Thursday, 21 June 2012


I mentioned in the Helsingborg post that I had a find to share. Nothing big and not a thing. It's a magazine article find.

It all started because few stores in Helsingborg are open on a Sunday so we went to Pressbyrån to look for a copy of the new rose-themed issue of Hemslöjd. I told my sis to keep an eye out for it while looking through all the magazine shelves, commenting and looking for something of interest. My sis found it first, but what she picked up and showed me was the mag next to it, norwegian Bunad (issue 2-2012). I'm not sure why she picked it up to show. Maybe she wanted to say "look, a norwegian hemslöjd magazine" or "look at those girls on the cover" (in colourful and patterned folk costumes) or "look at that price". Either way, I took the copy, flipped through it -- and there it was! An upphlutur.

I've never seen icelandic folk costumes (Þjóðbúningurinn) before and this particular one is very different from the scanian and swedish folkdräkter and bygdedräkter I've seen. (Not just because the other scandinavian/nordic costumes are regional while the icelandic ones are national.) I really liked the simplicity of the black-and-white upphlutur. And above all I loved the embellishments. At first I thought it was like goldwork, metallic threads embroidered onto the cloth. It didn't look like plain embroidery floss so my guess was goldwork with silver threads. Then I looked closer and saw that it was in fact silver filigree (real, handmade silver filigree) stitched to the bodice. Two of my favourite things in one: metalwork and embroidery!

Look at that!

The mother inherited her dress, which has vermeil filigree instead of just silver, from her grandmother, who in turn was given it in the 1920's (so it's really old). At that time this type of upphlutur was relatively new. It was designed by Gudmundura Thoroddsen in the early 20th century. The upphlutur itself was originally part -- or more precisely the "undergarment" -- of another folk costume, the faldbúningur (see this photo). When it was warm the faldbúningur could be worn without the jacket and from that the upphlutur was developed as a folk costume in its own right. The colours can vary. The bodice is often black but can also be e.g. blue or red. As you can see, different types of aprons are also used and the embellishments varies. The cap that goes with the dress is called skotthúfa or, in english, icelandic tail cap.

Of cause I can't show you the whole article (already this much is probably a stretch). There's more pics and information in the magazine and while it doesn't go in to any depth, if you want to see better pics -- and, if you understand norwegian, want to read the whole article -- you might want to try and get a copy. It costs 89 SEK or NOK, though.

You can read more about the icelandic folk costumes at e.g. The Icelandic National Costume Board  and Wikipedia. More pics of upphluturs can be found on the Icelandic National Costume Board website, Flickr and by image googling.

Myself, I'm starting to think about embroidering filigree and wirework on cloth now.

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