In English

About Hemslöjden

The National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies (Svenska Hemslöjdsföreningarnas Riksförbund) is a non-profit organization. With 90 regional and local handicraft societies across Sweden and more than 13,000 members we constitute Hemslöjden, a movement that continuously have worked with intangible cultural heritage for over 110 years. Through courses, handicraft gatherings, exhibitions, seminars and different projects we pass on knowledge and invoke interest, in the younger generations as well. The handicraft movement is therefore an important part of the Swedish civil society, and our vision is that handicrafts should be a natural part of everyone’s daily life.

On a national level we:

Hemslöjden also work actively to raise issues related to hemslöjd and handicraft, politically and on a governance level.

International networks

The National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies is a member of the Nordic Handicraft Association and the European Craft Organization. The handicraft organizations meet at conferences and seminars to exchange ideas and inspire each other.

Members of the Nordic Handicraft Association are:

Read more about the European Craft Organization here.

Why handicrafts?

Today, there is a noticeable increase in interest about handicrafts and handmade items. This is clear from social media feeds and the press, and tv programs and debates that draws attention to the possibilities of the handicrafts. Designers are inspired by the shapes and patterns of handicrafts and the sense of authenticity and great knowledge of how to make things by hand has created this new major interest in the field.

Creativity and sustainability

In a future where integration, equality, sustainability and diversity are a given, handmade creations will be an important contribution to a sustainable society. For the individual, it means being able to transform creative ideas into practical actions which in turn provide everyone with an opportunity to influence their environment and present. This knowledge creates self confidence and contributes to a sense of community that spans the generations, as well as a deepened and material democracy. This is why we are convinced that Hemslöjden can be part of saving the world!

What can Hemslöjden do for me?

Throughout the networks and members of the handicraft societies, there is a wealth of knowledge about craft and handmade creations. You can find inspiration and ideas, and share your own with others. The societies arrange courses, meet-ups, exhibitions and other activities. As a member, you are part of the work to safeguard and develop handicraft techniques and knowledge as an important aspect of cultural heritage.

What can I do for Hemslöjden?

Become one of more than 13,000 members and share your knowledge and learn from others in a network of people who share your interest in handicrafts. Regardless of whether you weave baskets from birch roots, or craft using birch bark; knit or embroider, or simply want to learn how to carve a spoon, you are welcome to join a handicraft society.

Together we contribute to a sustainable society!

A brief history

The Swedish handicraft movement was first established over 110 years ago, as a reaction on the spirit of the time.

Lilli Zickerman was the first to create an organized form for handicrafts. Her idea was that handicrafts had room for professionals and amateurs alike, and that both culture and industry played an important role in the survival and development of handicrafts. She believed that the people who lived in the age of self-sufficiency had invaluable knowledge about how the objects people needed were actually made, and what tools and materials that worked to create the best utility goods. She also thought that if this knowledge was to survive the advance of industrialism, the objects needed to be adapted to the times.

In 1899 Föreningen för Svensk Hemslöjd was formed – the first national association for handicrafts. Between 1904 and 1912, around 20 handicraft societies were founded in Sweden. In 1912, The National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies was formed as an umbrella organisation for Sweden’s handicraft societies.


Page last updated 2024-06-11