Designed by Birgitta Salenius for Nordiska (N.I.A.B) of Gothenburg, Sweden.
1960’s design on contemporary linen.
The Swedish embroidery company Nordiska/Niab was founded in 1879, employed talented Swedish designers right from the start and produced embroidery kits for well over a hundred years. Their archive was hidden away in an old linen factory after the company closed down, saved by a man who knew it was too precious to be spread for the wind, or worse, destroyed.
In August 2018 we started to republish 1960's traced embroidery patterns from this archive, and will continue to develop the project along the way. We are currently searching for the lost instructions that were printed for the kits, only around a hundred out of thousands had been saved.
Circle Chain Runner (Löpare) 5980 is from our second selection of prints.
With the linen print, you will receive linen threads in 11 colours, the same amount that was used in the 60's, and two cards:
one of the cards with a picture of the artwork that was printed for this kit,
an English translation of stitches used, and a brief history of its origins. The other card describes the 24 common stitches used by Nordiska in their designs.
We have been lucky regarding Circle Chain Runner 5980 and can also include a copy of the 60's worksheet, with exact drawings where to add the stitches.
The stitches are noted in Swedish on the front, and translated into English and German on the back.
We have followed the light/dark colour scheme of the original instructions, but the fabric and threads are all in different shades from the 60's. With help of the instructional sheet you can (with minimal planning!) design your own colourful runner. The only thing to remember is that the outline colour needs a little more than 14 m to finish all the circles, so use the colour you have two skeins of in the kit.
We know that there were at least three different colour versions published in the 60's and what you can find today is different from before, mainly because the same shades are not produced at this time.
One skein of the threads used in this kit was hålsömsgarn, hemstitch yarn, a stranded linen thread. It's not in production since the 60's so the skein in this kit is an original vintage linen. Use three strands of this thread.
The last photo here shows the positioning of the print on the fabric. All pieces are hand cut and may vary slightly in size. The print is centered and measures 15 cm x 50 cm as the original 1960's size.
The runner was printed on a smaller size fabric in the past,
the larger linen here (38 cm x 75 cm) allows for more ideas, for example making a cushion. As backing it's nice to use for example tweed, corduroy or any vintage fabric.
We don't recommend washing the linen (unless you have a proper mangle at home which can recreate the lustre!) but if you like to wash the linen, remember that it shrinks 4-5%, and it's best to soak before laundry to save the flax fibres from unnecessary wear. The screenprint does not wash off.
We have stitched up the sample pictured with 7 skeins, so if you have threads at home or prefer a simpler colour scheme, you can currently find the kits with just 7 skeins listed separately here on the website, for a little less.
On Instagram you can find more colour ideas, and see an original 60's bag with bamboo handles made from this kit. We would also love to see your embroidery once it is finished!
Please note that the archive republishing is a work in progress, the kits are constantly changing, and we aim to get them as close to the original as possible in the near future.
We are always very happy to hear from anyone who can support us with collecting the original stitch charts, track down original textile pieces for the archive, or sell them to us. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help with any of this.