Bunadhjørnet: A Norwegian tradition that’s more popular than ever
By Eva-Kristin U. Pedersen | Photos: Bunadhjørnet
The traditional Norwegian folk costume, the ‘bunad’, is seemingly more popular than ever. At Bunadhjørnet in Sandnes, staff has produced bunads from Rogaland, a regional version of the revered Norwegian folk costume, since 1994.
At Bunadhjørnet, each costume is made by hand in a traditional manner, from the cutting of the first piece of cloth to the application of the last silver pin. In addition to producing fully-fitted costumes, they also alter existing bunads and sell yarn and accessories.
“We sell all the materials you need by the metre, as well as the extras like shoes, laces and silver. We also have silver knives from a local Sandnes silversmith,” says Gerd Marit Sandberg, owner of Bunadhjørnet.
Hand-made and fitted
With three full-time staff employed in the specialised bunad sewing room, plus the experienced staff working in the shop, Bunadhjørnet is a good place to come to for expert advice and information if you are thinking of investing in a bunad.
Sandberg says that every piece they make is custom fitted to the person who is to wear it. She stresses that costumes are not sold over the counter in specific sizes. “A bunad is commonly bought for young girls before their confirmation but often their mothers also buy one. Regardless of the client, we fit every piece to their bodies to ensure a perfect fit,” she explains, adding that a lot of their customers return to refit their bunad as they grow older.
To be sure to receive the bunad in time for the spring festivities, you’ll need to approach Bunadhjørnet in August. “Making one bunad takes a few weeks, but with a production of some 80 fully-fitted costumes a year, in addition to other work we do, we need time,” Sandberg stresses.
A treasured tradition
There are about 450 different types of bunad in Norway. Each design varies in colour and decoration, depending on the region it comes from. Bunads come in both male and female versions and are typically worn for confirmations, weddings and baptisms, and not forgetting for 17 May, Norway’s Constitution Day. They are decorated with traditional patterns and silver, and cost from 4,500 Euros up to as much as 12,500 Euros a piece. In spite of the cost, this traditional outfit is a must-have in Norway. “Just about everyone preparing their confirmation has a bunad now,” Sandberg underlines.
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