Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cleaning Sølje….



Before Cleaning





After Cleaning

I know many of you have beautiful sølje sitting in drawers and jewelry boxes that are all black and dark and you NEVER wear them and they should look like the one below:

Large all silver solje

They are beautiful pins and ones that many of us have received as gifts from grandmothers and family members but so often they get dirty and then put away and never to be seen again.

They are to be worn on your bunad or festdrakt but they can also be used every day if you wish on a blouse or dress and they should be taken care of as they are a work of art.

Here is what is suggested on the Sando website ( a great source for silver from Norway…this company is quite easy to work with and a have a great assortment of sølje for bunader from various regions. Their shipping is some what reasonable and I find them pretty competitive in pricing (for pricing directly from Norway)

….”Storing your silver:

Put the silver in a brooch-bag or a plastic bag, the goal is to make it airtight. Be careful not to use a rubber band. Sulfur from the rubber band will go through the plastic and make black marks that is very difficult to get rid of again. The silver that is sown on to your Bunad may be covered in clinging plastic.

How to take care of your silver:

This may be quite risky if you don’t know what you are doing. You have to consider the type of Bunad you have, and what kind of silver it is supposed to have. Silver that is sewn onto your Bunad should be picked off before you use anything other than a polish-cloth. This is so that you won’t ruin the fabric in your costume. If it is enough with a polish-cloth you just remove the lint with a lint-brush afterwards. To polish buttons you either get a polish-plate from your goldsmith, or you make one yourself by cutting a piece of cardboard and slide it underneath the buttons. That way you don’t have to worry about lint.

This is safe to do no matter what; Wash your silver in a fat dissolving dishwashing liquid (zalo) with a tiny bit of the detergent Salmiac in it. You could put it in a laundry detergent for hand wash of clothes. Usually these tips are enough to keep your silver as shiny as they are supposed to be. If you need more thorough cleaning one of these methods may fit;

Oxidized (dark) silver: Use a polis cloth. The tops will be shiny, and the patterns will stay dark, as it should be. Do not use any silver cleaning cream or similar, it may remove the dark areas that are supposed to be there.

Old gilded (Dark gold): May be treated like oxidized silver, but the need is rare.

Fair silver: The easy way is to dip it in silver-clean, rinse it under water and dry it off with a towel. Done in 30 seconds. The downside of this method is that the long-term-effect is poor, and that repeated use of this method will fade your silver to a grey-yellow shade. This may be fixed with a “silver cloth” or silver cream. If you use silver cream you should use a nail-brush, or an old toothbrush when you remove the cream again so every crack get cleaned out.

Gilded silver: May be treated like fair silver, but the need will be rarer.

If you have some questions that did not get answered here, or if there is a brooch you can’t find. Use the button “Contact us” and ask! We are happy to answer.”….



Now I learned a different method from my grandmother Hjordis Øiulfstad, she always cleaned her sølje in Ivory soap, just plain old bars of Ivory soap. Nothing fancy, just  the ones you buy at the grocery store etc. She would boil water (that is right, boil) in a heavy pot (such as a club aluminum pot) about 3 or 4 inches of water and then shave off Ivory soap (using a knife) into the boiling water. Then place the pins in the boiling water for about 7 minutes or so. If they are really really dirty you may have to change the water and soap and boil for a longer period of time. Remove the pins from the water and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Once completely rinsed, dry off and then go to the next step.

Step # 2.

I use Wrights Silver polish and a tooth brush. And gently brush each of the “spoons and dangles”  gently as they delicate…..take your time and look for any tarnish that may not have been removed by step # 1.


Wash off and polish with a soft cloth such as an old clean white t-shirt or flannel cloth

Step # 3

Then use a silver polishing cloth (as shown in the photo below)…. again gently polish each of the dangle and spoons this time I use the polishing cloths…..

polishing clothYou can purchase them in various places….or order them off the Internet.

I suggest NEVER using the silver dip as over time it will harm your pins….

It may seem like a long process but well worth it. The pins are so beautiful and most are hand made, something you would want to treasure for a long time and pass down to other family members…

In another blog we will talk about various designs of the pins and how they are made!

Valdres Bunad


oppland map

If you wish to visit Valdres here is a link for more information:

If you are have descendants from Valdres you may want to check out this website as it is for those living in the US & Canada that had family that immigrated from the Valdres valley:

Slidrefjorden valdres800px-Lake_Helin_Vang_Valdres_Norway

A beautiful valley area in the Oppland region of Norway. Also has a beautiful bunad with two versions

the Old (Gammel) Valdres designed in 1914

Valdres woman




Old Valdres frontOld Valdres backValdres blouse


Valdres lady

The “old” Valdres costume is from 1914, but the one you see today is different than the earlier editions. It was designed by Hulda Garborg together with the artists Anna and Askel Johnnesen. The designs themes were taken from old head dresses and shawls from Valdres. The costume is made in black or blue  wool.  It has multicolored embroidery on the bodice, skirt, bag and hat.  It may include a red cotton petticoat which is finished with a pleated edge. The shirt is made of cotton or linen with white or colored embroidery. The cape may be full or three quarter length and is also made out of the same fabric as the bunad. There is a wide variety of silver that can be warn with this costume. The stockings shall be black or blue.


New ValdresNew Valdres 2New Valdres back

photos from



The “new” (Nye) Valdres costume is from 1948. . The costume is made in black or blue-green wool  with multicolored embroidery. The skirt is pleated in the front and gathered in the back. There is a 3 cm wide green border on the bottom of the skirt with red edging just above, then there are flowers embroidered along the border in wool in many beautiful colors.  The bodice has deep breast shaping with embroidery on the front, plus a small embroidery at the neck.  It is also has embroidery on the purse (which has a green wool edging) and on the hat. The shirt is made of cotton or linen with white or colored embroidery. The cape is made in the same fabric as costume. The stockings worn with this are black. Same is true of the silver for this costume as with the “old Valdres”


Silver for Valdres bunad

It is often said that only a married woman wears the metal belt….maybe it  because only a married woman can afford the belt. As each one of the segments can cost more than $ 40/each.  A good reason not to gain weight !!!!!

It seems that when the bunad have a newer version they tend to be a bit simpler and I believe they seem to be a bit more “revealing” or flattering how ever you want to look at it…. In the case of the Valdres you will notice the New Valdres the bodice is lower cut than the Old Valdres . The Old also has so much more embroidery, so if you are planning on doing the embroidery yourself you may want to consider trying the newer one! Also notice the tucks on the skirt are a bit different on the newer one…more like pleats on the New version….another style better suited for a smaller person. (or possibly one with less “curves”)  Either way you have a great deal of fabric to allow for change if needed at a future time in your life. OR if you purchase a used bunad it is nice because you can let them out a great deal if the bodice allow for your size. Even then there is usually a good chance that you can alter the bodice to at least one or two sizes if you need to have that done. I can help you if you have an older bunad you need to have altered or repaired as I have done this many times. Even to take some of the fabric from the seams to help cover moth holes that have occurred on the ones that have sat in closets or trunks for a long period of time….let me know if you need assistance with the care of an older bunad!



 Oslo the Capital city of NorwayOslo-view-Nancy-Bundt-Innovation-Norway-edit1-943x0


Celebrating May 17th (Norwegian Constitution Day) is a huge event in Oslo so it is most appropriate we talk about the

bunad for Oslo….but the one from Oslo is called the:


OSLO costume

Efforts to create a folk costume that would be special to Oslo, started later than it did in many other cities in Norway. Oslo as both the capital and a port city, has been in close contact with the rest of Europe through the ages, this has led to a large influence from European lifestyle and culture – which had brought  urban clothing and  created fashion history in the city. You saw a different style of dress more often in the capital than elsewhere in the country. And therefore, this was perhaps the main reason why the Oslo costume was not born until 1947.

When it was finally decided that Oslo would have a “special” dress / costume, what it should look like was important, as it was not based on old traditions, it is was crucial to consider what it would at it was to be composed without historical materials.
The great department store, Steen & Strøm, took the initiative to create a drakte  in connection with the 150-year anniversary of the department store in 1947. It was desired also to provide Oslo a costume for the 900-year anniversary in 1950. Head of the
Department of embroidery department at the time, Harriet Henriksen, composed the embroidery, and Ingeborg Solum the  pattern. The beautiful  embroidery on the skirt, on each side of the bodice and on the hat show all the  “Oslo midsummer flowers.”  Featured on the purse is St. Halvard, Oslo’s guardian angel.
The women’s costume is made of blue wool with a light gray wool  piece inserted at the bottom of the skirt (where most of the embroidery is).

The shape of the shirt was  blouse-like with a folded collar, placket front and with long, inserted  sleeves with cuffs.  The color has always been light gray. Today, the shirt a more traditional shirt shape with Chinese collar and slit at center front, and it is made in either cotton or linen.

Grey or white stocking are to be worn with this costume.
The Girl’s costume is almost an exact copy of the ladies’ costume. The difference, of course, is size, and that the bag does not have the silver, the little girl purse closes with gray satin cords.
Over the last few years there have been some small changes with the costume and  new accessories have been made.  Today you can buy a cape with embroidery, a  petticoat, umbrella, shoes, costume bags and a new shirt in linen with embroidery on the collar and cuffs, for the ladies costume was recently introduced.

You may also see a black version of the costume….

oslo mother and daughter

Oslo embroidery

Here is a close up of the wonderful embroidery of the wildflowers

Oslo man and woman

Now here is the real thing about the Oslodrakt….you are to have picked a bunad from where you family is from! When it was time for me to choose some many many years ago…when my Mother and Grandmother asked me what bunad I would like (both being from Oslo) I am sure they both assumed I would have wanted my grandmother to make one for me….but noooooo I did not choose this one. I must admit it is not one of my favorites…to say the least. I choose one of the more popular Hardanger as you would see on all the calendars at the time! But here are photos of my grandmother in the one she made for herself and then my mother inherited!

Nana in bunad

Hjordis Øiulfstad (my grandmother)

in her Oslodrakt, she got the kit from Steen & Strøm in 1947 and sewed all the embroidery (as well as the costume) herself


Mildred Stokes (my 93 year old Mom)

Mom is also from Olso and she is wearing the same bunad that was made in the late ’40’s…

  But it was not the choice for me… it is a gorgeous costume and one that shows the beautiful flowers of Norway as well as the guardian angel of Oslo

oslo pursepurse2

                                           photo from http://www.lailas .net                             just in case you want to make your own…..

Here is a photo of the new blouse


This may be the one for you….you can click on the link above and buy one from that website or go to the trouble that my dear sweet grandmother did and do all the handwork yourself…then you will have to order a kit!

Have fun deciding which is the bunad for you!

ps there is a new one for Oslo and we will talk about that one in another blog!!!!

Lofoten Bunad from Norway



Lofoten one of the most beautiful places in Norway

also has one of the most bunads !!!!!

Lofoten map

map for Nordlands

Located in the northern area of Norway….Lofoten has beautiful scenery and beautiful wildlife…some of which is depicted in their national costume shown below…..

Lofoten Ladieslofoten-bunadrosen-02 back

(photos from website)

Lofoten Lady

lofoten back and front

Lofoten Lady

This beautiful costume was completed in 1948 and was very popular as soon as it was introduced. It depicts the flowers of the region embroidered on the bodice & the skirt which are made out of dark blue wool. The skirt has a edging of red along the hem.

The bodice closure are 6 silver buttons which are engraved with the same floral pattern as found on the costume. The blouse is white linen and has embroidery on the collar & cuffs.

The cape is half length & is made out of the same blue wool and is lined in red wool. The stocking should be black or white with this costume (or sometimes grey)


Lofoten silver photo from


More Bunad Blouses


There was just a recent blog about bunad blouses, then I found additional photos of these beautiful blouses….



Nord Hordaland






West Agder

West Oppland

Here is the google translation…..

 Have you bought yourself a valuable costume shirt – make sure to take good care of it! Generally, costume shirts washed by hand. De  They require careful handling, proper temperature (max. 60 ° C) and neutral detergent (eg Milo). In addition, it is important to be generous with rinsing.
Poor rinsing will cause the shirt yellowing gradually.  Always wash your shirt immediately after use. Do not iron it before you pack it away, it only leads to the yellowing.  Embed it in a shirt bag of fabric.
If your shirt all been yellow, wash it to see if it will be whiter. If that does not help, we have found that BIOTEX white is an effective aid, but remember to use vessel of steel, rinse well, at least 10 rinse water must be added.

For general washing instructions remember that one of the best ways to brighten whites is to wash them by hand (with your favorite gentle soap), then while they are still wet lay them out on the green grass on a white terry towel on a very sunny day……you will be very surprised to see how bright whites will become.

Here are the instructions the website gives for ironing the bunad blouse

Ironing of linen shirt

 There is no easy shortcut to nicely ironed costume shirt – there’s no such thing as ironed linen, for those who were thinking that thought.  But some advice is good is to:  Moisten the shirt easily, put it in a clean plastic bag. Leave it a few hours. When the shirt has been in the bag a while it will make it easier to iron. 
Please be patient!  When you pull into the tucks, stretch a little in substance to pull out the wrinkles.
Hang the shirt after ironing, and let it hang until it is completely dry.  Then it should stay neat much longer.

They suggest not ironing until you need to use it….

I break the rules and use spray starch and find that one brand works best for a longer period of time….especially if I have to be in my bunad all day. That is Faultess  Maxx, it is in a black pump bottle quite hard to find. So I order it on line from the company thru the link listed below


I also make sure my iron is clean as nothing is more aggravating then trying to iron white linen or good white cotton with a dirty iron….and a good steam iron will make this job much easier to do. Good luck in finding one that does not “spit” I have used Rowenta for a long time but also use an Oliso iron… try which ever one works best for you. But you will need a good one to iron your bunad blouse!


Nordland Bunad


map for Nordlandsnordland_kart

Nordland is in the Northern area of Norway  and includes the cities listed on the map above (although some areas such as Hamrøy have there own distinct bunad)

Nordland LadiesNordlands Bunad family

  Blue bunad photo from website

Nordlands Ladies two designs

Nordland Ladies

It is one of the more popular bunad in Norway

This costume was created in 1928 based on material coming from Vefsn. There are 2 versions a blue one and a green one. It is often thought that the green represents the mountains of the region and the blue version is for the water or the coastal area. But this is probably not true…The shape of the bodice comes from a bridal costume from Vefsn and is made from either broadcloth or wool made from special Norwegian breed of sheep. It’s shape is a bit different from other designs as it is worn outside the skirt just a bit over the waist band. There are 3 medium sized fasteners about 6 to 7 cm in total length

The material for the skirt is the same as the bodice. The design work on the embroidery pattern on the skirt & bodice was done by Heimen Husflid in Oslo  The blouse should be linen and has embroidery on the neck & cuffs and it is the same pattern as what is found on the bottom of the skirt.

The shawl and the apron are mercerized cotton (handwoven or machine made). The shawl has a check design with fringes and the apron is mainly striped but has the check design at the bottom.

The gathered hat is taken from an old black silk one which was worn at church but the modern had is either blue or green made out of cotton trimmed with lace on the front edge. The cape is half length in either blue or green brocade and lined with a mustard color wool.

Many times two round brooches are worn, as well as a silver chain on the shawl.

The stockings should be white or black


         (from the website)

The silver is not too different for the Nordlands bunad…but you will find that it to be quite basic…possibly because the bunad is so beautiful that the silver will be a good  complement.

The blouse also has the wonderful embroidery design as seen on the bottom of the skirt

Blouse and solje closeup

Nordlands blouse

Nordlands Dogs

AND just so no one is left out on being part of the celebration on May 17th here is what your special family member should be wearing if you are from this part of Norway….

Once again, as mentioned before, if you are looking to purchase one of these wonderful bunad. You can look at the various websites mentioned in this blog (as well as many others) and see about having one made for you. Plan on having it cost approximately  $ 4,500 ! Remember this does not include the silver, a silver package (that would probably include the items shown in the photo above) could easily run another $ 1,200

( these prices do not include shipping ….which can be quite expensive)

You will have to consider spending approximately $ 6,000 or more. Unless you want to think about doing it yourself and then you will have to order a kit and which will still cost at least $ 1,500 just for the dress portion ( of course, you will have to do all the of embroidery) The blouse will be additional and the fabric for a linen blouse could easily be another $ 200 ++++ (plus you will have to do quite a bit of handwork).  The other option is to find someone who has one to sell and in this country & unfortunately  they are far and few between.

There is a website in Norway that you can review. It is somewhat like a cross between ebay and craigslist….it is You will often see the Nordlands bunad for sale second hand. But the problem you will run into is how to pay for and how to get it shipped. If you can work out those details then you will find it will save you quite a bit of money and if you can locate your size!  But bunads have very generous seams and they can be let out, so you may luck out…especially if you have a contact in Norway this could be a great way for you to go.

In future blogs we will talk about other bunad from this region:  Nordland Men’s: Lofoten and Hamarøy

Information researched from:

Norwegian Bunads

by Bent Vanberg, Karin Hybbestad Schwantes, Kjersti Skavhaug and Arne Svendsen  (1991)

Folk Costumes of Norway by Heidi Fossnes Cappelen

A sampler of Norway’s Folk Costumes

by Thorbjørg Hjelmen Ugland

What is the difference between a bunad and a festdrakt or a folkdrakt?


Blue damask with damask apronLight turq Telemark StyleRed damask top with embroidery grey damask top telemark styleBlack damask bodice

All are photos above are of Festdrakt ,but what is the difference between a bunad and Festdrakt? That is the million dollar question….  These are not considered a bunad but still are quite elaborate as they use beautiful damask and wool as well as elegant looking trims. They have no affiliation with any area of Norway (except for the Bergen Festdrakt shown below) and are considerably less than a traditional bunad. They run any where from about $ 600 to around $ 900 and they are available on line or from traditional stores in Norway. There are also no exact designs in how they are to be made (except for ones like the Bergen Festdrakt), therefore you will see great variation on how they are made. They are not usually covered in the norsk bunadleksikon (the Norwegian encyclopedia of bunad) which gives you all the info about all bunad and the festdrakt for various regions.

Bergen festdrakt

Bergen Festdrakt

Many regions will have a traditional bunad and a folkdrakt. This is something that you can look up in the  norsk bunadleksikon,  in there you will see photos of all the bunad and folkdrakt for each region. Unfortunately it is quite expensive and only available in Norwegian it can be ordered online from Norway if you wish to make the investment.

Yet if you really want to be more confused some of regional bunads such Oslo and Bergen are still considered  a drakt and not a bunad.  And the Lundeby is a drakt not a bunad, (it is often used in the Oppland and Hedmark region….it is named for the man who designed it, Lundeby). These are shown below and you can see they are quite elaborate and all of them are ones that have been designated to be made in the proper method.

If you wish to own one you are able to order them on line.  You may find out that some of the online store may want you to make a trip to Norway to get measured….so if you thought the cost of the costume (anywhere from $ 3,000 upwards to $ 10,000) then you have to add the cost of the trip….the other way would be to make one for yourself. That would mean ordering a kit and doing all the embroidery yourself or having some one do it for you. The kits usually start at about $ 1,500 ( and up) depending on the amount of embroidery etc. There is a source in the US plus you can order from the Norwegian websites. Unfortunately most of the instructions are in Norwegian so you may want to consider taking the classes offered from the US resource

bergensbunadoslo mother and daughterLundeby woman

 Bergen                                    Oslo                                             Lundeby

full look

                Coastal Drakt                  

The big question is, is this an approved costume/bunad/drakt?

Here is what is written by The Norwegian Institute of Bunad and Folkdrakt……                                                           

“Are there approved costumes? 
No, there is no approval for the costumes. One must, however, be attentive to the people who have developed costume may have copyrights to it, and that this production without their permission will be conduct employment as piracy. What many think of when you say “approved”, the costumes that are developed by local costume boards or in cooperation with the Norwegian Centre for costume and folk costume.  One creates when a costume for your organization / institution’s criteria.”

I know this may seem very confusing but it best to purchase one of the books as outlined in a previous blog. As I mentioned to you I can help if you want to find out what bunad/costume you would want to consider….just let me know where your family is from or which one you are considering. Hate to sound so preachy but do your homework…so you know what you are getting!

What should we talk about next?


Bunad blouse


Amli Blouse

Photos from the Bunadrosen website

The blouse is another item that you can find will cost you a great deal of money and as everything associated with the Norwegian bunad the Norwegian Institute of Bunad and Folkdrakte will want you to only purchase it from one of the approved seamstresses in Norway.  The approved seamstress must take classes to become certified and as in many places in the world they are not all native to the country. In Norway you will find, from what I understand that many are from other countries…excellent seamstresses and very well qualified to make the beautiful costumes. But if you feel brave and do not worry about being caught by the “bunad police” you could attempt to make one for yourself. The best way to do this would be to sign up for one of the classes taught by and you will learn more than just the sewing techinques but also the hand sewing required to make the designs required for the specific costumes.

Not all the bunad blouses are the same. Most are the standard design with the dropped sleeve and the gusset under the arm and the insert at the shoulder area which makes sewing them a real interesting adventure. They also have flat felled seams, which if you have not made them a few times, can be a real challenge, specifically around the insert at the shoulder area, but make for a blouse that will last a life time.

There are many great places on the internet that can show you how to make a flat felled seam, here is a link to a youtube that was done by some which provides an insight in how to do a flat felled seam in a quick glance.

You are basically making a ⅝” seam: trimming down one side of the seam  to approx. to between ¼” & ⅛” then taking the other side of the seam and folding it in half over the trimmed down side and sewing it down…which is much better explained on the video.

The idea is that everything is enclosed on the inside of the blouse so that it will last you a life time. Which is very good because if you do choose to purchase it thru one of the many websites available online from Norway you will find that you can pay upwards of  $ 500 or much higher depending on how much embroidery is on the blouse. As you can see by the photos shown below:

Blouse with cross stitch mainly redBlouse with red flowersBlouse

These are examples of blouses that could be worn with the Telemark bunad

Voss BlouseVoss

The Voss blouse is interesting in that is has the black embroidery for a married woman and the white embroidery for a non-married woman. Also the construction of the Voss blouse is very simple, no gussets,  no inserts at the shoulder, a very simple collar and a basic opening in the front as the embroidery covers the opening…..a very easy blouse to make ….except for the time it takes to do the embroidery!


The  photo above comes from the website and it shows the blouse they offer for the Rogaland bunad and if you notice it has a unique way the collar is made with beautiful tucks at the neck and the a plain band, then the wonderful embroidery.Valdres blouse

Again more photos from (I have received permission from them to use their photos for my bunad presentation so I have them scanned etc) these are for the Old Valdres bunad. As you see this one again has  beautiful embroidery on the collar and cuffs and this is made in the traditional design with the inset at the shoulder/gusset/fine gathering at the collar and cuffs etc.

Now to show I will go to bunad jail I have duplicated this embroidery on my embroidery machine and although it is not any where near as nice as the handmade I have done it on it my version of the bunad blouse which follows the Doerring pattern Olde Country Costume  available from many places such as esty or ebay. I did not have luck in finding a link right now but you should be able to find it in most sizes girls, boys, mens, ladies and womens sizes


These patterns do not have a gusset or the set in feature at the shoulder but they make up in a very nice blouse and if you have a serger (or finish the seams with either a French seam or a flat felled seam) they will make a blouse that will wear for a very long time.  Especially if you use a lightweight linen or Kona cotton, which either fabric you can find at your local Hancock fabrics or on line. A handkerchief linen would be preferable choice but you will have to look for that on line as it is most difficult to find it your local fabric stores.

Here is an example of one of the blouses I have made using this pattern:basic white blouse

It is not as fancy but it will definitely work and is much easier to make…I have  worked on simplifying the pattern a bit more than how it is written and teach classes on it. If you are any where in the area of North Carolina and wish to learn contact me and I would be more than happy to teach a class.

Back to more photos of the bunad blouses so you can see how they are more specific to the bunad designs:

Amli Blouse

Here is a close up of the shoulder design for a blouse for the Amli bunad from Agder

Close up of Gudbrandsdal blouse

The is the embroidery on a blouse for a Gudbrandsdalen…although you will also see the same design used for the Old Valdres used by some for the Gudbrandsdalen bunad as well

Stakk-og-liv with orange blouse

Stakk og Liv from the Telemark area

If you are familiar with the Stakk of Liv costume which is worn in the area of Telemark it is one that is often worn by Nordic Dancers in this country. It has a blouse that is much like that of the Beltestakk bunad of Telemark.

Beltestakk with red blouse

Beltestakk from Telemark

The difference on this bunad and specifically the blouse is that it is worn in many different colors and I believe that is what makes it so

beltestakk in golddesirable to so many young women in Norway. It is also very flattering yet very different to most of the blouses that you will see. It is usually not made out of cotton or linen…often made out of silk or some type of fancier fabric. It has a “bib” type insert in the front and then if you notice it has a bit of elastic along the neck. It still does have the dropped sleeves and large cuffs and often worn with cufflinks as many of the blouses are…but it definitely does have quite a more unique look than any of the other blouses. Now not everyone that wears the Beltestakk wears this blouse some wear the more traditional Telemark look but in the colors that are in their unique costume as seen below.

Beltestakk in blue

As you may know this bunad comes in a variety of colors….red, blue, gold, purple etc. So I again I am sure this is why so many young girls when they are getting ready to choose one at the time of their confirmation are so attracted to this bunad.

Again the bunad blouse  is a very in-depth subject and one  that I will discuss again at a later date…but this should give you an idea of how much “fun” it would  be to make a bunad blouse. If you are interested in a basic pattern let me know and I can send you very very basic pattern for the general bunad blouse and surely we will all be in trouble with you know you!

Books on Norwegian Bunad….


Norway's Folk Costumes

A sampler of Norway’s Folk Costumes

by Thorbjørg Hjelmen Ugland

If you are looking for some of the best books to do research on Norwegian bunad here is a list of the some of the better research books on the subject….I find that most of them are very interesting for different reasons.  The one I started with “A sampler of Norway’s Folk Costumes” I think is a great one for easy reference as it shows wonderful photos of the costumes and then gives you a good brief description as well as information such as:



Belt style:

Bodice description:



Blouse design:


Skirt design:

Color of Stockings:


Outerwear: cape etc…

The other books often deal mainly with the history which is most interesting but I find this book a quick and easy reference with wonderful clear photos and a great map in the beginning to show the different regions to give you an idea of what costume/bunad you would want to wear depending on where your family lived in Norway. As many Norwegian/Americans are looking to find what is the “best bunad” for them, they are researching their family history and want to have the correct bunad . The want to wear the one that represents the region  where their family came from  in Norway. (I will talk about this more in depth in future blogs)

I often read about online in Norway which is the most popular bunad so I wonder  if now whether some of the younger folks are not picking out ones that are just more fashionable….rather than picking a bunad from their home town?  We often see in this country where people are  buying bunad that they can afford, not necessarily from a region that their family is from, so I guess we all have a different motivation.

What ever the reason you decide on what costume you choose, these books should be able to help you find out more about the Norwegian bunad.

If you really wish to become an expert in the field than you should be willing to spend some money (as is most things Norwegian) & order the most thorough book on the subject: the Norsk bunadleksikon or the ” encyclopedia of Norwegian bunad”. It is available only in Norwegian and you can purchase it on line in Norway.

You can order it at : as well as many other locations.


Here are some of the other books that I have used ( I am sure there are many others), these are available thru Amazon or you may find them on ebay or if you are lucky in a local book store….many are available in English as well as Norwegian. So choose what ever works best for you.

Please let me know if you have another book you have used that you feel is a good one as I love to continue to learn each and every day!

bunad book in english

bunad book in Norwegian

Norwegian Bunads

by Bent Vanberg, Karin Hybbestad Schwantes, Kjersti Skavhaug and Arne Svendsen  (1991)

heidi Fossness cappelen book in norwegianbook cropped

Folk Costumes of Norway by Heidi Fossnes Cappelen

You will find that these books were published a few years ago and some of the bunad may have different versions from what you are familiar with. This is true of most things that have been around for as long as some of these costume, so be aware that there are different versions within some of the bunad.

That is a subject for a another blog… Hope you are able to find the book you want.  When I make my presentations on bunad I do bring all of my books and folks have a great time looking at the photos. I would be most happy to look up anything that you may be looking for if you are not wanting to spend the huge amounts of money on the research material….just let me know what area/region or bunad you are interested in!