Wadmal blankets, do they make them any more?


We had a summer cottage when I grew up, nothing fancy we had no electricity or running water. The cottage was placed at the top of a mountain outside Gothenburg by a village called Jonsered (I’ve shown You photographs from Jonsered before in my old blog). The area was called America, the story tells that a man working in the factory in Jonsered had told everyone that he was moving to America and one day he left. The problem was that he didn’t have any money to buy the ticket, so he hid up on the mountain for a couple of years and one day he walked back and told everyone how great America was 🙂 🙂 🙂






This is of course not true but I can’t say why it was called America, another area nearby was called Jericho. Most of Jericho got destroyed though when they built the highway to Stockholm. The truth is that the factory owner gave permission to the employed to star an allotment area up on the mountain and if they so wished they could build a small cottage. Anyhow, I don’t know how we got one but we did and family and friends used to stay there on weekends during summer. But one day we all sort of forgot the place most parts of the year so it stood empty most of the time.





This doe came jumping out from my garden when we came home from our morning walk. I started to think about doris the doe when I saw her. Doris wasn’t tame but she had a great trust in us humans, I don’t know how many times I almost fell over her when I walked in the dark during winter because she had a habit of sleeping in my garden during winters 🙂 She never minded that my dogs came over to great her either and I do miss her, perhaps this can become a new Doris?


Until I was around 13 years old that is, that was when I started to go there myself and could stay there all weekend if I so wished. Mostly I biked there and besides some extra clothes and food I also brought an empty 10 liter (2,6 US gallons) container so I could go and get some water. We had a well somewhere in the forest but I almost never found it, so I had to walk around 5 km (3,1 miles) to a well with very clean water and then walk back with that heavy container 🙂 You might wonder why I didn’t use the bike but have You ever tried to have a container that big on a bike without dropping it 🙂 🙂 🙂






The food was usually easy to make or I used a camping stove and that stove was very useful when making a cup of tea 🙂 I didn’t have a radio or tv of course but still the days just flew by, kids in that age (at least back then) never have any problems making time fly away. I especially remember when going to bed and how damp the wadmal blanket was and that it despite that smelled nice. It was a heavy blanket and it was filled with something that looked like very, very thick cotton but it might have been wool though. I wonder if one can find a blanket like that now days, the modern kinds have sort of pushed those old ones away no matter how great they were.






I could lay there at night listening to the sounds outside, normally the kerosene lamp was lit but I never liked to get up to blow it out after the blanket got warm and cosy 🙂 Sometimes I could hear something walk just outside the windows and the next morning it wasn’t unusual that I found moose droppings beside the cottage 🙂 Well it wasn’t unusual that I saw moose, deers and other animals in the garden when I got up in the morning either 🙂 I have unfortunately no scanner so I can’t show You any photographs of the place.I almost always biked by my grandparents on my way home so I could yell her what I had heard or seen while being at the cottage. I always got something to eat and naturally some buns or cookies because as she said it was a long way home and I needed the energy 🙂

Have a great day!


16 thoughts on “Wadmal blankets, do they make them any more?

  1. hi christer! whata great story! i never heard of a wadmal blanket but i wish i knew what it looked like. it must have been glorious to have a place like that to stay by yourself! joyce

    • Hi Joyce!

      I loved going up there all by myself and we had a small veranda with a huge window where I used to eat breakfast every morning.

      It has he same name in swedish actually but with a v instead of a w. But I can’t find any photographs of it, but everyone around my age knows what it is 🙂 It was a heavy blanket and so nice and warm during winter but sort of cool during summer 🙂

      Have a great day!

  2. Fantastic photo’s, Christer! I think I may have been born too late..or took a wrong turn in my life, because I miss the forests something terrible. Perhaps it was my parent that took the wrong turn and returned to Southern California..
    The Oregon forests look a lot like yours with the rutted roads, standing water after a good rain..lots of mist up there.
    Doris. Yes..I remember her. Didn’t she even sleep by your cottage now and then? I think animals just KNOW you are not a threat.
    enjoy your weekend…:)

    • Hi Mona!

      I can understand how You can miss the forest, I love it here but then again I do miss the ocean 🙂

      Yes Doris slept just outside my window and she didn’t even care to go away when I almost fell on her in the dark night 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day!

  3. Hi Christer,
    I miss Doris the Doe myself and we’ve never even met in the flesh.

    Your family cottage sounds wonderful. I wouldn’t want to hike all that way to get water, though.

    You could always use your camera to take a photo of your photo. It’s a great way to get a few photos on to your computer if you haven’t got a scanner. I’ve done it a few times and it usually works out fine. You just have to make sure there’s good light and no glare. I wouldn’t use a flash, either.

    Hope you find your wadmal blanket. It sounds like a horse blanket to me but maybe not.

    • Hi Caryn!

      Yes she was very special that doe and very easy to photograph 🙂 🙂 I wonder if this doe might be one of her daughters?

      I did like that place, especially when I could be there myself 🙂 but the water fetching was a problem and I can’t say i enjoyed that trip 🙂 🙂 🙂

      The light is tricky though when taking photographs of a photograph and a flash is forbidden 🙂 🙂 🙂 It usually works well on sunny days and those are hard to find here 🙂 🙂

      I’ve no idea how a horse blanket is like 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day!

  4. PS: I googled wadmal blanket and your blog was the fourth entry on the search results. 🙂 It was preceded by a wiki article, a dictionary definition and a weaving blog. Turns out wadmal is a type of woven and felted wool fabric that was practically staple currency in Scandinavia and Iceland. But there was nothing about the blankets and how they were made. Sounds like it was two pieces of wadmal fabric with some kind of batting, either cotton but more likely wool, in between the two pieces. Like a quilt.

    • Hi Caryn!

      If my blog turned up as number four I would say that’s not a good sign if I wantv to find a blanket like that again 🙂 🙂 🙂

      You are right about the blanket and it was really heavy, one couldn’t move much beneath it 🙂 🙂 🙂


      • On really cold nights in my unheated bedroom, I use a wool horse blanket. It’s heavy but I can still move around. I just have to make sure I don’t get tangled up in the straps and loops. 🙂 I suppose I could cut them off now that I no longer have a horse but I like the idea that it is recognizably a horse blanket. My dad told me that when he was a kid living with his grandparents, he would sleep out on their front porch as long as he could. He said he used a horse blanket when it got cold. Sometimes he would wake up and have to shake snow off the thing. I’m carrying on the tradition in my own small way. 🙂
        Oh, by the way, the blanket was cleaned after it came off the horse. 🙂

      • Perhaps I should buy myself a horse blanket then, I doubt I’ll ever find one of those old wadmal blankets now days. I like to fall asleep in a warm room but want it to be chilly when I sleep 🙂

        I doubt I would like to sleep outdoors for so long though 🙂 🙂 🙂 and all mosquitoes we have here would most probably do their best to empty me of blood 🙂 🙂 🙂


      • You’re still in the top 5 for a wadmal search. However I may be able to shine some light on the fabric. In researching fabrics for traditional Norse Viking hoods it appears Broadcloth and Wadmal were the most common materials found at archeological digs.
        They aren’t to dissimilar. Both are very tightly packed wool cloth.
        Broadcloth was made on a loom 50-75%wider than needed, then shrunk to tighten the fibres in a soapy wash whilst being worked by wooden hammers.
        The result is a dense, hard wearing, weather resistant cloth.
        Sadly most modern broadcloth is made of cotton.

  5. Hi Christer, I have never heard of that type of blanket myself. The memories you described in this post were wonderful to read about. It is amazing how much simpler a life it is possible to lead and still be happy. It is certainly true that the good old days were really much better in so many ways.

    • Hi Beatrice!

      Everyone had them over here when I grew up, they were actually better than any of the modern ones we have today, but rather heavy. As Caryn wrote, we had it all over Scandinavia but I doubt they make them any more.

      I think when the days were good back in the good old days they were better than now days, but when they were bad they really were much worse for most of us.

      Have a great day!

  6. What a nice memory. I liked reading this post very much, it played like a little movie in my head.
    Obviously even at 13 you knew where you were happiest. 🙂

    • Hi Cindi!

      I really liked that place but even I left it after a couple of years. One of my brothers took over, renovated the place and sold it after a while. That area is hugely popular now days so I know the cottage still stands 🙂

      Have a great day!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: