From the age of the Vikings to the settlers of the New Sweden Colony (1638-1655), to contemporary issues in Scandinavian society, the American Swedish Historical Museum will take you back in time and across the sea to learn the stories of Swedes in America.

Swedish Folk Weavings for Marriage, Carriage, and Home 1750 to 1840

Swedish Folk Weavings for Marriage, Carriage, and Home is an exhibition of rare and artful cushions and bed covers woven by women for their households. Many have inscribed dates ranging from 1750 to 1840. Such textiles were used on or displayed for special occasions and were a significant form of decoration for the typical household. The design elements and patterns reflect the influence of centuries of trade since the Viking era. Visitors will see colorful geometric patterns, exotic birds, real and mythical creatures, religious depictions, crowns, floral themes, and even patterns from Roman mosaics. 

To learn more about the textiles featured in the exhibition, please click here to watch the Virtual Lecture: Early Swedish Folk Weavings by Wendel Swan.


Swedish Folk Weavings for Marriage, Carriage, and Home was developed in collaboration with Wendel and Diane Swan, both of whom are of Swedish descent, and whose collection is primarily featured in the exhibition.

We are grateful for support from the ASHM Auxiliary, Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, Midsommarklubben, Red Moose Charitable Trust, SWEA Philadelphia, and an anonymous foundation. Funding for the American Swedish Historical Museum is supported by grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.