Falunrot – how the color of an old Mine become a Symbol of Sweden was
Once the largest copper mine in Europe in Falun, there was the classic red color. The Symbol for Sweden, but only when you wanted to fight poverty in the cities.
The whole world knows the red color of the Swedes paint their wooden houses. Today, there are a whole range of “Sweden-colors”, but the origin is the Falunrot. In the time before modern chemistry it was not so easy to brilliant colors. Many originated from mineral soils that have been specially treated – most of the time they were burned. The Falunrot.
The color is named after its origin, the Falun copper mine in Sweden. It was since 9. Of a century of operated, i.e. since the early middle ages. This was the largest copper mine in Europe, she cared for prosperity in the Region. “In the 17th century. Century came two-thirds of the copper production of the Western world from Falun,” said Johanna Nybelius, archaeologist and Museum educator of the Mine to the “Smithsonian Magazine”. To was “this time, Sweden is one of the great powers of Europe, and everything was paid for with copper from Falun”. However, it seems that the Swedish policy of expansion has resulted in the 30-years war to over-exploitation in the Mine. At the end of the 17th century. Century was exhausted the Mine.
Product from the remnants of the mining industry
Since you came up with the idea with the color. Actually, the base material of the color was a waste product of the Mine. Falunrot is made of Rock fragments and iron-containing ores. If the iron is weathered to iron oxide, you have the basis for the Pigment. The Oxide is washed, then dried and finally burned. First in the oven, the bright red coloring comes from the yellowish Material. The dry Pigment is ground and mixed with water, flour and linseed oil mixed to a spreadable paint.
Today Falu Rödfärg produced in the Mine is the traditional color . “In the first 200 years, it was not a bright color, because the Ovens were so hot,” said Martin Jansson, the Manager of the operation. Today, you can manufacture thanks to modern Furnaces of different shades of Falunrot. In earlier times, the bright Red was more than enough, because, especially color-intensive, radiant colors were difficult to produce and sought after. In addition, the color is an effective preservative. “The color of iron and copper vitriol” is included, so Nybelius. “Iron is good for the preservation and the copper is a fungicide.” These substances lead to the bodies of the buried miners are rescued mummified from the active time of the Mine today. Compared to modern colors, the Falunrot allows the wood to breathe. “If you are working with a modern plastic paint, you get a truly waterproof layer, and you get problems with mould.”
Own house for the working class
The Red was since the 18th century. Century, popular because it gave a wooden house the appearance of more expensive bricks. But Sweden is embossed with a social housing project. With industrialization and the growing population in the cities of the “social question” of the 19th century, found in Sweden. Century: the Pauperism. In order to address the poverty in the cities and to create better living conditions, was in 1904 passed a law, the loan for the construction of their own houses on the Land provided. Each worker, of the pre-sober, received financial assistance for the construction of a private house. Alcoholism was in Sweden at this time as a great danger to the public health. These houses were mostly painted in Red and the Falunrot to the Swedish color was par excellence.
The traditional color, there are still, however, the waste mineral from the Mine will be limited. 80 to 100 years, it will be enough. Because of the breathing, the color is still interesting. With Falunrot you can cover also weathered rough-sawn wood just. The color is not washing, you will be aging does not cracked and they don’t bursts. There is only one abrasion. This makes it easier to repainting. The old paint needs to be brushed off. The original color is different than you might think, even comparatively cheap.
Source: Smithsonian Magazine; Falu Rödfärg
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