Sweden is a mysterious place full of legends and the most beautiful countryside. Let’s discover what they make.
Sweden is a very progressive country famous for its cold weather, vast, beautiful nature and children’s book Pippi Longstocking.
If you already encountered something made in Sweden you probably noticed that they tend to have a distinct minimalistic Scandinavian style. The most widely recognised, of course, would be the furniture from IKEA.
However, on this page, I want to help you discover other unique and exciting things that are currently made in Sweden today.
Dala horses are Swedish equivalent to Russian dolls – very unique and very regional.
Initially designed and used as a children’s toy, these days it more commonly serves as a decoration and as the symbol of Sweden. Each region has different variations, but most common would be the traditional red, born in the Dalarna region, since 1700.
Until this day all Dala horses are hand-carved from slow-growing pine wood, which is usually pre-selected for making Dala horses before cutting it down. Once completed, they are hand-painted by artists – a nice touch for something you can take away as a souvenir.
The oldest Dala horse workshops are by Grannas Olson and Nils Olsson (since 1920s) based in Nusnäs. And you can see all Dalas in all shapes and colours at the annual Dala horse exhibition at Klockargården in Leksand.
Sweden has many small glass workshops all over the country, and each of them tends to specialise in a certain type of glass or the product. This desire to differentiate has inspired a lot of creativity, which in turn contributes to the creation of interesting, unusual and daring glass creations.
For example, Kosta Boda has just unveiled the most prestigious work in its 275-year-old history – One Million Dollar Boat. As usual with such works, it was carried out by a well-established artist, Bertil Vallien.
Some might like the idea of getting the glass from the oldest Swedish glassworks: Kosta Boda (opened since 1742) or Limmared (since 1741), the ultimate ‘made in Sweden’ with a story attached.
If you are visiting Sweden, do visit traditional glassworks, they offer workshops, experiences and unique glassware you might want to bring home.
Woolpower is a perfect example of a manufacturer that is representing the Sweden well. Here is why I love them:
Firstly, they use local wool. Considering that there is a total of fourteen sheep breeds with individual wool properties, it is good to have the local knowledge to get the most out of the raw materials used when making a sweater.
Secondly, the understanding of making the best wool clothes comes from centuries of trial and error in the harshest winter testing lab – Sweden. The quality is ensured not just by experience but by personal responsibility too. Each product has a label with the name of the person who made it.
And lastly, Swedish companies, just like its citizens, follow their eco-friendly values. Everything they do have to respect the environment on short and long term basis.
Despite being currently unconventional, the wood is a great eco-friendly material to make the shoe soles from. Clog clobbers skilfully carve it to this ergonomically friendly, comfortable footwear with the exceptional lumbar support.
They are, actually, quite widely used by people who have to stand all day, like nurses and chefs. In addition to being comfortable clogs are now appreciated for their design too. More and more people started following and contributing to a new fashion trend of wearing them because of their unique style.
Genuine clogs are always hand-made, with a slight variation from one pair to the other. There are quite a few brands that reached out to professional clog makers to make their version of this “trendy” footwear.
And, just in case you wondered, no they do not make more noise than other shoes – rubber of leather padding covers the bottom of these soles.
Thanks to Thoerntrop for the pictures of their cool looking Swedish made clogs.
Sweden used to make a lot of wooden toys exported worldwide, but now the big players in toy market have shifted their production to partners overseas. However, there is one small company still making some cute wooden toys.
Debresk is a small team of two wood crafters who hand make wooden cars, trucks and fire trucks. They have this authentic, down to the roots design which makes me think of minimalistic Scandinavian style.
Wooden toys are not just free of toxic materials, but also are much eco-friendly for recycling. Especially, when they are made from renewable forests.
So let’s compare a global plastic toy manufacturer with Debresk. Fuming factory with rows of workers versus two passionate artisans making wooden toys in an ancient corn storage house, on a Skäve biodynamic farm, in Järna.
To thrive in a country with a cold climate, you need a reliable heating source. And although Swedes have central heating since the early 20th century, traditional and contemporary fireplaces are still commonly used today.
In fact, more and more people add them to their homes to create a heartwarming atmosphere and add it as a design feature. Swedish Masonry Fireplaces are different from the rest. The main feature comes from a unique construction design which allows them to radiate the heat for up to 20 hours after the fire has stopped.
It is a useful feature for homes in colder climates, eco-conscious homeowners, and people looking for an efficient alternative heating solution.
Of course, many companies make contemporary fireplaces too. Although they are usually quite minimalistic (if not futuristic) these fireplaces are appreciated not just at home but and abroad. ‘Made in Sweden’ in this case represents the warmth.
Yep, not all digital cameras are created equal, and not all of them are made in China.
The Hasselblad’s team of 70 engineers is making and designing a range of high-end cameras and lenses well known among professional photographers. This team is showing an impressive innovation for a small company.
As you would expect from such cameras image quality and craftsmanship are hard to match. With the ‘made in Sweden’ camera, you also get a complimentary image editing software Phocus. It is specifically designed to get the most out of RAW files taken with Hasselblad cameras.
Available in three ranges: X1 – low weight compact mirrorless, H6 – all the benefits of a large sensor, and re-invented unique V cameras.
If you read this page to learn something new and to be surprised, then this must be it. A-Chopper made famous by an American movie ‘Easy Rider’ is also custom made in Sweden.
There are a few interesting features about it: firstly, the look, in the country known for its Swedish minimalistic style these extended forks make quite a statement when passing by.
And secondly, it is a “legal outlaw”. Bikes with extended and raked forks have been made illegal in many countries, but it is allowed in Sweden.
These choppers are also fully certified (COC) for the EU, Swiss and Norway’s roads too. Of course, something like was created by the blue sky dreamers and not a large corporation just chasing profits. Sam, Peder, and Andreas are experienced motorcycle engineers with over 30 years of experience.
Koenigsegg is a relatively new Supercar company, established in 1994 by a 22-year-old Christian von Koenigsegg. By 2002 their first mass-produced car CC8S has been named ‘The Most Powerful Mass Production Car Ever’ by the Guinness World Records.
Today Koenigsegg makes three models: The Gemera, The Jesko and The Regera – all made in Sweden. A seventy-strong team of engineers is producing these fantastic supercars, mostly by hand.
Company is based in the former airforce barracks where Gripen Fighter Jets used to be. And of course, being a Swedish company, Koenigsegg was one of the first to develop the green supercar engine technology suitable for using biofuel (E85).
It seems that eco-friendly Swedish mentality is everywhere. Even the Swedish military, has successfully developed and tested the 100% bio-renewable fuel called CHCJ-5.
I was really surprised that peace-loving country like Sweden is making Fighter Jets called Gripen, in the first place. But, in a truly Swedish way, Saab and Military of Defence also developed a fuel able to replace the usual fighter jet fuel, with no modification to the engine required.
So if one has to fly to war, it is good to do it with minimal carbon footprint – that’s what I call genuinely ‘made in Sweden’.
On a serious note, these jets have exceptional technology that has been developed by Swedish engineers and scientists, and are used by a long list of countries and have many unique features and capabilities.
Feeling inspired? Looking for more stories about original things made in Europe? Discover other European countries too.
Italy also makes a number of interesting things, waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.
Wine openers can be unique and exciting. Discover new ways to open your next bottle of wine.
It is not just about the German innovation or engineering, but measuring time in a different way.
We spent years searching the web, artisan shops and visiting variety of makers in Europe. You welcome.
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