Monday 27 September 2010


The other evening I suddenly thought I’d like to try out an embroidery technique, known in Sweden as “Skånskt yllebroderi” (Scanian wool embroidery). It was common in the countryside in the county Skåne during the 18th and 19th centuries for covers and cushions. It’s embroidered free-hand on wool fabric (traditionally recycled from old clothing) with wool yarn.

The fabric is usually dark, and the embroidery is done in bright colours, often illustrating flowers, trees, animals and humans. To save material, the stitches are very short on the wrong side. Every woman had her own style, depending on her skill and artistic eye, so there are a lot of different looks to these works of art. Some are downright ugly in my opinion, but others are very charming. They all have the whole surface covered with different kinds of images, and for covers and cushions made for weddings, they also have the initials of the bride and/or groom, and the year embroidered on them.

My first project was a bit more humble than a cover for a bed or a cushion for the seat of a horse drawn wagon – I used a leftover piece from my folk costume skirt and made a small free-hand embroidery of a flower, and then a frame round it. I thought it looked a bit empty, so I added the “stars” or whatever sprinkled in the background. The flower is tolerably traditional, but I’m not so sure about the stars; I don’t care though, I think it looks pretty.

I decided to re-cover my old pincushion with it, since it was looking rather dismal – I have to do that every few years.

I also used this opportunity to put a piece of cardboard in the bottom, to save my fingers from accidental pricks; should have thought about that some years ago...

I like how it turned out very well indeed. Small, quick projects are gratifying.


  1. Jättefin! Har du sett den nya yllebroderiboken (som de skriver om i senaste hemslöjden)? Jag har precis beställt den från Adlibris..

  2. Tack!

    Hihi, det var i Hemslöjden jag fick idén att prova :) Hmm, kanske skulle köpa den boken, den såg riktigt trevlig ut... fast jag har nyligen avverkat min budget för textilböcker för ett tag framöver :P

  3. Snyggt, finns det ngn koppling till hallandssöm?

  4. Tror inte det - hallandssöm (liksom blekingesöm) broderas på vitt tyg, i rött och/eller blått bomullsgarn. Uppstod tydligen under 1800-talet, och består mest av hjärtan, geometriska figurer och en och annan blomma. Blekingesöm uppstod under slutet av 1700-talet och empiren, och broderas i blått och rosa (ursprungligen rött) med stänk av gult, i slingrande blomstermönster.

    Rätt intressant hur olika broderierna ser ut i så pass små, närliggande områden.

  5. That is really, really beautiful! I love the colours you chose.

  6. That is so lovely! My pincushion is in like need of a recover. Your is wonderful and the embroidery so well done.

  7. Ååååh vad fin den blev!
    Kram Kicki


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