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Here you see the iconic Lamino chair and footrest from Swedese, both designed and hand made in Sweden.

Crafting a masterpiece - Swedese’s story

In the small town of Vaggeryd in the 1950’s there were 16 furniture companies. Today, more than 70 years later, only one remains. It was Swedese that captured the heart of the Scandinavian design world. We spoke to them about the origins of the company and why their products continue to be crafted in the southern Swedish town where it all began 75 years ago. This is Swedese’s story.
Tuesday 7th February 2023
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“LET’S GET STARTED AND SEE HOW IT GOES”

“Let’s get started and see how it goes”, these are the words of Yngve Ekström, to his brother Jerker and friend Bertil Sjöqvist as they were about to embark on their fledgling furniture business in 1945. Starting a furniture business in Southern Sweden at the time was hardly revolutionary, in the town of Vaggeryd alone, where the trio lived, there were already 16 furniture companies competing for the inhabitant’s business.

Swedese and design lovers the world over are well aware of how it went. Of those 16 furniture companies just one remains!

We now know that Yngve had a powerful vision and that what he and his partners created was strong enough to survive.

A true jack of all trades Yngve belongs to the generation of designers who brought modern Scandinavian design to the forefront. He also helped design Swedese’s head office, created the logo, took photographs, produced the catalogues and made the company Christmas cards (using poems he wrote himself), all while continuing to produce Swedese’s unique and evidently, timeless designs.

Primo arm chair high with neck cushion oiled oak
Natural
$1,819

HANDMADE IN SWEDEN

Little has changed for Swedese in the 75 years since their conception. But that in itself is part of their allure. Their iconic furniture continues to be produced in the small town of Vaggeryd just as it was all those years ago.

“People who visit us are often struck by the craftsmanship that goes into each unique product leaving our factories.” Says Mats Grennfalk from Swedese.

“The precision and manual input in our production process allows us to produce furniture and designer pieces that would otherwise be impossible.” he continues.

The decision to keep the manufacturing process within Sweden allows Swedese to maintain control over the process, ensuring quality control at every step of the way. “The close cooperation between product development and production makes it very easy for us to be responsive and customise our products for specific settings and needs.” States Mats.

A man making furniture in Swedese furniture factory in Sweden.

Swedese’s products are still hand made in Sweden using much the same processes as they did 75 years ago.

Swedese has been focused on the passion for design and sustainability since the very beginning.

“With no exceptions, all furniture by Swedese is independently produced on our own premises in Vaggeryd and Äng, ensuring we can preserve our genuine craftsmanship and exceptional quality.”

Due to the very fact that their furniture is produced in such a localized manner, allows Swedese to minimise their environmental impact by giving them full control over everything from material choice to the method of transportation.

THE ICONIC LAMINO

In Swedese’s home country of Sweden the Lamino armchair holds an iconic status. Designed in 1956 by Yngve Ekström himself the chair quickly became a design classic. The organic shape of the back rest hints at the human form which was the starting point for Yngve.

The result is a chair that is as comfortable to sit in as it is pleasing on the eye – surely the two biggest contributing factors to the longevity of this design?

In 1999 the readers of Swedish interior design magazine “Sköna Hem” named the Lamino the design piece of the century.

Today the Lamino is found in thousands of homes in Sweden and around the world.

FROM VENEER TO ASSEMBLED CHAIR

An iconic piece of furniture, both designed and manufactured in Sweden is pretty unique in this day and age so naturally we were very curious about what exactly that process looks like.

The Lamino is constructed from moulded wood. “That means that 19 sheets of veneer in customized sizes for the different parts are glued and pressed together in a moulding tool, with heat and a lot of pressure. It stays in the mould with heat between 3 and 5 minutes, depending on size and thickness.

The moulded part is then cleaved into the right width and processed in different machines.” States Mats from Swedese. “After the cleaving the parts goes through the production in pairs for the perfect fit and look for the readymade Lamino. This is because wood is a natural material that looks, behaves differently every time” Mats continues.

“There is a lot of skilled wooden craftsmanship used during the process from veneer to a readymade frame.”

Once the frame is assembled, it is time from the upholstery. “The support fabric made of linen (visible from the back) is stretched over the frame and the sheep skin is glued to the linen. It is stapled around the frame and the edges of the fabric and skin are cut off to make a nice and clean edge.” Mats concludes.

The completed Lamino chair is then packed in a customised box with the armrests, screws and glides. Assembly is smooth and easy, the cherry on top of your Swedese experience.

Part of the assembly line for the Lamino armchair, handmade furniture from Sweden.

It’s in the details – handmade in Sweden, Swedese design is built to last.

Handmade furniture for Swedese, the Swedish furniture brand.

Quality craftsmanship goes into the making of every Swedese product.

Close-up of the Lamino chair from Swedese.

The iconic Lamino armchair – truly timeless design is passed down through the generations.

A TAILORED SPACED FOR HUMAN LIVING

Naturally, as you know at Nordic Nest our ambition is that everyone should be able to create a home to love, so what does a home to love mean for Swedese?

“Furniture and interior details always exist in a context. A house. A room. What’s special about our Home Collection is that that context is also someone’s home. Possibly yours. We make furniture with a strong identity, always with a timelessness that allows them to blend into different environments. The quality and degree of craftsmanship in our furniture will allow you to enjoy them for a long time, through changing trends and phases of life.”

Styling: Linnea Axelson, Rebecca Sparling Photography: Angeliqa Daldorph, Swedese

Rebecca Sparling
Author

HANDMADE FURNITURE FROM SWEDESE

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