Nordiska of Gothenburg, 1967
Designer: Greta Säfve
Name: Flora 7021
Original colour: Green
Orginal product: wall hanging, 35 x 43 cm
This Flora kit will ship out Monday the 16th of May.
Limited to 10
It's 2022 and time for Flora, a nature being with five little birds, tussilago farfara and other spring flowers as a crown, to be known again.
She was drawn 55 years ago, in Gothenburg by Nordiska artist Greta Säfve who had a deep interest in arts and culture. The sketches, drawings and paintings shows folk motifs, peculiar other-wordly figures, entrancing expressions, wildlife and historical stories. Her colleagues at Nordiska tells of a very special woman who we would like to get to know more in 2022 and beyond.
I was told by the old director, Mr H, that Greta built the Nordiska in house library on her own initiative, with books to inspire: architecture and design from Germany, France, Britain and Scandinavia. Folk art from Romania, pattern books from Japan, along with ornamental painting and textile books, and much much more.
Another Nordiska colleague told of an older woman wandering around in the Nordiska building while drawing inspiration, unlike the other in the team who were working mostly by their desks. One green sock, one red. That was Greta, going her own way.
We are currently embroidering Spring Flora and choosing colours for the coming panels. You can pre-order the next collection here.
This kit includes:
- A beautiful 100% linen panel, 50 x 50 cm.
The linen is hand cut and hand printed in Sweden, then folded and packed in our studio in Bristol where we also prepare all the linen threads.
- A boxed set of linen threads in 15 colours. These follow the original colour scheme as closely as possible. We have chosen to keep the original colour scheme for all the linen prints, both green and natural linen. Some colours have been out of production since the 1960s, in those cases we chose the nearest suitable shade.
Two rare soft and very lustrous 1960's linen skeins, in acid yellow/green and a deep gold mustard, are also included. The two 60s shades were part of the original Flora kit: 554, and 505. These two skeins are only available in 20 boxes, so the coming Flora kits will be listed differently.
We pack these first 20 kits in original linen thread boxes from the era,
Linblomman (pictured) or Nordiska. We only have 3 Linblomman boxes, 17 will be Nordiska which is a more plain 60s box. (The boxes are gift wrapped, so we can't take requests - it's a lucky dip, but all are worth keeping forever.
- A card which shows a photograph of the Flora 7021 drawing as it was found in the Nordiska Embroidery Archive, with a brief history of it's origins and named stitches.
- A handy stitch card with the 24 common stitches used by Nordiska in their kits, an exact copy of Nordiska's own presentation, written on a typewriter in Gothenburg in the 1950's.
- A chenille needle size 22, used for linen embroidery.
- A very rare, complete sheet of the original stitch chart, A3 size. The stitch chart has the stamp of the handcraft store that once sold this kit from Nordiska. A long gone shop in Dalecarlia or Dalarna, a historical province in Sweden.
This stitch chart was recently found through an auction house, it mysteriously appeared just days after we had sent the original to the printer for drawing and production. We are eternally grateful to Maria U who helped us bring the instructions Flora back home again! Thank you so much!
The colour/stitch instruction sheet is an exact copy of the 1960s original, including the 1960's colour numbers. Use the front card to add thread samples of the contemporary colours, and it will be a breeze to follow the stitch chart.
The stitches used in Spring Flora are clearly marked in the drawing as you can see here in the listing. Satin stitch, stem stitch and the others are drawn out as they are used in the design, and you can make the stitches long or short as you like. You can also change them to your favourite stitch, as long as you consider the thread usage.
Please choose where you like to add your light and dark shades of the threads, to make your own personal version of Greta's much loved design from 1967.
The printed lines are fine, gentle and easy to embroidery over, but they won't wash off so cover the lines with the thread, either by stitching around the lines, over the lines, or through. Whatever technique you prefer is the right one!
If you would like to learn more about the flax plant and it's fibre which gives us linen thread, we recommend starting at one of the many excellent museum resources, for example V&A HERE .