The original Beltestakk (English: Belt Skirt) origins from around 1850 and as late as the 1950’s several older women still wore their Beltestakk during holidays and festivities. Today, it is common for younger girls to seek inspiration in their grandmother’s old Bunads. That is why there is considerable variation in both color and embroidery in today’s Beltestakk.
Originally, the Beltestakk was up-to-date with contemporary fashion using dark colors on fabric and décor. It is named after the wide, colorful belt that runs several times around the waist. (Click on photos to enlarge)
The skirt is made of black wool, lined at the bottom with a wide velvet border. The border colors vary, but red and black are the most common. The skirt is very wide with dense wrinkles at the waist.
The upper part (vest), called “oppluten”, is made from velvet in different colors and has a bias tape around the edge. It has an open front with four small brooches on each side.
The jersey (jacket) is in dark wool. It is very short and is held together with a silver buckle at the front. In the back it has a stiffened hem, so-called “skjæl” which creates a characteristic wave effect.
The shirt is white linen with a broad, upright collar. It comes in many variations concerning the embroidery on the neckline, chest and on the cuffs. Because of the ancient rose embroidery tradition in Telemark County, no shirts are exactly alike.
The apron is made from the same fabric as the skirt. At the bottom, a broad ribbon with “rosesauma” (English: Rose Seam) embroideries is sewn. Instead of embroidery, many women use prefabricated patterned ribbons.
The belt is made of multi colored woven wool yarn. It is about 4.7 inches (12cm) wide, 6.5- 8.2 feet (2-2.5 m) long, and runs several times around the waist.
The normal headgear consists of either a headscarf tied at the front of the head, or a braided piece of cloth tied around the head crown.
It is common to wear black stockings and Bunad shoes, but some women use the traditional wadmal stockings with “rosesaum” (English: Rose Seam) and handmade shoes in different colors.
The complete silver consists of up to three brooches on the chest, cufflinks on the shirt and eight small brooches for the upper piece.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews
Source: Våre Vakre Bunader, Kjersti Skavhaug. Hjemmenes forlag, 1978
Photos from top: Bunader Oslo, Sandø, Bunader Oslo
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