Setesdal Pleating

By Sue Mansfield

Editors Note:  Sue’s article originally appeared in the newsletter of the “Collapse Pleat Bump Study Group,” part of the Complex Weavers Group, in November 2011. We reprint her article here with permission (and gratitude).

In June 2011 I took a vadmel workshop in Norway. Afterward I met my Norwegian relatives. One of the guests at a family christening wore a bunad, or folk costume, from the Setesdal region. I took photos of her and the back of her skirt. Several days later at the Norsk Folkmuseum in Oslo I saw the same bunad and a display of making the pleated black skirt fabric. Immediately I thought of woven shibori, except this pleating was done by hand sewing. The process takes two years. Laurann Gilbertson, the Vesterheim Museum Curator, lent me a VHS tape on the pleating process based on research by Aagot Noss and answered questions for me because the language on the tape was Norwegian. (Viewing a tape without understandable narration doesn’t indicate elapsing time between processing steps and repeated processes.) Black and white photos come from Stakkeklede I Setesdal by Aagot Noss with permission from Novus forlag.


The warp is wool single ply Z twist at 16 threads per cm and the weft wool single ply S twist at 8 threads per cm and is woven as a two-two twill. Initial size is 181.5 cm x 65 cm. The sheep breeds for wool for textile work in general in the Setesdal Valley are Spælsau and Dalasau. Spælsau is an old Norwegian short tailed breed with a two layer coat which dates back to the Vikings. Dalasau is a cross between Spælsau and English breeds (Cheviot, Leicester, Sutherland). (7)


SEM-page 171

Stakkeklede I Setesdal by Aagot Noss, p. 171

A length of white fabric, with or without colored weft as spacing indicators at intervals, is stitched four rows at a time with linen or bast fiber thread. Each of the parallel stitching lines has a separate needle. When the entire width is stitched the sewer tightly pulls up the four threads and ties a knot using pairs of two threads. She continues with the next four rows. When the entire length is pleated, it is stretched out flat and then rolled around a rolling pin and pinned closed. It is rolled on a board to flatten out the pleats. It is stored for a year on the rolling pin before fulling and dyeing.


After the storage time it is unrolled (still pleated) and put in an iron pot filled with water which is then brought to a boil. The steaming hot fabric is removed and rubbed on both sides with lye or “green” soap using a wooden washboard. (The lye soap is made with hemp oil.) The fabric is rubbed and rolled on the felting board and put in the pot again and boiled. This process is repeated several times. Finally the fabric is rinsed in a bucket of water.

Mordanting and dyeing

SEM-page 173, lower R

Stakkeklede I Setesdal by Aagot Noss, p. 173

Five tablets of copper sulphate or blue vitriol are put in the iron pot filled with water, allowed to dissolve, and then the fabric is added.  The fabric with the mordant is boiled for an hour, then cooled in the pot with a rock placed on sticks to weight down the fabric. In the morning it is pulled out. Now the fabric is a bit green. The dyer empties the pot and refills it with water and adds 100 grams of iron per 8 hectograms (800 grams) of fabric. 750 grams of logwood chips are also added to the pot. This is cooked for the dye to develop, then the fabric is added and boiled for an hour. (The logwood chips are still in the dye bath.) (Photos p174, p175 top left–dyeing) The tape shows the dyer checking the density of the dye by pulling apart the pleats. When there is complete black dyeing –no white streaks or dots, she lets the fabric cool for five or six hours with sticks and rock weighting on top of it. The logwood chips below and the rock above help to keep the heat in longer.


Stakkeklede I Setesdal by Aagot Noss, p. 174 and 175

The fabric is stretched out flat on the ground and cold ash from birch trees, bjørkeoske, is sprinkled on both sides. It is rolled up with the ash; the next morning it is rinsed in the lake and hung up on a clothesline to dry.

Garment yardage

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Stakkeklede I Setesdal by Aagot Noss, p. 175

The dried dyed and pleated fabric is rolled on a rolling pin and fastened closed with pins. No pleating threads are removed while it is stored.  Laurann Gilbertson says, “The fabric is left for at least one year before it can be sewn into a garment. Noss says that her informant, Jorann T. Rysstad (the one in the film), said her mother had left the fabric both eight and ten years. I can’t tell if that was for better colorfastness and pleating or if that’s just how long it took her to use some of her prepared fabric.

SEM-page 176

Stakkeklede I Setesdal by Aagot Noss, p. 176

Stakkeklede I Setesdal by Aagot Noss, p. 173

Stakkeklede I Setesdal by Aagot Noss, p. 173

The holes in the fabric indicate that the pleating process was authentic. I asked whether the tape showed the traditional method. Laurann says, “ This is the historic/traditional process. The only modernization might be the stripes woven into the fabric that make it easier to sew straight lines. The old samples (strip page 172 and detail page 173) (Detail photo of grey gathered fabric p 173.) do not have the dark strip woven in. It is possible to make the fine pleats with a machine and it’s also possible to use synthetic dye instead of logwood.” Noss says, “Pleated garments were worn in Norway back to the Middle Ages, though some of those garments haven’t remained in use (like men’s balloon-shaped knee pants) in the 19th or 20th centuries. Other regions in addition to Setesdal in Aust-Agder in Norway use pleated fabrics.”

The Setesdal bunad has a black skirt with green and red bands at the hem which is stiffened with a triple layered strip of fulled white wool. The videotape also included sewing details.

Setesdal bunadAnother weaver, Patrice George from New York City, was inspired by the Setesdal process to make a pleated pillow using woven shibori technique with waxed cotton upholstery thread for the gathering at desired intervals. She, however, didn’t use the traditional fulling and dyeing process. She washed the fabric in lukewarm water and steamed the pleats. Her pleating wouldn’t necessarily survive cleaning processes; the warp and weft were already dyed.

For those of us in the study group the traditional process described above could be modified to full the pleats, i.e. use caustic solution of lye soap or hot soapy water, and boil with agitation or  use a washing machine.


  1. Stakkeklede i Setesdal by Aagot Noss, Institutet for sammenligende kulturrfoskning, Novus forlag, Oslo Norway 2008
  2. VCR tape –Stakkefeddung og farging og Bunadssying I Setesdal (I: Norsk filminstitutt)
  3. Laurann Gilbertson, textile curator Vesterheim Museum, Decorah, Iowa
  4. Sue MansfieldPatrice George, FIT New York, personal notes and article in Veyer I Vev, pages 48-49
  5. Vyer I Vev, by Tove Gulsvik and Ingebjørg Vaagen, Norges Husflidslag
  6. Advice from Carol Colburn, professor of history and costume design at University of Northern, Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa
  7. Thesis reference provided by Laurann Gilbertson for possible identification of sheep breed: Svensøy, Kari Grethe. “Det va inkje hobby; det va arbeid:” Tekstilarbeid i Bykle ca. 1900-1935. [It was not a hobby; it was work: Textile work in Bykle] Masters thesis, University of Oslo, 1987. p. 178.
  8. Information on spelsau sheep
Sue Mansfield is a member of the Weavers Guild of Minnesota and an avid weaver who is undaunted by the prospect of complex processes.  (Note her beautiful handwoven and pleated shirt in the photo.)

Krokbragd and More at the Summer Exhibit

The collection of weavings in the 2015 National Exhibition of Folk Art in the Norwegian Tradition was rich in color and techniques, but especially strong in krokbragd and bound rosepath.  The header photo shows a unique pair of mittens with band-woven cuffs by Kathryn Evans of Lena, Illinois.  In addition to the ribbon-winning entries, these pieces were on display.

Gay Dudley Allan. Iowa City, IA. “Raspberry Pie,” Wall Hanging in Krokbragd Technique.

Gay Dudley Allan. Iowa City, IA. “Raspberry Pie,” Wall Hanging in Krokbragd Technique.

Jan Mostrom

Jan Mostrom, Gold Medalist. Chanhassen, MN. “Dancing Skies,” Wall Hanging in Rya Technique

Rosemary Roehl

Rosemary Roehl, Gold Medalist. St. Cloud, MN.
“Playing with Red,” Wall Hanging in Krokbragd and Rosebragd Techniques.

Rosemary Roehl

Rosemary Roehl, Gold Medalist. St. Cloud, MN. “Northern Lights,” Wall Hanging in Krokbragd and Rosebragd Techniques.

Robbie LaFleur

Robbie LaFleur, Gold Medalist. Minneapolis, MN.
“Bands of Summer,” Rug in Bound Rosepath Technique.

Connie Rubsamen

Connie Rubsamen. Long Beach, CA. Guitar Strap in Bandweave Pick-up Technique.

Sandra Moe

Sandra Moe. La Crosse, WI.
Wall Hanging in Vestfoldsmett Technique.

Melba Granlund

Melba Granlund. Minneapolis, MN.
“Julefest” Wall Hanging in Krokbragd Technique.

Mary Glock

Mary Glock. Decorah, IA.
“Apple Tree All Year,” Wall Hanging in Krokbragd Technique.

Melissa Brown, Guttenberg, IA. “Ode to Betty Nelson, ” Table Runner in Overshot Technique.

Melissa Brown, Guttenberg, IA. “Ode to Betty Nelson, ” Table Runner in Overshot Technique.

Kathryn Evans, Lena, IL. Mittens with Tablet-woven Cuffs.

Kathryn Evans, Lena, IL. Mittens with Tablet-woven Cuffs.

Laurann Gilbertson is the Chief Curator of the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum and a tireless promoter of Scandinavian textiles.







National Exhibition of Folk Art in the Norwegian Tradition – 2015

colorsWeavings were well represented at Vesterheim this summer in the National Exhibition of Folk Art in the Norwegian Tradition, beautifully displayed with painted and carved pieces. For example, Melba Granlund’s krokbragd piece was displayed next to a deep-toned rosemaled piece in the Os technique by Peter Stromme.  Beside one another on the brick wall, the colors glowed.

Well-deserved awards included:

Blue Ribbon:
Sandra Somdahl, Decorah, IA, “Loki’s Rainbow.” Wall Hanging in Rutevev Technique

207Red Ribbon:
Marilyn Moore, Cedar, MN, Rosepath Rug

205 smWhite Ribbon:
Kathryn Evans, Lena, IL, Tablet-woven Pillow with Setesdal Embroidery

197 sm
White Ribbon:
Virginia Wekseth, Onalaska, WI, “Whimsy” Wall Hanging or Throw in Boundweave Technique

208 smHonorable Mentions:
#200 Corwyn Knutson, Roseville, MN, “Hardanger Cherry Tree” Wall Hanging in Rya Technique

200 sm
Honorable Mention:
Donna Laken, Rockford, IL, “Sunnfjord Dusk” Wall Hanging in Krokbragd Technique

201 sm
Honorable Mention:
Karin Anderson Maahs, Blaine, MN, “Anderson Berry Farm, Bay City, Wisconsin” Tapestry

203Best of Show Weaving and People’s Choice:
#210 Judy Ann Ness, Gold Medalist, Eugene, OR, “Playa Summer Lake, Spring 2014” Wall
Hanging in Krokbragd Technique (See separate article)

People’s Choice:
#210 Judy Ann Ness, Gold Medalist, Eugene, OR, “Playa Summer Lake, Spring 2014” Wall Hanging in Krokbragd Technique

The staff of Vesterheim are grateful for the help of two expert judges:  Ingebjørg Monsen, Weaving Instructor from Morvik, Norway; and Jan Mostrom, Gold Medal weaver from Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Laurann Gilbertson is the Chief Curator of the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum and a tireless promoter of Scandinavian textiles.



“Best of Show” Background

By Judy Ness

“Playa Summer Lake, Spring 2014” was woven with a combination of tapestry and krokbragd, a technique I developed while I was in graduate school at the University of Oregon. While the front worked well, I was not able to design an elegant back side while weaving the combination. In regular tapestry, the back side is not reversible and has a mass of yarns tied neatly to keep the ends from coming to the front. In krokbragd, the reverse side with the blocky geometric floats is expected to be clear and clean of any odd disruptions. Over the years, the judges at the show would sometimes ding me for the finishing of the back. I did the best I could to keep the tapestry joins that occurred in the middle of a shot from showing too much on the reverse side. Over the years, pieces would come back to me with the judges’ comments, sometimes dinging me for the unorthodox backside finish. Ticketed by the ‘Krokbragd Police’ again.

This piece evolved from a five-week artist’s residency in Summer Lake, Oregon, in 2014. The residency allowed me to concentrate without distractions on a difficult piece in the Diné (Navajo) technique that I couldn’t seem to face at home. The Oregon high desert in early springtime has subtle colors in the land and outrageous panoramas of dramatic color in the sky. The view out my cabin window was the inspiration for the work that was in the show this year. It was made to honor the experience–to be grateful for the opportunity and to mark it as important.

"Playa Summer Lake, Spring 2014" by Judy Ness. Detail.

“Playa Summer Lake, Spring 2014” by Judy Ness. Detail.

There was a little breakthrough on the structure issue. Clasped wefts. On a smaller piece like this one, using the clasped weft technique (à la Peter Collingwood) made the curves in the clouds. It only took me 17 years to figure that one out. Weaving is not for weenies.


“Playa Summer Lake, Spring 2014” by Judy Ness. Detail of clouds.

I can trace my deep interest in two favorite types of textiles: Norwegian and Navajo.  As a child, I visited the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, Washington, during Nordic Fest and was fascinated by the beautiful historical items. The tools and textiles on display guided me to a connection with my people. I didn’t know I had people! The idea of becoming a weaver began when I saw the primary colors and startling geometric patterns in Diné (Navajo) rugs as a child. It was so clearly a way to weave beauty and harmony into the world.

Keep weaving. It doesn’t matter what they say or how many shows you get into. Impress yourself, and only yourself.

Judy Ness is a tapestry weaver from Oregon with special interests in Norwegian and Navajo weaving. She has shared her knowledge and love of textiles as an instructor in weaving, spinning, and dyeing since 1995.

From Underwear to Everywhere

By Laurann Gilbertson

The sweaters of today have evolved from what was once men’s underwear. Knit garments were originally night shirts, worn when sleeping or beneath outer layers of clothing during the day.

Nightshirts were made in Germany and England in sold in large numbers in Norway in the 17th and 18th centuries. These were usually one color, patterned with purl stitches, and sometimes decorated with embroidery. They were worn under clothes for warmth and for protection. The “night” in nightshirt could also refer to the “eternal sleep” of death so motifs were added for protection, resurrection, and eternal life. Protective symbols included eight-pointed stars (also called eight-petal flowers).

Gausta.193“Rose sweaters” descended from the night shirts. Wool sweaters with eight-petal flowers as the main motif were made (at home on a knitting machine) and sold along the Norwegian coasts and in Oslo. Local handknitters no doubt copied the sweaters and added variations.

There are some differences across Norway, but common to all historical Norwegian sweaters are:

* the sweater is knit with patterns in two or more colors

* the bottom part of the sweater is knit in one color (for about 4-10 inches in length)

* square or rounded neckline

* pullover style, though some had splits down the front

On the coast (from Aust-Agder to Sør-Trøndelag) the neckline and the split had some sort of braid on the outside, and a lining on the inside. The braid could be floral-patterned ribbon or solid-colored fabric. The cuffs were strengthened by two-end knitting or a piece of braid (slindresnor).

Norwegian sweaters were knit in the round. In the early days, knitting the body of a sweater required six or more knitting needles. The first needles were made of wood, hence the name pinne, which means twig in Norwegian. Later knitting needles could be made from steel, brass, and (much later) plastic. In about 1935, the circular needle (rundpinne) was invented and sold.

The process of knitting sweaters was practical. The body and sleeves were knit as tubes. The oldest sweaters were cut it open so that the knitter could make the adjustments for size; the seam would go under the arm. Because the sweater was worn under clothing it needed to fit closely to the body. The knitter could add under-arm gussets (especially in Setesdal), and then add the arms. Arms could be knit from shoulder down or from cuff up.

Patttern-knit sweaters were practical as under layers because they were warm (two layers of yarn) and durable (two layers of yarn). Occasionally we see glimpses of sweaters in old photographs, especially in relaxed settings when some outer garments have been taken off.

Lusekofte – The Setesdal Sweater


Annemor Sundbø wrote a whole book on the popular sweater, “Setesdal Sweaters: The History of the Norwegian Lice Pattern.”

One of the most distinctive and recognizable Norwegian sweater is the lusekofte or “lice-pattern sweater” of Setesdal in southern Norway. The body of the sweater is covered in lice – single stitches of a contrasting color. The kross og kringle (X and O) pattern and zigzag lines are common on the shoulders, wrists, and/or hems. The oldest sweaters had a wide white section at the hem. The X and O and zigzag patterns, as well as the wide white hem, were for protection.

“It is obvious that the latest fashion here is to wear a nightshirt without an outer jacket,” wrote Olaus Olsen from Trondheim after attending a country wedding in Setesdal. The lusekofte became popular in Setesdal beginning in the 1830s. It is possible that in order to wear a sweater on the outside of clothing, it needed patterning to make it decent, taking it from underwear to outerwear, according to Annemor Sundbø.

Many Setesdal sweaters had colorful embroidery on the yoke and cuffs. The freehand embroidery is called løyesaum. Løye is the soft, loosely spun yarn used for the embroidery.

Two important changes to the lusekofte came in the 1930s. The first cardigan styles appeared and women began wearing the sweater. These changes came about after Setesdal men stopped wearing embroidered and bibbed trousers.

Even the earliest knitting books and commercial patterns included Setesdal designs and the sweater soon became popular all over Norway and the world.

Fanatrøye – The Fana Sweater

The body of the classic Fana sweater is made up of stripes with lice in the contrasting color. There are typically flowers on the shoulders and grid or checkerboard patterns at the hem or cuffs. While the sweater originated in and is named for Fana, near Bergen on the west coast, the sweater has been extremely popular in eastern Norway in the years between the two world wars. In eastern Norway it is called the Kleiva sweater for the Rødkleiva ski slope located north of Oslo. Rødkleiva was the site of events during the 1952 Winter Olympic Games, so the Kleiva (or Fana) sweater soon became a global favorite.

Historically in Fana, the striped sweaters were worn by men for every day. Special occasion sweaters were a similar style knit with white wool. Like the striped sweater, the white sweater had ribbon trim, fabric facings, and silver or pewter buttons. The patterning was raised, however, created with purl stitches. Women in Fana wore a green or red sweater (red until about 1900, green until 1930) under a bodice with folk dress.

Islender – Iceland Sweaters

Islender sweater

Islender sweater knit by Ella and Amanda Judén, Oslo, Norway, for Einar Judén, ca. 1940. Ella and Amanda knit the sweater for their brother Einar, who was a member of the Norwegian resistance movement during WWII, 1939-1943. Vesterheim 2003.016.001 – Gift of Jean Judeen Smith

Sweaters with all-over, repeating patterns might have large or small motifs. If a sweater has very small motifs, like single Xs or short stripes of triple lice, it might be an “Iceland” sweater, called Islender in Norway. Iceland sweaters were mass produced in the Faroe Islands (owned by Denmark) and exported by 1800. These were often commercially knit and fulled – perfect for fishermen, trappers, hunters, and even polar explorers. Some Icelandic sweaters were sewn from machine-knit yardage.

The first two firms in Norway to knit Iceland-style sweaters were Devold in Ålesund and Petersen & Dekke near Bergen. Handknitters also created sweaters with small, simple motifs. These were called sponsetrøyer and were reserved for work on land or sea.

Maine-based retailer L.L.Bean imported a style of sweater “long used by Norwegian fisherman who required an unusual degree of durability and warmth in a sweater.” The sweater, with offset tripled lice, were sold from 1965 to early 1990s, when L.L. Bean tried to manufacture their own in China. They discontinued the sweater in 1999 and then in 2009 they once again imported the sweater from Norway. The sweaters have been considered essential for outdoor wear – and for 1980s fashions according to The Official Preppy Handbook.

Regional Patterns and Husfliden

There are relatively few regional sweater patterns, but interest in them led has Husfliden, the national handicraft association, to develop some sweater and knitting patterns based on regional traditions. Their first designs were taken from old sweaters with square necks and all-over patterns. Increasingly, pattern inspiration came from nature and folk arts, such as woodcarving, decorative painting, and weaving. Husfliden has offered both patterns for knitting and handknit sweaters for sale.

Yarn companies have also responded to the interest in regional sweaters by giving some of their designs regional names.

Eskimos – Round Yoke Sweaters

Annichen Sibbern designed “Eskimo,” a sweater with a patterned, round yoke in 1930. Her inspiration was the beaded yokes that are part of the Greenlandic National Costumes. She had seen the costumes in a Norwegian film that year called Eskimo. Her sweater design was soon popular with handknitters and knitters using home knitting machines. The round yoke sweater was revived in the 1950s by designer Unn Søiland Dale.

Since the 1950s, Eskimo-style sweaters have been so popular that even the classic Setesdal and Fana sweaters have been reinterpreted with round yokes.


In the 1950s Sandnes Woolen Mill introduced “Nordkapp,” a square-yoked pattern. This sweater took advantage of the popularity in the 1950s of patterned yokes and Sami motifs. Nordkapp sweaters usually have lice or other small motifs in the body and arms.

Designer Profiles

Unn Søiland Dale modeling her Eskimo Sweater on the cover of the knitting pattern for Sandnes Woolen Mill, 1952. Vesterheim Reference, Ann Swanson Collection

Unn Søiland Dale modeling her Eskimo Sweater on the cover of the knitting pattern for Sandnes Woolen Mill, 1952. Vesterheim Reference, Ann Swanson Collection.

Unn Søiland Dale (1926-2002) started in 1952 as a design consultant for Sandnes Woolen Mill. Her first sweater design for handknitters was a yound-yoked pattern called Eskimo. Round-yoke sweaters had been popular in the 1930s, and she brought the idea back with several variations.

In 1953 she started her own business, Lillunn Sport (now Lillunn Design) in which she organized handknitters to produce sweaters for export. At one time, Lillunn was the largest private knitwear exporter in Norway, employing 800 home knitters.

She went on to design 25 more knitting patterns for Sandnes. There were many popular sweaters, but one design eclipsed them all – the Marius sweater (1954). The sweater, based on Setesdal sweater borders, was named for and modeled by Marius Eriksen, a champion skier. Marius received 300 kroner ($39) for modeling and Unn received 100 kroner ($13) for designing the sweater, though she was also given a special discount on yarn from the factory.

Many Americans first learned about the work of Solveig Hisdal through an article in Interweave Knits in Spring 2000. The magazine featured two sweaters based on a flower painted inside an old trunk at a Lofoten Islands museum. Her book Dikt i Masker / Poetry in Stitches, shows how she studies the fabric patterns and combinations of materials in museum artifacts and brings forward their essences into knit garments for today.

Solveig Hisdal is the award-winning principal designer for Oleana A/S, a sweater company that considers its business to be as much about culture as it is about sweaters. The company was founded in 1992 by Signe Aarhus, Kolbjørn Valestrand, and Hildegunn Møster. For the first year, they used traditional geometric patterns. In 1993 Solveig joined Oleana with her vivid colors and rich floral designs. She often draws on the colors and shapes in the damasks and brocades used in folk costumes, as well as patterns in nature and in the art of other cultures. Often the patterns in her sweaters are traditionally Norwegian even though they aren’t always traditional knitting patterns.

Helping in the United States to spread the joy of Nordic knitting by offering traditional and adapted patterns, and helping to demystify traditional sweater construction are Elizabeth Zimmerman, Meg Swansen, and Ann Swanson to name a few.

From an early age, Arnhild Hillesland was interested in knitting – and in doing things her own way. The rebellion she showed as she learned knitting from her mother and grandmother proved to be an asset when she moved to the U.S. in 1986 and then purchased a yarn shop. She quickly realized that the Norwegian patterns available here were translated by non-knitters making them difficult to understand and use. She jumped into translating Norwegian patterns into English, making her own patterns, and teaching classes in how to knit Norwegian sweaters. She never failed to innovate if it made the product easier to knit or nicer looking. In 2005 she began the wholesale import of Rauma yarns, thus making Norwegian knitting even more available to eager American knitters.

Sue Flanders and Janine Kosel have been designing handknits and teaching knitting in Minnesota for more than twenty years. Authors of Norwegian Handknits and Swedish Handknits, they have visited museum collections and created knitting patterns that are adapted from historic pieces, as well as patterns that take designs to a new level. The Norwegian word flink describes Sue and Janine well. Flink is hard to express in a single English word. It means adroit, clever, creative, ingenious, skillful, resourceful, and gifted. Their joyful and artistic designs honor and celebrate history, tradition, and needleworkers.

Norwegian sweaters became outerwear in the early 1900s. Whether for warmth, beauty, tradition, identity, or art, Norwegian sweaters are now everywhere, for everyone, and for every day. “From Underwear to Everywhere: Norwegian Sweaters” is on view at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa, until April 24, 2016.

Note:  The header photograph features a v-neck sweater knit by Ingrid Skramstad, Vang, Hedmark, Norway, for Olaf Skramstad, Ottertail County, Minnesota,  in the 1920s. Ingrid did not emigrate, but her brother Olaf did in 1910. She sent him care packages of her knitting, including this sweater with his initials.  (Vesterheim 2008.009.001 – Gift of Ingrid Henry)

Laurann Gilbertson is the Chief Curator of the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum and a tireless promoter of Scandinavian textiles.