Linladan is Swedish for flax barn.
Our beautiful vintage Linblomman (The Flax Flower) linen threads are products of Sweden's textile industry in the 1960s. As the factories closed down, the remaining stocks ended up hidden away in an old haberdashery stockroom for decades until just a few years ago.
Researching more about Linblomman linen threads led me to old Swedish embroidery companies, one of them was especially intriguing, the textile house Nordiska. Established in 1879, it's rediscovered archive in an old linen factory had a major collection of original drawings, pattern charts and embroidered samples, some of which we have started to reproduce.
For the last two years, apart from spending countless hours on the floor in a room full of marvellous mid-century patterns, I have met and spoken to a few of the artists that worked for Nordiska. Many of them are still practising textile artists, some well into their eighties. All are wonderful women - strong, creative and with a lot of knowledge. Over this year we’re continuing to work together to publish more of the wonderful Nordiska patterns from the archive.
In 2020, our next archive exhibition will take place with a five week visit here in the UK. More news shortly!
An old Scandinavian proverb tells "Ull blir mull och lin blir gull", (Wool becomes dust, flax becomes gold) and I have found the latter to be true: linen stays beautiful and strong, ready for stitching now or in 50 years.