About the craft.

                                                    
      

               

  Pewter thread embroidery ~ a traditional Scandinavian handcraft.

Envision the harsh but beautiful landscape of northern Sweden above the Arctic Circle, sometimes referred to as the land of the midnight sun and the northern lights. This country is the home for Saamis ( a semi nomadic tribal group also known as Lapplanders). From ancient times the reindeer has been a vital part of the Saamis culture, providing them with food, raw materials for clothing, shelter and tools. 

The pewter thread was used by the Saamis ever since the 16th century. A piece of antler with holes was used to pull the pewter through until the right thickness was found and then spun around a raw sinew to create the final coil. Beautiful embellishments were sewn by hand on their traditional clothing, belts and bags.

Today the coil is made by machine and spun around a nylon thread. Since pewter is a very soft metal with a grey color a silver alloy is applied to the metal. This makes the coil stronger and gives it a shiny silver color.

I braid the coil into different braids and sew them by hand with a clear nylon thread onto a strong, durable and soft reindeer hide. The hide is vegetable tanned and will not discolor your skin, for clasp a hand carved reindeer antler button is used.

All my materials are from local sources in northern Sweden.