Silk on Söder

Floor 3 shows an exhibition about the history of the Silk Factory. Here you can see examples of upholstery fabrics, shawls and ribbons that have been made in the factory and learn about how silk is made.

Take the opportunity to see the exhibition before it is taken down this winter. In March 2022, we will open a new exhibition on women workers, silk scarves and the textile industry - then and now.

Earlier exhibitions

Textile trilogy

 Part 1 - Humankind.  March 27 - June 12 2021

The exhibition is about textiles' references to human experiences and shows works by Liisa Hietanen, Kari Steihaug, Anna Sjons Nilsson and Helen Heldt Hortlund.

Textile trilogy part 1 has "man" as its theme, which of course is a huge topic, but when it comes to textile materials and methods, it is natural to start at that end. The textile is linked with the senses, with the body, the skin - touch. Textile handling is also strongly associated with thinking, calculations and technology - knowledge. Textile as an artistic medium is suitable for the theme "man" with its connotations of body and intelligence.

Read more about Textile trilogy

Print for Christmas

Digitally on our social media in December 2020

The tradition of decorating your home for Christmas is old. For several hundred years, both castles and simple cottages have been decorated with textiles to create a weekend atmosphere, especially for Christmas. The fabrics could be woven, embroidered or painted. The first printed Christmas tablecloths did not arrive until the 1920s. In the 1950s, the colors and shapes became bolder, at the same time as textile artists began to be hired more and more. Demand was high and Christmas tablecloths were mass-produced. The exhibition "Printed for Christmas" highlights an overlooked form treasure.

Until the so-called TEKO crisis (textile and clothing) during the 1950s and 70s, Sweden had an extensive textile industry. Today, almost all textiles and clothing are manufactured in other parts of the world, especially in Asia. As Scandinavia's oldest yet active industrial environment, the silk factory is a perfect platform to showcase these mass-produced textiles that still adorn so many homes for Christmas.

"Printed for Christmas" was supposed to be shown in the silk factory in December 2020, but then came the pandemic. Now we make a digital Advent calendar instead starting on December 1. Every weekday until Christmas, a printed Christmas tablecloth is published on Almgren silk factory's social media. It will be an example of the large design tax that was delivered from the Swedish textile industry in the 1950s and 60s. For the third Advent, we are putting up a film that shows how you can print Christmas motifs on textiles yourself. As a Christmas gift tip, or maybe for yourself, because it is so fun to create in textiles.

The exhibition Printed for Christmas is a result of the cultural historians Anna Lindqvist's and Marie Odenbring Widmark's survey of printed Christmas textiles and has been created in collaboration with the Textile Museum in Borås, Västarvet and Östergötland Museum. Their work is also compiled in the book "Printed for Christmas" (Carlssons).

The Tie Factory

Sept 14 - Oct 31 2020 

For many years, ties were made at Almgren's silk factory. The silk fabrics were woven in the factory on Repslagargatan while the actual tie sewing took place up in the attic of the office property at Kornhamstorg 6.

Tie has long been a mandatory accessory for men in suits. At the silk factory, however, not many wore ties. The manufacturer and foreman made up a few exceptions adorned in this otherwise female-dominated workplace. In recent times, the dress codes have changed and the occasions when a tie is required are now quite few. Ties have become shelf warmers in many men's wardrobes. Some preserve them for emotional reasons, such as reminders of various events or periods in life. Others dispose of their ties, throw them away or pass them on.

Previously, no textile was thrown away. For most of the 20th century, textiles were counted as a capital in all classes of society and were managed to a small extent. Silk quilts and other status objects, for example, were made of silk. In step with mass production and mass consumption, textile waste also increased. Today we throw 8 kg per person every year, straight into the household rubbish.

The artist duo Katarina Brieditis & Katarina Evans run a textile studio in Stockholm. They make unique textiles mainly from used clothes and surpluses from the textile industry. Used t-shirts and torn wool sweaters, for example, were given new life in the Re Rag Rug project, where 12 rugs were created in 12 different techniques in as many months.

Almgren's silk factory has now invited Studio Brieditis & Evans to create a design in the preparation room. This time the material is luxurious, but just like before, it is a matter of mass-produced and leftover textiles. The starting point is a thousand discarded company ties of silk that they received as a donation. Ties that were produced during the late 20th century to be worn by male officials for entertainment purposes.

Visions / thoughts from Studio Brieditis & Evans:
With the industrial premises' old machines as a starting point, we form a fantasy about how the silk factory's machines may have been used and what they can achieve. Mass production, monotonous repetitions. Too many of the same become abundance, leftover, over. Eternity machines that produce and produce. Drive belts of ties, piles of ties, ties that drip, spray and are fed out of the machines. Discarded, remade and mixed into mash or ash? Recycled? Discarded ties are given new life through textile experiments in the Tie Factory.


4800 threads

Film by Johanna Schartau from the exhibition Urban Weft at Silk Weaving 2010