This is the time of year where Norwegian women and men take out and prepare their national costumes for the national day on May 17. Over the last thirty years, the Bunad has regained its popularity, and according to Norges Husflidslag (Norwegian Folk Art and Craft Association), there are over two million Bunads in Norway.
Earlier ThorNews has written about Norwegian national costumes and the Bunad tradition. You can read more about it here.
In our Bunad series, we have now come to the Trondheim costume – Trondhjemsdrakten.
Trondheim is Norway’s third largest city and one of the oldest urban settlements in the country. The story goes back to the Viking Age when the city was capital. The Nidaros Cathedral is one of the best preserved medieval churches in Scandinavia, and several medieval kings are buried here.
Trondhjemsdrakten is modern, easy to wear, warm and has a feminine cut- in addition to great historical affiliation.
It was designed by Ellinor Flor and was first presented in 1994. The design is based on pleated medieval textiles discovered in Trondheim. The fabric is dated back to the 11th to the 13th century. The special pleated fabric amazed the scientists – they had no idea that such advanced textile was prevalent in this part of Norway. Such findings are therefore very rare in Norway and Scandinavia.
The upper part of Trondhjemsdrakten is inspired by the Norwegian flora – depicting rose-like motifs. The rose has been important to the Trondheim area for centuries in jewelry, buttons, embroidery and knitwear.
See also: Selbuvotten
Archaeological findings from the Middle Ages confirm the importance of the rose, and Trondhjemsdrakten therefore carries a rose-like pattern on the upper part and on the silver. The five-leaf rose is repeated in the fabric. The earliest findings of this rose is on a brooch owned by Queen Eufemia (1270-1312).
The three-leaf rose holds the same historical significance and symbolizes the Christian Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
During the design work, it was decided that the costume should have roots in the fabrics found in Trondheim, but also have an independent design. Ellinor Flor is known for her distinctive designs where she combines old rose patterns and traditional knitting patterns with modern garments.
The costume suits women of all ages, and the cut makes it seem slimming.
The skirt is made of smooth, black Norwegian wool. Flor composed a superior knitted fabric for the upper part with rose patterns in red and black. The shape of the upper part has a free composition. The shirt is in pure linen, and it is common to wear simple black shoes.
The silver is inspired by the Tudor rose.
In 1997, during the 1000th anniversary of the city of Trondheim, the costume was a popular garment for many who wanted to celebrate.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews
Source: Norske drakter, stakker og bunader, Ellen Wigaard Scheel. Damm & Søn AS, 2001