Stitching on Wool

I like wool

Wool embroidery, where you use wool floss on wool fabric, is something Swedes have been doing for a long, long time. It creates durable, warm items that holds together through wear and tear and time. Most common are cushions for the horse wagon, sometimes designed for a wedding. I love the naive motives in combination with the happy colours of wool embroidery. Wool embroidery is filled with tradition and symbolism – and extremely freeing to do.

iHanna in action

This summer my friend Britt gave me a few bits of cloth to experiment with. Mom and I started to each create a strip of embroidered wool, to make into bracelets. Something easy and small to start with. I totally recommend you to try it out. If you want to try out wool embroidery just get a small piece of cloth and get started on a bracelet! There is a lot of imagery online to inspire your first try!

Because I can stitch too
The neighbor’s daughter, who is 4 years old, came to visit and got a piece of felted wool sweater to sew on. She really got into it and decorated a bracelet all by herself. I just helped with little hints when she stitched around the edge a few times.

Brodera på Ylle - boken
This book Brodera på ylle, by Carina Olsson & co, is my new favorite wool embroidery book. Yum!

Random wool trial

I’ve experimented with it before and adore how it’s like stitching through butter. It’s perfect for applique because the fabric doesn’t unravel at all, so you don’t have to hide the raw edge!

This is my finsished bracelet:
I made a Wool Bracelet
All hand sewn and me. It fastens with two buttons on one side and two ribbon loops on the other side.

The shiny circle in the middle is cut from a bag in box wine container, that I stitched in place.

iHanna's Wool Bracelet
It’s backed with cotton fabric to make it non-itchy against my wrist, and hide the knots of the embroidery.

Backside of the Wool Bracelet
I finished the embroidery part rather quickly, but then it took me for ever to fix the edge and finish it altogether. That’s why I didn’t blog it last year I guess, but it’s on my accomplished 2012 list!

I don’t own any pink wool cloth, so mine is on orange. Mom’s is made out of blue wool and filled with dancing birds! Here are a few details of her finished wool embroidery bracelet:
Bird Bracelet
Bird Bracelet

The backside:

Bird Bracelet

And the whole thing:

Bird Bracelet
Isn’t it pretty? My mother is extremely crafty and very productive! She has since making this made at least 5-6 other bracelets filled with flowers! She’s also well into a big cushion that she started when we went to a wool embroidery class together in December! Everyone got a piece of black wool in that class, and mom has filled hers with a mandala like flower. I think she will finish it very soon. My pillow, that will feature some kind of cat (that might resemble Smilla – or not at all), is just a sketch so far! Better get on with it…

Happy Stitching!

6 Responses

  1. Beyond beautiful Hanna, and your mums too! I’ve never tried it but it looks fun. One day I’ll try. Keep making your beautiful arty stuff, always so inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I have been stitching a lot on hand dyed wool in recent months and I am with you – it is a buttery joy to stitch in. Your pieces are heavenly ! So bright and cheers, and Hanna-ish !
    Happy Stitching amazing One !

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