Sunday, February 15, 2015

Beautiful Norwegian national costumes - Bunader

While traveling to Norway you may be delighted to see beautiful Norwegian national costumes, with delicate and colorful stitches and embroidery, visit dedicated stores, art galleries and join local traditions where most people are proud to wear their special traditional clothing.

In Norway, the national costume is named “bunad” (pl. bunader), and represents a romantic rural clothing (with roots from 18th and 19th centuries) and a folk costume (more modern, worn from the beginning of 20th century), as well, a festive clothing that originates far back as the Middle Ages.
Norwegian traditional costumes (Photo from
Norwegian traditional costumes (Photo from
Norwegians love to dress up with bunader/ national costumes at most important events, such as: weddings, baptisms, confirmations, Norway's Constitution Day (celebrated on 17th of May), folk dances during Christmas, New Year celebrations and various exhibitions, and accepted as gala attire even on the most public and solemn festivities.

The Norwegian art of stitching and embroidery developed in secluded areas with centuries ago, and initial needlework was done on roughly woven linens with wool and cotton yarn, and was developed later, being improved by trade with other Scandinavian and European countries.

Along the time the art and technique of Scandinavian needlework, stitching and embroidery – on fabrics of excellent quality – evolved and got enhanced with new patterns, motifs and colors, adding silver or gold borders, and became a method to create and tell wonderful stories.

It is said that are about 450 types of different bunads (bunader) designs in Norway… 
There are bunads created for everyone – men, women and children – and the bunader for women are more elaborated. Usually, the traditional blouses, decorated vests, aprons and shawls are made of white linen or cotton and rarely from silk, the knicker-length or full-length men trousers are from hodden and a single color, the jackets (made in the same material as the trousers for men), the suits are made of a very fine wool fabric, and most of them have the design specific to certain area in Norway.

Norwegian traditional costumes are often accessorized, and now you can see sterling silver brooch placed on the blouse, sterling silver or pewter on the clasps on purses, buttons, belt buckles and ornaments on shoes.
Norwegian national costumes (Photo from The Strong-Museum of play)
Norwegian national costumes (Photo from The Strong-Museum of play)
Some ideas for where to admire Norwegian national costumes and learn about Scandinavian stitching and embroidery in many attractive styles and decorations, learn some tricky little techniques to master your own creations, take photos and even buy: