The usual material in early Swedish quilts is pre-felted wool and strips of gold-covered leather, but there are proofs that some craftsmen have been using silk or cotton. Quilts which survived were the ones usually made for churches. In the 18th century they became more popular and available in the country. A Swedish word for quilt, lapptacke, was registered for the first time in 1755.
Around 1830 quilts became so popular that even poorer people started to make them by copying what they saw in the richer households. However, for lower classes quilts had more practical uses than just decorative. Some were used as bed coverings in order to provide more warmth during cold winters, while others hanged on walls or were put on the floor where they were supposed to keep the warmth in. While they were usually made of scraps of wool and linen, some people had to get by with whatever they could find – old leather, sacks, animal hair or old clothes.
In 1870’s quilts became an important part of Swedish culture. Handmade quilts were a traditional and treasured gift for the newlyweds, often with a scarf presented to wife by her husband as a central medallion. However, as carpet industry started to develop and more factories were build, tradition of quilting became forgotten. People preferred to buy ready-made products, often cheaper than traditional goods.The revival of quilting in Sweden started in the 1960s and 1970s, when local citizens started to partake in DIY communities. In contemporary Sweden exist organizations known as “Quilt Guilds” which gather people interested in traditional crafts.