December 2011- January 2012:
Ebba von Eckermann born 1921

At an early stage Ebba von Eckermann had plans to get involved in farming and agriculture and she therefore studied at agricultural college. Her mother,  Marg von Schwerin was the founder of  Märtaskolam in Stockholm, a college for haute couture and tailoring, but to follow in her mothers footsteps and become an entrepreneur in the area of textile crafts was not something she was interested in. When at agricultural college she had to take a course in hand weaving and she learnt to master this technique and thus found her mode of expression.




Ebba von Eckermann in
the skirt “Stained glass” 1959

After finishing her training Ebba von  Eckermann,  despite her earlier plans, took a short course in sewing at Märthaskolan and during the 1940´s  she was running an agricultural enterprise and at the same time she was a travelling salesperson for a sister company of  Märthaskolan called “Märthakonfektion” . At home on her country estate Sandvik in the village Ripsa outside the town of Nyköping, near Stockholm she started to get samples of  wool fabrics made up, as she was planning a trip to  the US with her husband the following year.  This took place in 1949-50 and the journey lead to orders and new contacts, one of them being the department store Marshall Fields in Chicago where the head buyer suggested that she should make a slightly thinner type of woollen cloth that could be made into skirts. They would then be shown to his buyers when they visited Paris the following spring.  In Paris Ebba von Eckermann had the opportunity to sell to Dior, something that was important for her ensuing success. In a short time Ebba von Eckermann got a reputation as “The weaving countess” and she received orders from a number of large department stores in the US. She was successful in promoting the “new woman” with roles such as house wife, hostess or working in the professions.

With her own brand  “Ebba von Eckermann Textilier” her business in Ripsa expanded and as many as ten weavers were working for the company  when it was at its peak. Beautiful hand-woven garments, plaids and scarves in bold colours, a lot of travelling and clever marketing promoting “the Swedish dream” as an important ingredient, meant that Ebba von Eckermann had many tourists coming to Ripsa and there were many articles in newspapers and magazines such as Vogue, Life and National Geographic . The company also collaborated with two other designers, Alice Topp-Lee from the US and Lars Hillingsö from Denmark.

Textile sample Humoresque
Ebba von Eckermann

Geule de loupe
Design for skirt: Christian Dior
Textile: Humoresque, EvE
1952 Ripsa

Terra firma, skirt,
Ebba von Eckermann

The Ripsa jacket
Chrochet pattern

The Ripsa jacket


Textile sample Aurora Borealis
Ebba von Eckermann, 1959

Design for dress and coat, Clouds Tavern
Lars Hillingsö, 1964

Skirt Clouds Tavern, coat + top Brushwork
EvE, Ripsa
Vouge 1966

          Design sketch Lyre, jacket
          Lars Hillingsö, 1964

Textile sample Lyre
Ebba von Eckermann, 1964

Design sketch Brushstroke, evening dress
Lars Hillingsö, 1964, Ripsa

Brushstroke, evening dress
Ebba von Eckermann, 1964

1939      Apelryd agricultural college
1940      Svalöv agricultural college
1940      Märthaskolan

Artistic career
1950-80   Ripsa

In the collections of:
Nordiska museet

Further reading:
Lotta Lewenhaupt, Den glömda kjolen, Signum, Lund, 2011

The exhibition ”Vävda modedrömmar från Ripsa till New York” at Hallwyllska museet, Stockholm, 14th of October – 8th of January.

Three questions to the designer of the month:
1. What are you working on at the moment?
I am so glad that the book “Den glömda kjolen” became a reality and that it was written by such a distinguished author as Lotta Lewenhaupt, I am also delighted that the exhibition “Vävda Modedrömmar” at Hallwyllska museet received so many visitors.

2. Describe your artistic expression for an uninitiated person.
I was very much influenced by the beautiful nature in the county of Sörmland with it´s soft but also bold colours and also the need for colour during the darker months of the year. All the sales trips to the US, from coast to coast, gave me so many ideas and inspiration from the magnificent nature, the people, the lifestyle, the creativity.

3. How would you like Designarkivet to care for your design sketches?
I am confident that Designarkivet will care for my material that I have saved with the idea in mind that it could be of inspiration and influence to other crafts people in the country side.











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