About us

FASHION, CRAFTS AND TRADITIONS

The brand Jess of Sweden was founded by Jessica Lorin. Inspired by old craft traditions we create unique products for our customers. What started out as a hobby has now grown into a business with sales in various countries.

Jess of Sweden was created by Jessica Lorin. She has been creating pewter thread embroidery since 2005. In 2013, Jessica started her own business, Jessica’s tenntrådsbroderi. With the brand Jess of Sweden, she sells her creations in several places: shops, private sales, facebook and on this website. Jess of Sweden chooses to focus on the production of bracelets, necklaces, hair clips, tiaras, earrings and eyeglass cords.

HISTORY OF THE HANDICRAFT

Spun threads of gold, silver and bronze have been found from the Viking Age, which was used to decorate their belongings with. In Hågagögarna outside of Uppsala, fragments of spun gold threads have been found, approximately 300 years old. The technique using tin wire, however, came later. The oldest discovery so far is from Lake Furen in Småland. It is believed to be from the 11th century. Even in Gråträsk, Norrbotten, old tin wire has been found, which also dates from the 11th century.

Tin thread embroidery has been widespread amongst the Sami people since the 17th century. In the 19th century the technique disappeared almost completely. This was probably because the tin (and even items in silver) was condemned by the Laestadian revival for some time. Someone properly faithful would not adorn themselves with ”ostentation an ornaments”.

The idea to spin pewter probably came to the Sami people when they traded with the northerners. They did this mainly with the Norwegians. Most commonly used was silver wire. The Sami people started using tin, as it was easier to process and slightly cheaper, a so called ”poor man’s silver”. They made the thread by cleaving a twig of birch or alder in half and then remove the pith. The twig was then tied together with string. In the hole, a mixture of melted tin and lead. The tin rods then got pressed trough small holes drilled in reindeer antlers.

Once the tin was thin enough it could be sewn into beautiful patterns. Eventually, the tin handcraft disappeared, even from the South Sami areas. By the turn of 1800–1900 theres was hardly anyone doing tin thread embroidery anymore.

1905 Andreas Wilks found his mother’s old tin wire tools and began experimenting. Eventually, he manage to both drag and spin tin wire. He did not do this the old way, instead of spinning it around a lendon he usd a bear wire. He also simplified the actual spinning by replacing the old ”twister” to a kind of distaff that The Sami people used to spin wool yarn with.

Andreas Wilk held 30 courses in Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Jämtland and Härjedalen. By doing this he saved a dying art form.

Source: Tenntrådsbroderier av Mona Callenberg