In the middle of Dalsland’s wonderful countryside you’ll find the only Nordic straw museum. There is a permanent exhibition illustrating the importance of straw for the district, as well as temporary exhibitions showing different art and crafts in straw. There are many sources of inspiration in the handicraft shop and courses where you can learn different styles of straw-craft, embroidering and plaiting.
Straw exhibition and history of arts and crafts
Halmens Hus - the Straw House - is only five minutes’ drive east from Bengtsfors and is the only museum of its kind in the Nordic countries. From the dawn of time straw was used for straps and plaiting and sewing into utility goods, but also for various ritual objects. As long as human beings have cultivated the earth, straw has been used as a structural material. The permanent exhibition tells the story of straw handicraft in the past and its importance for Dalsland as an additional income for poor households.
Temporary exhibitions are also organised in the building throughout the year showing crafts and other fascinating forms of art.
Photographer: Martin Gustavsson
Quality domestic handicrafts and inspiring courses
Halmens Hus sells genuine Swedish handicraft of the highest quality, mostly made by local craftsmen. The shop offers a wide variety of straw handicraft, but also art and handicraft in wood, ceramics, textiles, birch-bark and glass. If you want to buy something after your visit there is also an online shop.
The museum has a wide range of courses where you can learn different techniques for handicraft, and embroidery and plaiting. Making your own birch-bark bag or straw hat gives a huge amount of satisfaction, and you can buy some straw to continue with projects at home.