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Flax and wool days

Linen and wool have traditionally been used in Sweden for making fine cloth and warm clothes. It was hard work and the whole household was involved in the harvest of flax and shearing of wool, preparing and spinning the yarn and making the textile. The reward was that both linen and wool were much sought after and brought a substantial income to the farm economy.


These activities you can take part of at lots of places at Skansen, not just one. Please read the programme to see everything it has to offer.

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Spinning • Lacemaking • Dyeing • Knitting

During the event you can follow the complex and skilled processes (retting‚ breaking‚ scutching and heckling) involved in turning flax plants into linen thread. You can also get an insight into spinning on a wheel and weaving on a handloom. The Skansen sheep are sheared‚ the wool is combed and the woollen cloth is felted in a fulling mill. You can also see how old wool is recycled and made into new garments.

Visitors can help with the washing‚ learn how to make lace and acquire all sorts of household skills. Come and take part in the activities at Älvros Farmstead‚ Bollnäs House‚ Delsbo Farmstead‚ Tingsvallen‚ the Flax Mill‚ the Fulling Mill and Oktorp Farmstead‚ the field next to Seglora Church and the Bakery in the Town Quarter.

Working the flax
The flax stems are retted and left to cure for a couple of weeks before being dressed so that the fibres are ready to be spun into yarn and ultimately woven into cloth. You can help with the dressing process at Älvros Farmstead.

At Delsbo Farmstead you can see linen items and woollen clothing from Skansen’s collection. Here you can also see weaving and lacemaking.

Before the age of the washing machine
How did people keep their clothes and linen clean in the old days? The Skansen village community shows how this was done: boiling the clothes, then scrubbing and beating them by the pond at Delsbo Farmstead.

Take good care of your wool
The Skansen village community teaches you how to take care of woollen clothes – how to air them and how to remove stains.

The flax works
At the flax works, the water-powered machines remove the shives from the stems.

Making rope
The Skansen village community also makes different kinds of ropes at Tingsvallen.

Recycling wool
Wool was a valuable commodity and worn-out jumpers were recycled to make new ones. The yarn was retrieved, carded and spun into new yarn. At Back Mats Cottage you can have a go at carding.

The Föreningen Knyppelpinnarna organisation demonstrates new and traditional lacemaking techniques. You can also try for yourself.

Embroidery and fulling Try your hand at embroidery and fulling, or felting, the wool into thick, warm cloth. The Stockholm Craft Society teaches beginners on Saturdays and Sundays at 11.00-15.00 and on Mondays and Tuesdays at 10.00-15.00.

Harvesting the flax
When harvesting time came around, the stems of the flax plant were pulled up with the roots, rather than being cut at the base. See how it was done and try it yourself at the meadow by Seglora Church.

Spinning wheels!
There are two speed categories for using a spinning wheel or a drop spindle to make wool.

Sheep shearing
The Leicester sheep will be sheared at Skåne Farmstead.

Market Street
Find the finest textiles and crafts at the stalls along Market Street.

Subject to changes.

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