severson’s design approach is the same whether it is for a rug, a dress or custom fabric for an interior designer. She enjoys drawing in her studio at night “as it is relaxing at the end of the day” using a range of markers in different colors and widths creating her graphic hand drawn textile designs.
“I am very influenced by music and I like to feel my way through a design as I don’t know what I am going to create when I set out. It is a natural process; I like to be in the moment, never too far ahead of the design. That is the best part of the whole thing. I like the idea of discovering something when I draw.”