From aspen to matchbox


Quality permeates our entire manufacturing process, from the sourcing of aspen timber to the delivery of finished matches. All of the matches we sell meet the world’s strictest quality and safety requirements. Swedish Match Industries’ MATCHTEK® standard is our guarantee.

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Swedish Match Industries AB is one of the largest match manufacturers in the world. High-quality and sustainable matches from Swedish forests are distributed all over the world. 

Swedish Match is committed to sustainable production from aspen to matchbox. In 1992, Swedish Match had already presented a unique and environmentally sound match – the sulfur-free match with no toxic heavy metals, made from 100% renewable raw material. The facility in Vetlanda is self-sufficient in green electricity with biofuel-powered production. All of our matchboxes are made from 100% recovered fiber that is biodegradable and does not result in soil acidification. 

We use only aspen or hybrid aspen from Swedish forests. All of our matches come from responsibly managed forests.

Our manufacturing process

...consists of several important stages. All stages are characterized by a high level of quality assurance, in order to produce the world’s best matches.


Everything begins here – in the Swedish forest. We use solely aspen from Swedish forests to make our durable and safe matches. When they have aspen available, the timber suppliers contact our facility in Vetlanda. Swedish Match imposes strict demands on the timber, to ensure that the match can meet quality requirements. 

The Swedish aspen

When the logs arrive at our factory in Vetlanda, they are watered and kept damp to prevent them from drying out. That would make the wood difficult to peel.

The aspen logs are watered

The aspen logs are debarked and sawn into billets by the operator. The facility has a capacity of up to 2,500 logs per day. A single log can yield about 370,000 matches, which is what an average Swedish user would consume in about 1,000 years.

Debarking and billeting

The aspen billets are shaved into sheets of wood (veneer) the thickness of a match. The veneer is then fed through a chopper, which cuts them into splints (matches without heads). The chopper can produce up to 15 million splints every hour.

When the matches are the right size, they are impregnated to stop them from glowing after the flame has died. The splints are now dried and fed into polishing drums.

The wood becomes matches

After the polishing process, they are spread out on aluminum trays and shaken. The trays are perforated so that all splints that are too small or too large are automatically rejected.

The splints are sifted

In Tidaholm, the journey to finished matchsticks now commences on the VPO machines. The chemical mixture for the match heads, 100% free of heavy metals, is prepared here. 

The chemical mixture for the match heads is prepared

The VPO is an ingenious match machine and can produce up to 2 million matches every hour. The splints are loaded onto a conveyor belt, which then creates endless ranks of matchsticks moving forward. As the belt rotates, the splints are dipped into paraffin wax and the chemical mixture that forms the heads, and then become finished matches. 

The matches are dipped in the chemical mixture

The matches are left to dry before being packed into boxes on the waiting matchbox trays. The boxes are automatically filled with their portion of matches and then moved along to large wrapping machines. The finished matches are now ready to be distributed all over the world.

Matches and matchboxes become one