Tag Archives: heritage

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

birds, rölakan and a couple of old ladies

My summer is colorful. The kit for an embroidered cushion which I bought two years ago, and finished the embroidery a year ago – finally has become a cushion.

It’s been quite a tedious work to assemble it all together – thick felted woolen back piece and sewing in the tassels, had to buy new proper quality needles, old ones kept breaking  (no wonder it was lying in the basket unfinished for so long!)  But I’ve made it and now we have a fun cushion)

finished cushion

the cushion is composed by Hemslöjden Skåne, they have gathered all the birds from local folk embroideries.



And weaving. In my mind I made the list of things to weave – all those cool linen scarves and thin cloth in somber greys and white, different pattern samples I want to try… But my heart is directing me to something totally different:

rölakan weaving

it’s rölakan again, slow and colorful,

rölakan weaving

I love making these interlocks on the back side, one after another without thinking what is next.

finished rölakan piece

made a sketch for another side
Rölakan sketch

Speaking about heart – few days ago I bought an old book (from 1916), rough translation of the title is
“Old folk handicraft from Malmöhus county, published by the county’s handicraft association”
(former Malmöhus county is where we live, but now it’s part of larger Skåne county).
The book is sort of a bible of local textile handicraft.


inside there  are lots of pictures of different weaving and embroidery from 16-18 century with detailed descriptions – warp and weft density, material, and who has made it and whom it belonged then, in 1916.


On the fly-leaf it says “This book is dedicated to the handicrafting women of Malmöhus county”. And a couple of names in old handwriting.  I am really curious about them, specially about Kristin Holm from Knestorp (Knästorp in modern writing, little village 4 km from ours). Did she just own the book or was she a weaver and used it as an inspiration?


I couldn’t resist to write my name down too. Now we are a little local gang – Kristin, Birgit and me :)

new life

I am officially a free artist now, at least I have been for a week (at the genebank where I worked they have 8-year contract system and I’ve managed to get stuck  there for almost 9). We’ll see where I go from here, but right now it feels quite wonderful :)

Here are the farewell presents I got from my nice and fluffy colleagues  – beautiful flowers, a book by Laila Duran and a gift card for Hemslöjden shop in Landskrona (which I partly used to buy some yarn):

Colored Rauma tapestry yarn for my future rölakan project and really nice dark grey alpaca for a sweater for myself. Couldn’t resist and started knitting right away this sweater.

As for the book, it is the third volume on Scandinavian folk costumes, and it is pure eye candy.

one day I will weave some yardage for a dress and enroll for the course on folk costume sewing with people on this picture – Gillis and Monika Jimheden 

Oh, and I will just continue to show off – here is my new drum carder (!) , it’s been on my wish list for two years, and it is my “late christmas/embarking on a new life”-present from my man and myself

After reading all the discussions on the net about different carders I decided on Strauch finest (bought it via this shop in Denmark) and so far quite happy with my choice.

random  decoration item, from handspun wool and indigo-dyed nettle yarn (used this pattern), don’t know, just had an impulse to knit it.

finished the blue warp with some more daldräll

and preparing to weave a 8-shaft twill for the next school task.

gardening and some folk motifs

As usual at this time of the year I am all busy digging, sowing and re-planting (all the veg and flower plus the hedge)  not so much time for textile work.
But  some of my gardening  is actually fiber-related, like flax (six different sorts from the genebank)

and japanese indigo. Bought seeds from Wildcolors in UK, (£3.50 for 10 seeds),
nobody seems to grow  japanese indigo in Sweden…

well,  some peripheral knitting has been going on too – another random sock

nearly finished a cardigan for my man

and last Sunday when it stared to rain (finally, no need to water the garden !)  we went to Kulturen open-air museum to look (again) at some allmoge woodworking and textiles.

more pictures from Kulturen in my flickr

band weaving

Some time  ago I spent a weekend in Landskrona, in a wonderful shop called Hemslöjden Skåne ,

and  tried some band weaving on a rigid heddle with a weaver Gunvor Johansson as a teacher.

this is a very dangerous place (I never managed to leave it  without  some new yarn or

embroidery kit in my hands), it is dedicated to folk craft materials related to Skåne,

region of southern Sweden. (They have an on-line shop  too!)

I tried to weave a warp-faced band:

and a band with a picked-up (?) pattern (in swedish it’s called upphämta).

(have been  using this heddle).  I was familiar with the principles of such weaving,

but after warping the heddle myself and making all kinds of mistakes while trying to weave the pattern –

I  understand much better now the way of designing and weaving this kind of bands.

I am so impressed by this red band woven by Gunvor (on her specially  engineered  band weaving loom)

here is similar band as a detail of a local bride’s costume (picture is taken in Kulturen, an open-air museum)

here are some good videos on band weaving by Susan Foulkes

Märta Måås-Fjetterström’s weavings

few pictures from the exhibition of her work from 1919 to 1941 in Helsinborg (Sofiero castle and park)

I am very glad I’ve got to see these textiles with my own eyes, there  all the structures and shifts in colors which are difficult to see even on best photographs. Most of her  weavings are very drapey and light,  not at all solid rugs as I imagined them to be from the pictures i saw before. Her sense of color and pattern – is something to strive for.

some more pictures here.

MMF AB studio in Båstad, founded by her.

Charlotte Weibull’s collection

I discovered this place a couple of weeks ago, it is just around the corner from where we live and I pass it on my bike on my way to work and back home – a local folklore  center Möllegården Kultur, which (permanently!) displays Charlotte Weibull’s entire collection of swedish folk costumes and dolls .  I am mostly fascinated by the row of aprons hanging along the wall in a large room – all possible combinations of colors in different stripe patterns, such a  huge  inspiration resource, I will definitely go back there (again and again).

here is just a tiny bit of details:

Some more (and slightly bigger) pictures in my flickr.

my not very steady (yet) relationship with indigo

few years ago, after discovering this and this sites, I got so inspired – I ran and bought myself a bottle of pure pigment (not a cheap stuff). But the  process seemed rather complicated , it required some additional chemicals etc,  I’ve got distracted by other things in life and finally totally forgot about it.

Recently this indigo thing has started peeping out again, I can feel it, it wants to be tried out. And since currently I am in …let’s call it “making things from scratch” mode,  I had to buy some indigo and woad seeds and try to grow my own dye stuff.

so here they are, growing in our greenhouse now, both woad and indigo

A month ago in our local library I unexpectedly found a book by Gösta Sandberg (history, inspirational images and all recipes for different indigo dying processes)


So I think, once days are warmer and while my natural blue dye is growing in the garden I might try the synthetic indigo  from my little bottle (on my homespun yarn? for ikat weaving? make some simple printing blocks and resist-dye?). We’ll see.

And just to round-up the whole thing – here are some pictures of beautiful  blue cloth from swedish museums 1, 2, 3, 4 (the last three are from Gösta Sanberg’s collection), by the way I am becoming a fan of digital museum databases.

P.S.   Japanese Textile workshop blog and Idigodye blog  – lots of indigo stuff.

spinning wheel(s)

For the last few days I have mostly been digging the garden, sowing veg seeds and replanting tomatoes in the greenhouse, but here are some pictures of an old spinning wheel, that comes from Småland, from my man’s grandmother. The kind of wheel, which was used for spinning flax, it is way too speedy for wool, but I have tried it and it worked and it was fun (if I haven’t tried a modern spinning wheel a couple of days before, I would probably think that it is just the normal the way to do it, a bit stressful, but you get quite a few meters of yarn per minute :)

and for the comparison – the old wheel and the new Minstrel from Kromsky.

textiles at Kulturen

Whenever I end up in Kulturen (our nearest open-air museum), I try to sneak into  the “textile study chamber” – a permanent exhibition of old weavings, embroidered objects and folk costumes.

Have a look at this embroidered pillow from Kulturen,  dated 1790,  wool on wool (pictures are clickable for slightly larger size). And another one and just one more .

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