About Klässbols Linneväveri
“Our place on earth is Klässbol, Värmland. Here, the third and fourth generation of the Johansson family manage the business and traditions inherited from our grandfather and great grandfather Hjalmar, who sat weaving all night long.
My grandfather Vitalis continued the business. His unstinting faith in linen as a natural material has provided us with a living and a purpose in life. My father and his brothers received prestigious commissions from the Swedish Court and embassies, bringing Klässbols international fame.
With a strong sense of tradition and faith in linen as a natural material, we work together to carry Klässbols, our family business, into the future – a satisfying endeavour that we are delighted to share with you.”
Andreas Johansson, CEO
A movie about Klässbol
The story about linen
As early as the Stone Age, people were also to dress linen, even if the major part was used for utility products such as rope, fishing nets etc. Clothes fashion was not, of course, so well developed at the time; and tablecloths had hardly been thought of, never mind about napkins!
But in the ancient Egypt people started early on to dress themselves in beautiful, cool clothes. Linen was, in fact, the only material permitted for clerical dress; and mummies were wrapped in fine linen cloths, many of which have been preserved. Knowledge of the technique spread from Egypt over to Babylon, which in ancient times seems to have been the centre of the “linen industry” and via Greece to the Roman Empire and right through Europe.
In the Roman Empire, large flax mills such as those in Ravenna and Vienna were, in ancient times, under the strict control of “procuratores linificiorum”; which says a good deal about the high regard in which the material was held. In Sweden, we have been able to dress linen at least since the time of the Bronze Age.
Far into the sixteenth century linen was spun on a distaff, a handy piece of equipment which oriental women to this day master with virtuosity. In 1530, even greater impetus was given to the linen manufacture with the arrival of the spinning wheel.
For a long time, linen production was a handicraft. With the introduction of machines at the end of the eighteenth century came also linen’s worst rival: cotton. But better machines also suitable for the linen industry were at the same time developed. In 1805, Joseph Marie Jacquard constructed his fancy weaving machine, marking the end of an epoch. As well as bringing a number of other advantages with it, this machine opened up new possibilities to the fine, old damask weaving industry.
Linen has encountered tough competition from both simpler and cheaper materials and more than once it has been feared that it would disappear altogether. But the quality and beauty of linen have survived all “new fashions”, including the synthetic fibres of recent times. And we now seem to be moving towards a new hey-day for linen, back to a world where quality and beautiful things are once more highly prized. Linen is an unsurpassed material in the hands of skilful craftsmen.
Pure and Cotton Linen
Flax has long fibres, making it very suitable for spinning and weaving, and it has been used for making cloths for nine thousand years. In the 18th century in Sweden, there were several famous damask weaving mills and the countryside was covered with breathtakingly beautiful blue-flowering flax fields. When cotton replaced linen as the most commonly used material for textiles, the labour-intensive and time-consuming production of linen fell by the wayside.
Flax is no longer cultivated in Scandinavia, except on a very small scale, but linen itself, is enjoying a renaissance. A new awareness of nature and natural values has taken a strong hold. In line with this, a growing number of people who value tradition have also come to appreciate the unique qualities of linen.
Pure linen fabrics are made only from linen yarn. The structure of the flax fibre gives the linen its many excellent qualities. It is extremely strong and absorbent, and its smoothness and lustre make it very dirtrepellent. Liquid spilled on a linen cloth is absorbed immediately. Linen feels cool and pleasant against the skin. It also dries quickly, and pure linen towels are superb for drying drinking glasses and for polishing crystal and silverware.
Klässbols also make cotton linen, or half linen, a fabric made with a cotton yarn warp and a linen yarn weft. Table-cloths and towels made from cotton linen are soft and cool. They retain the very good drying and absorption characteristics of the linen. And you can enjoy the luxury of using them every day.
Damask – Weave for princes
The artistic weaving technique, called damask, is said to have first been created in Damascus, thereby the name. It was the fabric that was woven to the princely clothes of the princes and for pure decorative purposes. Even today, damask is considered to be the most elegant tissues.
Damask is a usually mono color fabric, where the pattern and / or figures are formed in varpsatin on the bottom of the weave satin or vice versa. The effect is achieved by the light being reflected differently from the warp and weft surfaces, so that the pattern either appears shiny against a matte bottom or matte against a glossy bottom. The technique can also be used for two-color patterns with very elegant effect.
Cultivating, preparing, spinning and weaving linen is an ancient art in our country, but the art of weaving patterned linen was hardly felt in Sweden before the 16th century. Of course, the hands-on “great power” attracted skilled weavers here. Queen Hedvig Eleonora made 1696 large orders for tablecloths and napkins at some weavers in Stockholm. Then, Swedish linen master production started. There are still three napkins preserved from the beginning of the 18th century with her crowned name cipher and “Three Crowns” woven.
Today, the tablecloths and napkins are delivered in linen damask, with Sweden’s “Three crowns” woven in, from Klässbols Linneväveri, to the Swedish embassies all over the world.
Bra miljöval för planetens skull
När du köper Klässbols linneprodukter så köper du en vara märkt med Bra Miljöval. Miljömärkningen Bra Miljöval som är Naturskyddsföreningens egen miljömärkning ska vägleda konsumenter att hitta de produkter som är minst skadliga för vår planet. Lin är en även naturprodukt och därför även miljösmart. Tillsammans med den långa hållbarhet som linneprodukter generellt har så gör du ett aktivt val för planetens skull.
Var kommer lingarnet ifrån?
Det lingarn som vi väver våra linneprodukter av idag kommer från spånadslin som odlas i Frankrike och Belgien. Allt odlas enligt reglerna för hållbart ekologiskt jordbruk. Där bereds även linet vilket betyder att man förädlar spånadslinet till spinnbara fibrer som sedan blir rågarn på olika spinnerier runt om i världen. På spinnerierna färgar man även garnet.
Vi köper vårt GOTS miljömärkta lingarn (Global Organic Textile Standard) ifrån italienska Linificio och Franska Safilin. Dessa företag är miljöcertifierade fullt ut och kontrolleras noggrant i europeiska leveranskedjor.
Varför vi köper lingarnet från dessa länder är främst för att det inte går att köpa i Sverige. Men även för att dessa lingarnslevarantörer kan leverera de färger och volymer vi önskar, har rätt miljöpolicy samt har ett visst CSR-arbete (Safilin) som vi uppskattar.
De färger som lingarnet färgas med med är också GOTS miljömärkta. Det innebär bland annat att inga farliga kemikalier används. Läs mer om GOTS på medvetenkonsumtion.se
Några av våra halvlinne-produkter är vävda i 50 % lin och 50 % bomull. Det bomullsgarnet kommer från Tyska Otto Garne som även de är är certifierade med Fair Trade, GOTS med mera.
Men sytråden då?
Vi använder Gütermann polyestertråd som är Oeko-Tex certifierad, vilket betyder att den är skonsam för djur, natur och fri från gifter. Tråden som är extremt hållbar kräver mycket mindre vatten och energiförbrukning i produktionen än motsvarande tillverkning av bomull t.ex. Tack vare tillverkarens MCT teknik så är fibersläppet ytterst minimalt då de jobbar med oändliga fibrer till skillnad som i en traditionell Corespun teknik.
Gör ett klimatsmart val du med och handla linneprodukter med lång hållbarhet!
Washing and care instructions
A first-rate linen fabric is, when well treated, beautifully shiny, smooth and cool. As a highly absorbent material, linen is an unsurpassed material for both toilet and kitchen towels, even though the great beauty of the material has lead to it being used primarily for elegant cloths, napkins, curtains and other more exclusive items. Linen sheets are now popular once again, not least for their beauty and their coolness. All linen consists exclusively of flax thread. In half linen, the warp is composed of cotton yarn and the weft of flax thread. It is important to remember when considering care of linen that cotton soils more quickly than linen and must therefore be washed more often. So even if pure linen is a little more expensive, it may be economic in the long run if the article is to be used often.
Klässbols Linen Weaving Mill recommends following treatment:
The article is washed according to whether it is natural/unbleached, semi-bleached or coloured. Unbleached preserves its original colour best if perborate and optical brightener-free washing detergent is used. Although linen, like cotton, has a high abrasion resistance and tensile strength when wet, one should always try to wash linen as gently as possible. This way it will last for generations.
The washing temperature should be approximately 60° C providing more pronounced stains do not necessitate a higher temperature. The temperature should not, however, exceed 80° C as this can reduce the elasticity, shininess and strength of the linen. For thinner fabrics such as a number of curtains, a more gentle washing method should be chosen than that used for thick cloths and other items. This is most easily achieved by using a large quantity of water in relation to the number of items being washed.
Particularly delicate items may be put in a net bag to reduce wear and tear by the washing machine. The items should be shortly spin-dried as gently as possible.
Never mix linen with dark-coloured fabrics. For coloured linen, follow the detergent manufacturer’s instructions for ordinary 60° C colour wash. If a washing machine is not used, it is advisable to check the temperature with help of a thermometer to ensure that the fabric is not washed for longer than 15 minutes once maximum temperature has been reached.
Avoid laying wet linen fabrics on top of one another. Roll them together instead while still damp. Natural coloured and coloured linen should not be dried in bright sunlight. We recommend that all smooth linen textiles are mangled cold to preserve the beauty of stiff, shiny napkins and tablecloths. Mangle napkins and handtowels unfolded. Lay four to six on a table in a step-like formation, one on top of the other and pull them into shape before mangling. Cloths and sheets may be folded into three or four. Try, when possible, to fold in different places each time the fabric is mangled, as the strain is greatest at the folds.
Linen should not be tumbler-dried.
Allow approximately 5-7 % shrinkage both lengthwise and widthwise.
Washing instructions BADA bath towel
Wash at 60 °. The product releases linen fibers during washing, especially the first washers so fill the washing machine with laundry items as other towels or bed linen. Then the laundry is rubbed instead of being wrapped around the drum with the risk of it loosening more fibers.
DO NOT use eco-programs without adding extra water or extra rinsing if possible.
After washing, clean the filter in the door of the washing machine from any lint
PS, BADA can be centrifuged and tumble dried!
Linen clothes from K&US and Gaardhagen / Kanaljen
At our stores we sell not only our own interior textiles for home and public environment, but also linen clothes. As one of the few retailers in Värmland by K&US and Gårdhagen / Kanaljen, we have a wide range of linen clothes for both her and him. And we can warmly recommend the garments to those who want something unique, neat, durable, comfortable and environmentally friendly. In our store in Stockholm you can exclusively buy Gårdahagen /Kanaljen as the only retailer in the Stockholm area.
K&US stands for timeless, relaxed design with fine shapes and ingenious details. Sophisticated bohemian one might say. Natural, well-tailored and durable, yet beautiful and with passion and thought in every detail. K&US works with natural materials such as, linen, wool, silk, viscose and organic cotton. The garments are for those who like clothes that make you feel a little extra good, day after day. In the shop in Klässbol we have most dresses and blouses.
The garments are for her.
Check out their webbsite before your visit
Gaardhagen & Kanaljen
Lars Gårdhagens and wife Charlotte manufactures own-produced linen costumes and linen shirts, combined with hats, shoes, and accessories from some of the world’s foremost craft companies. Both design and production have roots in the last century’s men’s tailoring – and vanity. Like undertones lies a consensus of style, humor and esprit.
The garments are mostly for him with the exception of him.
Check their website before your visit
Hjalmar, Klässbols founder
Hjalmar med Vitalis i knäet och Augusta med dottern Viola.
With strong influence of the Glafsfjorden, Billingen and Sörtjärnet and its water system, handicraft traditions were approached for generations. The water systems were strong enough to operate twenty mills and sawmills.
Our history began in 1884 when our grandfather Hjalmar Johansson, was born in Klässbol Värmland, Sweden into a large family of eight children. At age nine, Hjalmar began working as an errand boy at the local wool factory. Here he developed a keen interest in weaving that increased over the years. After working as a cloth darner in Arvika and Sågmyra, he moved to Borås to study at the weaving school. He gained experience at the weaveries Borås Jaquardväveri and Västergötlands Yllefabrik in Tidan.
In 1918, he received an offer to return to Klässbol, Stafnäs Ullspinneri, wool factory needed help due to change of generation. Our grandfather, his wife Augusta and their eight children moved back to their native region and Hjalmar was employed as weaving supervisor at the wool factory. He soon realized that the factory could not be saved, but had meanwhile started weaving linen sheets and towels on a hand-operated loom at home in his kitchen. The linen was supplied by local farmers, and grandfather wove the products for family and friends. His customers gradually increased, and in 1921 he bought his first mechanical loom. It dominated the living room, and a hole had to be bored in the floor of the bedroom above to make room for the much treasured Jaquard on top of the loom. The loom operated non-stop night and day. In 1924, grandfather bought a small cottage 400 meters from the house and moved his production there. He also invested in two more looms. Grandfather Hjalmar started seven patterns before he suddenly passed away in 1928, only 44 years old. Little did he imagine that his craft would develop into an international company.
After grandfather´s death, his family faced a tough decision – should they continue running the weaver? There were many debts but no money. The answer came when the family found a life insurance policy that grandfather had taken out without his wife´s knowledge. It was worth SEK 4,000 – a fortune in those days. It was as if grandfather had known what would happen. Now the family could continue the business he had started. Our father, Vitalis, took charge of the weaving. Aunt Viola managed the accounts, grandmother dealt with sales and the other children helped as they grew older. Despite hard times and many setbacks, they continued running the weavery and carrying on the family tradition.
In 1975, the weavery was passed on to the family´s sons Sven-Olof, Torbjörn and myself, who had all been weavers since the age of 14. Today, our brother Urban also is a owner and so are our nephew Stefan and niece Cenita who took over after theirs fathers, Sven-Olof and Torbjörn. Meanwhile, Andreas – another fourth generation family member – has become the company´s Managing Director (CEO).
Quality is our most important value, just as it was for our grandfather. Our weave patterns are a cultural treasure that we have inherited and have utmost respect for. The pleasure of sharing these timeless patterns and other top-quality designs is our driving force, which we hope will continue taking Klässbols along the path that grandfather started long ago.
Dick Johansson – one of four owners
Celebrate a hundred years with us!