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Textila Kuber och Blixtar

Rölakanets Konst- och Kulturhistoria.



This is the modern reference work on the subject ”Rölakan” – based on a research project, which stretched from the 1980s into the 1990s of interlocked tapestries in textile collections in northern Europe. It was published with the title ‘Textila Kuber och Blixtar: Rölakanets Konst- och Kulturhistoria’ (Textile Squares & Zigzags – The Art and Cultural History of Double Interlocked Tapestries – Rölakan) in 1992.

This original Swedish text is still very much in demand, not least because of its groundbreaking research, detailed content and extensive illustrations as well as drawings of each and every known pattern of this weaving technique. This edition includes:

  • The origin and description of double interlocked tapestries.
  • Geographical traces of the patterns – in global perspective.
  • The weavers, domestic interiors, dowries and everyday life during the period 1700 to 1860.
  • Double interlocked tapestries, preserved at museums and private collections.
  • The research and inventory of almost 1,700 double interlocked tapestries.
  • 200 detailed drawings of all designs/pattern combinations.
  • Tables, giving information about: borders, materials, sizes, markings, decorative features etc.
  • The volume is lavishly illustrated.


Art woven textiles of this kind not only demonstrate strictly textile traditions, for instance natural dyeing of yarn or weaving based on the choice of preferred designs and materials, but also a more interdisciplinary insight of practical aspects linked to production of these fabrics and women’s work during the 18th and 19th centuries. Weaving of such cushions, bedcovers etc together with an array of other home woven interior furnishing, became an important part of the family’s social status. In particular due to the built-up of an impressive dowry for daughters of the farming families, likewise as showing off such textiles at weddings and other festivities. Even if the textiles themselves were decorative features in the home and magnificent carriage cushions used for the Sunday travel to church, several other everyday traditions were of equal significance. One of those, obviously being the warmth and comfort which for example feather filled textiles could give its owners and the advantages for general health. Whilst the pure emotional links to these cushions, bedcovers or bench covers – used over several generations, undoubtedly gave a feeling of belonging and tradition. Such longterm customs and everyday needs in connection with the actual financial value of rölakan were essential parts of its multifaceted patterning, careful handling and rich traditions, which came to be mostly concentrated to the comfortably living farmers in the villages and countryside of the southernmost Sweden.

The Writer/s

Viveka Hansen is a Textile Historian; Since 1990 she works as a Researcher and Editorial Secretary at The IK Foundation. She is the founder of iTEXTILIS department in 2013 at The IK Workshop Society.

Writer/s: Viveka Hansen.
Language: Swedish.
Format: Folio size (315 x 240 mm), 296 pages.
Binding: Cloth bound volume with dust jacket, classically sewn and headband.
Additional Information: Richly illustrated (400), Research outcome over 75 pages with conclusions/drawings/statistical material of almost the 1,700 rölakan textiles, Notes & Bibliography.
Classifications: Main subject: Textile History. Detailed & additional subjects: Archive Studies, Art History, Economic History, Material Culture, Natural Dyeing, Textile Trade, Textile Materials.
Editorial: Editor: Lars Hansen, assisted by Hans Alebo and Carl-Filip Mannerståle. Design Lena Svensson.
Publication Year: 1992.
ISBN: 91-87600-03-X.



Rölakan – The origin and description of Double Interlocked Tapestries
Geographical traces of the Patterns
The Weavers and Everyday Life
Double Interlocked Tapestries, Museums & other Movements
Inventory & Designs
The matters and deep knowledge published in this book can in many ways also be found and discovered further in the department of iTEXTILIS, which is part of the IK Workshop Society – a global and unique forum for all those interested in Natural & Cultural History. EXPLORE MORE...