Travel theme: Fabric

Traveling to different places in the world gives me an excuse to investigate folk traditions in fabric design. Something I find incredibly inspirational when it comes to designing my own artwork. Fabric and furnishings can also reflect the cultural and historical nuances and traditions of a region.

Norwegian embroidery and weaving

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Where would you find a beautiful fabric motif like this, but Innsbruck?!

fabric innsbruck

Hardanger embroidery on a cafe curtainhardanger embroidery

Norway is a country, where you will find many original and distinctive fabrics in many different forms.

Click on each individual photo to see a larger version

Norwegian National dress

If you have some fabric that you have discovered in your travels, post a link to your blog or join in with Ailsa’s photographic travel theme challenge.


Something to Ponder About



29 thoughts on “Travel theme: Fabric

    1. Great observation skills, Marion! How wonderful that you have the same embroidery. I think there are some very popular folk designs that you will often see in Norwegian hytter, or cabins in the mountains! It is very evocative of that tradition. Timber walls and woven or embroidered furnishings. I guess this sort of craft is popular when it is dark and cold outside, and warm and snug in….


  1. Very beautiful fabric from Innsbruck and wonderful embroidery from Hardanger. The Hardanger national costumes are so colourful and shapely, and I can imagine people wearing them at traditional ceremonies. Or perhaps times have moved on a little too much for that nowadays.


    1. No Millie, for some very delightful reason, the Norwegian Bunad, or national dress is very much in use in Norway. The ladies will wear it to weddings, christenings and perhaps even funerals. The men are less common but on National day, 17th May, almost everyone is in National dress. A real sight to behold. They are extremely expensive outfits and only certain people are allowed to construct and embroider them. It is a fabulous tradition. Even some 2nd or 3rd generation Norwegian descended immigrants, in America, have a bunad!

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    2. Really? I’m pleased to hear that some traditons still hold strong. I would dearly love to be there on the 17th May. The women’s dresses look very flattering to most figures, even women carrying a little weight. If you have been there for one of these occasions, Amanda, you are very fortunate. I can imagine that costumes like these would be very expensive – not just the materials needed, but the time and skill it takes to make them would add to the cost. Thank you for showing these wonderful costumes , and explaining about them, too.

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    1. There is a different bunad for each region in Norway. They are really lovely, often made out of wool, so the poor girls who wear them on the Norwegian 17th May celebrations here are very very hot!!!


    1. I feel sure the long dark winters have something to do with it, at least with the embroidery. The Dutch have beautiful folk costumes as well, don’t they Gerard? At least in Hindeloopen when I visited in the north of Friesland, the costumes were still worn for special occasions. Poland also wears their dress for the tourists, I think. So Finland must also? But Norway is the only place where you will see it worn on a regular basis.


    1. Sally, have you posted about the weaving you did? I would love to see that. I can imagine the wonderful fabric you produced with your artistic sense. I did try weaving too, on a loom but preferred the smaller narrow cards for producing weaving. Setting up the loom was quite trickly and entailed maths to calculate thread lengths!!!


    2. I’ve never posted any of my fiber arts. For years I also created handmade baskets from found materials such as honeysuckle and grapevine. It was a joyous time that included weekly meetings with a fiber group. I’ve been wedded to a camera (and even had a darkroom) for my entire adult life, which is many, many days and nights. As I became more and more involved in my lens and pens, the ability to share has been inspirational and rewarding.

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    3. Sally: I really think it would be wonderful if you ever considered sharing about your fibre arts. With your creativity, I feel sure that those items would be so very inspirational to many of your readers. Have these textiles ever featured in your photographs?


  2. Such stunning embroidery! I just love the colours and designs. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos and the interesting info Amanda. 😀 ♥


    1. Yes I think that is true. Especially folk art traditions. The younger people are not taking up the crafts and so the skills are lost. I think it is such an important part of history and identity and to lose an indigenous art ir craft leaves a hole in that culture.

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