Delsbo stitch

Delsbo stitch is an embroidery technique featuring floral patterns. The technique has its origin in, and is strongly connected to the community of Delsbo in mid-Sweden.

Location: Hälsingland, especially in the village of Delsbo and the surrounding areas.

Photo of a hand stitching a pattern on a light fabric with a coloured thread.

The motifs in Delsbo stitch are sketched along a wreath and composed of different floral templates. Photo: Sandra Zachris Tors

Delsbo stitch is typically embroidered on cotton or linen fabric, using red cotton or linen thread. The motif is sketched along a wreath and composed of different floral templates. Different kinds of stitches are used for the different components of the finished motif, although flat stitches are most common. Delsbo stitch is used to decorate various objects such as curtains, bed covers, and tablecloths. While having originated in Delsbo, the technique is well-known and popular in the entire region of Hälsingland.

It is believed that the history of the Delsbo stitch goes back to the mid-19th century. A group of women led by the craftsperson Brita Rudolphi, created the particular style of embroidery that came to be known as the Delsbo stitch. During the early 20th century, it was common for the girls and young women in the area around Delsbo to gather and embroider their dowry using Delsbo stitch. In the 1960s, a local craft association carried out an inventorying of embroidered objects in Delsbo dating between the mid-19th century and 1920. The inventorying also included pattern templates made of paper, wood, or birch bark, and has been an important source of knowledge on the development of the technique.

Delsbo stitch has been part of the sloyd classes in many elementary schools in the municipality of Hudiksvall (where Delsbo is situated) since the 1930s and is still being taught today. The technique is also taught in folk high schools with craft education, such as Västerbergs Folk High School and Sätergläntan. There are also books and websites with embroidery instructions. During the 20th century, the patterns were developed and new colours and threads were introduced, mostly by the local crafts associations. The rose is the most recurrent motif in the patterns today.


Märta Brodén (1974), Delsbosöm: långsöm och tofssöm från Delsbo. LT. Stockholm

Anna-Maja Nylén (1969), Hemslöjd: den svenska hemslöjden fram till 1800-talets slut. H. Ohlsson. Lund.

Ingrid Eggimann-Jonsson (1998), Svenska broderier. Natur och kultur/LT. Stockholm.

Delsbo Garn visar DelsbosömLänk till annan webbplats. External link., film på Youtube.

Searching for ”delsbosöm” at Digitalt Museum:änk till annan webbplats. External link.

Eva Carlborg, DelsbosömLänk till annan webbplats. External link.. Hemslöjdsguiden.