The Marius Sweater – Norway’s Knitted National Flag

What comes to mind when you hear the words ‘Norway’ and ‘Norwegian’? Fjords, mountains, blonde hair, dried fish and skis, right? And you’re right. That’s the universal synonyms. But, the next time you hear it, we want you to also think about the all-time typical Norwegian design item – the Marius sweater.

The Marius sweater was designed in 1953 by Unn Søiland Dale, and was named after Marius Eriksen. He was a well-known fighter pilot, an actor and two-time slalom champion. Mrs. Søiland Dale got the inspiration from the book ‘Norwegian Knitting Patterns’ by Annichen Sibbern from 1929, where traditional Norwegian Setesdal patterns were presented. The Marius sweater is a modified variant of the Setesdalkoften in red, white and blue, which represents the colors on the National Flag. At that time, it was a new and unusual design.

This made the knitted sweater a brilliant piece of art in Norwegian fashion history. After some ‘passive’ years in the 80’s and 90’s, the sweater now got its renaissance. Especially the young adult generation experiments with the patterns onto new products and items; from children’s clothing, hats and mittens to wall paper, bed sheets, dresses and even cars! Everyone wants a piece of this beloved design, and Norwegians hasn’t been this interested in hand craft for decades. (Read also about Arne and Carlos – Urban Knitting Designers here) The Marius sweater has become a true classic.

Today, Mrs. Søiland Dale’s daughter is in charge of the company – Lillunn Design of Norway, and they still have the exclusive rights to this lovely pattern.

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Marius-gammelSo the next time you want to tell your friends about Norway, this might be a delicate fun fact about Norwegian fashion history!


Text and photo on top by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews

Photo below: Norwegian Broadcasting

Sources: Wikipedia, Lillunn

Categories: Culture, Knitting

2 replies

  1. Heya~ I just want to point out that Marius Eriksen wasn’t her son. He was the son of Bitten Eriksen. 🙂


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