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Vest Agder such good looking headwear and beautiful handwork….



West Agder silver


Vest Agder is the southern most area of Norway and it has a group of the prettiest bunad…as you can see in the photo above they have basic style is a separate bodice (although it is attached to the skirt at the sides with woven bands) Side bands

and in the back with a most unique  method:


This is from the bunad that is worn in the Mandal area of Agder.

Here is a great photo of the many of the features of the wonderful bunad of this area and it includes a wedding crown.


Sirdal is an area in the northern area of Vest Agder and the bunad from that area is not seen quite as often from this area

sirdalsbunad_465496dSirdal and Nordslands The Sirdal is on the left (it is a Nordlands bunad on the right)

As you may have seen in the photo of the sølje shown at the beginning of the post… it looks much like that from Telemark as well Aust AgderWest Agder LadyIt features a large bol in bright silver and the neck pin is very distinctive you may look at it on the website at:

I find the best place to see more about the costumes from this area is to look check out the link at:

young girl West Agder

vestagderbunaden-dameWest Agder Stripe in Green

Bunad by region or county…Hordaland:Sogn og Fjordane:Møre and Romsdal:Sør (South) Trøndelag:Nord (North) Trøndelag


We started posting bunader by county and we thought we would continue…

This area of Norway has a great assortment of bunad and ones that will be very familiar to many as the Hardanger bunad is one that started out as the Nationalbunad and you have probably seen in many places….also the Voss bunad looks a great deal like the Hardanger and a few of the others this region have the same type of black skirt and red bodice and white apron of sorts…but then there are other that are quite different! Also there is the other major city (Bergen) located in this region, so many have visited this part of Norway and may find it interesting how many other bunads there are from very close to Bergen.




1. Bergendrakt

  a. Bergen Festdrakt

2. Askøy

3. Austevoll

4. Fana

5. Fusa

6. Hardanger

7. Norhordaland

8. Os

9.  Sotra

10.  Sunnhordaland

11. Voss

12. Kvinnherad

13. Tysnes

14. Fitjar

15. Samnanger


Sogn og Fjordane

sogn og fjordane


1. Nordfjord

2. Sogn

3. Sunnfjord

4. Brekke

Møre and Romsdal

More and Romsdal


1. Romsdal

2. Ørskog in Sunnmøre

4. Hjørundfjord

5. Nordmøre

6. Sunnmøre

7. Aure og Hemne

Sør (South)Trøndelag

south trondelag


1. Trøndelag

2. Meldal

3. Haltdalen

4. Ålen

5. Tydal

6. Selbu

7. Oppdal

8. Orkdal

Nord (North) Trøndelag

North Trondelag map

North Trondelag cities


1. Nord-Trøndelag

2. Namdalen

There are just a few more areas that have not been covered and they will be done in another blog….hope you find it helpful to have the bunader available by region or county with the major cities or municipalities listed…

Please also know that there are other bunads that may not be mentioned here…let me know if you have one that may have been missed but this should cover some of the major ones and if you have any questions let me know!

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!

So many different Sølje….


Hallingdal Sølje


When you wonder what is the correct silver to wear with your bunad there is of course is an answer from the Norwegian Institute of Bunad and Folk Costume ** as they provide a  great deal of information on all areas of the subject of bunad as well the topics related to them and in this case the silver or Sølje. Listed below is the statement that comes from their list of frequently asked questions.

” Can I use silver that does not belong to the costume? 
If you have inherited silver, please feel free to use this. Otherwise, we recommend that you use silver which is designed to costume.”

It clearly states that if you have inherited the silver then it is proper to wear it. I have also read online from the many question presented to the “experts” that if you receive it as your confirmation gift it can also be worn. [ As it is traditional in Norway (and also in the US to Norwegian/Americans) to receive your bunad as a gift for your confirmation.]

There is a wonderful list of the correct silver to be worn with each of the bunad on various websites . One that is easy to navigate and that will give you a good idea of the various pins etc is:

This is a great company to work with as they source from various silver companies in Norway and provide you with a variety of all the wonderful pieces needed to complete your bunad. As you may know there are some 450 different bunad designs from the various regions around Norway and most of them have their own types of: pins/earrings/rings/neck pins/cufflinks and even knives that can be worn with the costumes.

It is most important that you have the proper jewelry when wearing your bunad as you do not want to be caught by the bunad police….wearing something as seen below:

OH nooo gold earrings and silver brooch

THIS IS A BIG NO NO !!!!!!!!!  No giant tacky earrings when wearing your bunad. If you do not own the proper earrings then wear nothing until you can find the correct ones.

There is a chance you will find something on ebay or locate them in a antique store or on etsy…but buying them from Norway or one of the on line shops such as:

Would be the best way as this way you know you will be getting the best quality.

I prefer buying direct from Sando in Norway but the cost of shipping is quite high, but they have a wonderful assortment and are great to work with.

Show below are some of the complete groupings of sølje for specific bunad…hopefully you will see the one for your favorite bunad.



Bergen Silver


Hardanger Ladies Silver


                           Voss Men’s Silver                                      

Rogaland Silver

Rogaland Silver


          Trøndelog Silver


Gudbrandsdalen Silver


Nordlands Silver

*** Photographs from the website and the website

Bunad shoes….another reason to go to bunad jail!


Ad from

Bunad shoe

As many of you know wearing the correct shoes is most important when you are wearing your bunad. The bunad shoes are a very important part of your costume. The Norwegian Institute of Bunad and Folk Costume

They provide a wealth of information on the subject of bunad and it is well worth the time to look what they say. In respect to shoes their statement is:

“What shoes should I use for costume? 
We recommend bunadsko, ie Klaveness.  Simple black shoes or shoe / boot with laces can also be used.

Klaveness is a manufacturer in Norway, you may check out the variety of shoes they have on their website below. (As you may have seen there are some bunad that come in white and in that case you should be looking to purchase white bunad shoes for those)

If you wish to order bunad shoes in this country and not have to pay the huge shipping fees, you may often find them on ebay and hope that they are your size and have not been worn too much…good luck on that! Or you can order them from Sue at  bunad butikken in Minnesota and she is quite good about sending them out (as long as she in town). You will notice on the photo at the beginning of the blog Sue’s notes on the page that she sent out. I am not sure if the prices are still good.  But it is worth a phone call.

The shoes are quite comfortable and are very well made and just as the bunad, the shoes will last a very long time! You have made the very large investment in the costume now you need to have the proper shoe to go along….it is well worth the money. And remember along with the shoes you need to be wearing the proper stockings….no traditional stockings…..each bunad has the specified color stockings that are to be worn with that particular bunad. Take the time to research which is correct.

(Sue at bunad butikken can sell the correct stockings as well)

If you would let me know what bunad you have I can also let you know what you should be wearing with you bunad for example :

  • Valdres: stockings should be black or blue
  • Gudbrandsdalen: stockings should be black or blue    (white can be worn with the blue costume)
  • Hardanger: stockings are always black
  • Voss: Stockings are black

These are just a few of the over 450 bunader that are documented therefore in another blog I will list many of the others….also in another blog I will list a few books that are fairly reasonably priced that will give you good information on the subject of bunad and what should be worn with each one.

Hope this helps you to stay away from the bunad police….not that it really exist but always good to know what is correct. It is such a beautiful costume that it should be worn with great pride and looking just right!


Great book for photos and reliable information on Norwegian bunader


bookbook 2

If you are looking for a wonderful book that will have the best photos of Norwegian bunader this is book to order. It is done by one of the experts in the field, Laila Duran and her photographs are beautiful. It is  well worth the money ($ 65.00 plus shipping) if you order it from Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa  …see the link below. (If you order it from Norway you will pay a great deal of money for the shipping).  And now there is a second addition that is also quite wonderful. Durán

When researching the subject of Norwegian bunad it is very important that  you use the best sources of info and much of what you find in places on the internet such as Pinterest may have incorrect information.  Laila Duran will provide you with wonderful photos but also accurate information and it would make a great gift!