Swedish dove-tale tapestry

In August I went to a seminar on dove-tale tapestry (flamskvävnad) at Lilla Rödde museum – an old unique Skanian farm known for it’s textile collection and a tragic story of two sisters who lived on that farm.

Typical local dove-tale tapestry motifs :
Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Most of the dove-tale tapestry woven by the sisters were used for furniture upholstery , there are about 2o chairs like this in the museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

and two sofas:

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Apart from all that furniture and wall hangings there are many other textiles

Lilla Rödde museum

hand-woven linen:

Lilla Rödde museum

Most of the textiles were produced by two sisters as their dowry (hemgift) – in a hope that they will get married and take all those things with them to their new homes

It never happened – after their mothers unexpected death their father basically shut the house down, not letting anybody in or out and not agreeing on marriage proposals for his daughters.  One of the sisters continued to live on the farm in total seclusion untill she was 89, the farm was never modernised and remained as a time capsule from the beginning of 1900s.  New owners sold the farm  to the local commune and it became a museum. Here is an article (in Swedish) by Annhelen Olsson telling the full story of the place.

Lilla Rödde museum

Few pictures from the  “show and tell” section of the seminar

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde Museum

Lilla Rödde Museum

Lilla Rödde museum

modern translations of the old motifs by Rebecka Winter

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde museum

Lilla Rödde Museum

I have some more pictures in my flickr


14 responses to “Swedish dove-tale tapestry

  1. mosaicthinking September 9, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Amazing pictures and story. We women are fortunate to be able to control our own destinies these days, even if it means our paid employment gets in the way of doing craft projects.

    • Alfia September 10, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks! It is difficult to imagine that kind of situation now and the whole story was rather overwhelming, I was not prepared to hear it. Yes, even if we have to compromise between handicraft and paid employment – we are not so dependent on others authority and not so hopeless.

  2. onesmallstitch September 10, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    beautiful tapestry,the colours are magnificent. hard to imagine the sisters spending time working with the bright colours and patterns when their hearts must have been so sad. I love the linens.

    • Alfia September 10, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      this type of weaving was popular just in particular area of Skåne county – free improvising on Flemmish tapestry, but with more happy folk colors. As to the sisters – it is very difficult to imagine the whole thing. The house must be drown in constant deep depression. But then it is not known if they wove at all after all those sad changes in their lives, it seems they have managed to produce all those things before that, as they had learned to weave when they where very young and where very good and fast weavers.

  3. Lillemor (Ullemor) September 10, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Fine pictures and a sad story…

  4. Quimper Hitty September 12, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    My Grandfather’s family is from Skåne, I have a few Dove Tail pieces like those, which were made by my Faster Anna…I love these ones that are so bright! will you try that technique?

    • Alfia September 12, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      It was very thoughtful of your relatives to take care of your Faster Anna’s tapestries! I guess the ones from the museum are bright because they were “conservated” without much usage and sunlight exposure. My interest in weaving started in Sweden when I saw this kind of weavings in books, but I never tried this technique. We’ll see, I might try it one day.

  5. Heather October 5, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Mind-boggling! I am in awe: the weaving, the lives of the sisters…

  6. carolscreativeworkshops.net October 30, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I am so glad to have discovered your blog, via a twitter link I think, Alfia. I am based in London, but visited Sweden a few years ago – went to Carl Larsson’s house, Julitagard, Skansen, Anders Zorn’s house and generally drove around the countryside – loved Stockholm too with a lovely wool shop in Gamlastan, whose name I forget. I loved all the tradittional Gustavian decorations, with painted canvas walls, etc. I paint canvas floorcloths and have sometimes used Swedish designs.
    Your posts are interesting and informative, with great pictures. I am impressed that you find the time to do all these different woolcrafts. Thank you

    • Alfia October 30, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Coming from someone with so much fiber and textile experience- both teaching and creating – it means a lot to me. You have seen the most of it when it comes to Swedish folk arts and crafts, I am impressed! I live in the southernmost part of Sweden, close to Copenhagen, very agrarian landscape and colorful old folk textiles. I only wish we had more developed wool culture here – with better breeds and nice local wool and yarns, like you have in the UK!

  7. Verónica May 29, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Love the chair with the two dogs.

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