Hardanger or Norwegian embroidery, is the result of a traditional form of hand embroidery that was developed in the Handanger district – from which it takes its name -, and then become a craft work that crosses the borders of Norway (it is an openwork embroidery) .
While it is true that, this type of hand embroidery is specific to this region, it is also true, which shares characteristics and techniques with other European styles and whose origin is mostly in the techniques used in the Middle East or Persia.
Already by 1600 Italian artisans were developing their own embroidery style that we know as a very popular reticella for the time and that was adopted and transformed throughout the European continent.
By the beginning of 1700, recognizable hardanger embroidery pieces can be found. Thus, in 1800 this form of embroidery becomes – on other existing styles in the country – in the national embroidery of Norway.
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- 1 History
- 2 Elaboration
- 3 Materials
- 4 uses
- 5 Stitches and techniques
- 6 Designs
- 7 See also
- 8 Sources
It is one of the oldest existing embroidery. The exact origins of Hardanger embroidery are not known, but it is believed that they have their beginnings already in the 17th century in ancient Persia and Asia. During the Renaissance, this primitive form of embroidery extended to Italy, where it evolved into the Italian reticella and Venetian lace. In 1700, variations of this type of embroidery had spread to northern Europe, where it developed even more in Danish and Dutch Hedebo, the work of Scottish Ayrshire and the lace of Ruskin, as well as in Norwegian drawn work, What was his name then. In the period between 1650-1850, Hardangersom (meaning: work of the Hardanger area) flourished in Norway. Flax was grown, cardaba,
A similar technique was developed, worked on gauze, colored silk threads and metallic threads. Initially, its use was to decorate garments used by the nobility. In Norway it was often used in horizontal bands in pieces such as aprons and ecclesiastical clothing. It had openwork in simple shapes, such as diamonds and triangles. The apron, cuffs and collars were already embroidered in the matrimonial suit of the SXVI. But in the beginning you could not waste fabric in the eyelets that were removed, because of its costlyness. Now the design is totally free in its forms, mixtures of techniques and also in color.
“In the 19th century, in Europe, the Industrial Revolution displaced artisanal textile production, sewing and other arts such as embroidery, but in Norway, the old traditions of self-reliance were practiced until the beginning of the 20th century. As a happy result of this isolation Prolonged in modern industry, the popular embroidery of Norway remains today, true to its heritage and original form. ”
Since the names of the stitches, techniques and designs were not protected by copyright, local patterns were copied and mass brochures of Norwegian embroidery designs began to be produced. Hardanger embroidery was formally presented to the world in 1900 at the Paris exhibition, where an apron with Hardanger embroidery by Brita Skalveit de Aga, in the Hardanger district, is shown and won a prize.
Sample of Hardanger Point.
Hardanger embroidery uses satin knit blocks known as Kloster blocks, consisting of 5 parallel satin stitches. These blocks enclose areas of fabric where several warp threads are cut and removed, leaving a network of loose threads and large holes within the shape defined by the Kloster blocks. Several decorative fill stitches are then worked on the remaining loose threads and holes to create a lace effect. The traditional style of Hardanger’s work is very geometric in shape and based on several basic shapes such as squares, rectangles, triangles, diamonds, hearts, zigzags and crosses. The hardanger is still used to decorate cushions, linens and other household items.
Hardanger embroidery was done, in its beginnings, traditionally, in white thread, on white linen with uniform weft, and you can also find it as whitework. It was used for decorating aprons and shirts or blouses. Many who practice cross stitch, arrive at the hardanger, because it is also a counted stitch, it has many more stitches, and its result is totally different, there is no image, but patterns, design, and draft.
Subsequently, it was incorporated as an ornament of tablecloths, napkins and, in general, as a way to personalize different pieces, which over the years would include, dresses, gloves, shirts, lingerie, scallops, among others. Currently, for the realization of this type of embroidery, mostly a cotton fabric known as lugana or evenwave fabric is used whose peculiarity is that its fabric has 22 pairs of threads per linear inch in both directions, which makes it a fabric Easy to cut, make holes and knit. In the beginning the embroidery was made with threads – exclusively – white or creams. As time went by, colored threads were incorporated, which achieves a sculptural embroidery, for which the execution of intricate fill stitches is required.
Fabric The most recommended fabric is hardanger, lugana or evenwave, they are not so soft fabrics, because they have less cotton and a higher percentage of polyester, rayon, wool, flax, linen or other type of thread that give the fabric more rigid body, which allows the fraying and draft of the points. They are fabrics that have the same amount and network of horizontal threads (weft) and vertical threads (warp). An important aspect when choosing the fabric for the embroidery design is the “count”, which is not more than the number of woven threads that fit in an inch, according to the English metric (equivalent to 2.54 cm ). Depending on the textile manufacturer, in each “count” we will find thinner or thicker threads, consequently larger or smaller points. The more threads fit within a “count”, the smaller the interlocking points for embroidery are, and the fewer threads in a “count”, the larger the spaces or interlocking points for embroidery, draft or fraying. The best fabrics for Norwegian embroidery as indicated above are: 1) the hardanger created especially for this type of embroidery by the Übelhör brand, is the best option for the work, if it can be achieved; 2) the evenwave or plainwave that is a flat or regular fabric, 3) the Lugana, also known by the names Etamine (Etamina) or Monaco (trade name assigned to it by the Charles Craft brand); and, 4) the linen, not just any linen but the special one for embroidering like the Cashel or Belfast of the Zweigart commercial house. The most recommended brands to acquire this type of fabric would be Permin,
Thread The ideal thread to make hardanger is 100% cotton pearl cotton, with bright, soft and silky twist. The skeins are larger than usual, 25 grams and comes in a range of 40 colors, 6 of which are Variations.
Racks The racks can be made of wood, plastic or any material, as long as they have a screw to tighten the fabric.
Needles Needles should be blunt and the ones that are commonly used are # 20, # 22 and # 24.
Fabric Markers Fabric markers are an essential guide for embroidery accuracy. One of purple tip and another blue tip.
Scissors The scissors that are required must have a fine point to make the cuts to the fabric, the type used in upholstery is recommended.
Tweezers Tweezers to fray the areas of the fabric to be pulled.
Adhesive The adhesive or glue against fraying that will facilitate the task of embroidery.
Hand embroidery from Hardanger Point.
The popularity of this embroidery increases with Norwegian immigration in the late 1800s and early 1900s, especially those who settled in North America, their descendants are responsible for the rise of handager embroidery, especially in the United States and Canada where The enthusiasm is such that they have formed associations, exhibitions, courses and a large number of specialized bibliography.
The possibilities of designs range from the simplest to the most complex, its variety is determined by the combination of the different techniques selected and the skill level of the craftsman.
Even if there are a variety of patterns, this does not mean that embroidery lovers do not continue to create new designs and techniques.
Stitches and techniques
Hardanger embroidery uses satin stitch blocks known as Kloster blocks, consisting of 5 parallel satin stitches, worked on a group of 4 x 4 threads of the earth. These blocks enclose areas of fabric where various warps and weft threads are cut and removed, leaving a network of loose threads and large holes within the shape defined by the Kloster blocks. Several decorative fill stitches are then worked on the remaining loose threads and holes to create a lace effect. Some stitches and special techniques used are:
The simple satin stitch has ornaments, often resembling stars, ships, crescent and crosses. Other decorative surface stitches such as fly stitch, directing stitch, cable stitch and French knots. Woven bars: the knitting of the needle and under four threads until they are completely covered, and wrapped bars (cloudy bars) where the thread is wound around groups of four threads. The stuffing sews similar wheels, spider nets and dove eyes. Picot: twisting the thread once around the needle before inserting the needle to produce a decorative loop. Edging stitches like the four stitched colindada, hook the stitch and imagination hemstitching techniques to finish articles.
The traditional style of Hardanger’s work is very geometric in shape and based on several basic shapes such as squares, rectangles, triangles, diamonds, hearts, zigzags and crosses. The combination and placement of these elements allow an unlimited number of beautiful models of all sizes to be created. A wide range of models is available today for modern needleworkers to try, both in traditional and contemporary styles. Hardanger is still used to decorate cushions, linens and other household items as well as items for demonstration on a wall. Several modern sewing designers have incorporated elements of Hardanger’s reduction work into their embroidery and sampler designs, often combining them with other sewing techniques, stitches,