The history of Haandarbejdets Fremme
Haandarbejdets Fremme was founded on the 20th of March 1928 with the purpose of promoting Danish needlework and handicraft. The organization then began to arrange exhibitions, lectures, and courses, and to buy and sell products, as well as the publishing of books and a yearly calendar, “The Year in Cross Stitch”. Through the years, the association succeeded in establishing an efficient organization which also included workshops, local groups and shops, needlework schools and a teacher´s training school. An important figure in the history of Haandarbejdets Fremme is Gertie Wandel, chairman from 1943 to 1978.

Haandarbejdets Fremme has been enjoying royal attention and interest. Queen Alexandrine and Queen Ingrid were both patronesses for many years, and Her Majesty Queen Margrethe has designed several embroideries, as well as “The Year in Cross Stitch” for 1978, 1984 and 2004.

Haandarbejdets Fremme has shown an open-minded attitude towards contemporary artistic currents and it has collaborated with some of Denmark´s most competent designers. Stylistically, the selected artists have represented both a traditional approach as well as experimental designs. In particular one must mention the embroidery designers Gerda Bengtsson, Ida Winckler and Edith Hansen, who were all employed by the Haandarbejdets Fremme workshops. Other artists include the textile designers Mogens Koch, Dagmar Starcke, Ann-Mari Kornerup, Naja Salto and Mads Stage; the weavers Gerda Henning, Vibeke Klint, Lis Ahlmann and Kim Naver; the textile printing artists Gudrun Stig Aagaard and Marie Gudme Leth; and the ceramist and drawing artist Bjørn Wiinblad. Haandarbejdets Fremme has also presented handicraft and needlework products from the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland to the general public.

The published magazine has been Haandarbejdets Fremme´s voice since 1934, providing information on Danish and foreign textile history, as well as being a forum of debate.

In 1930 Haandarbejdets Fremme established its collaboration with the dyer Ejnar Hansen in Vejle and thus the production of the embroidery floss ”Danish Flower Thread” was begun. The 102 different colour shades are based on vegetable dyeing and Danish peasantry textile designs from about 1800.

Economically there has been ups and downs for Haandarbejdets Fremme. In 1995-1996 a reorganization took place, including the closing down of the shops owned by Haandarbejdets Fremme and a separation between the association and the production. The original name “Selskabet til Haandarbejdets Fremme” (Danish Handcrafts Guild” in the English version) was likewise replaced by the name “Foreningen Haandarbejdets Fremme” (The Association Haandarbejdets Fremme).