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Swedish Folk Dress---Folk Dräkt

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Above our crew ready for the Fall Festival Parade. Some in fine costumes and some of us making do with klubb vests and jacket and flowered head bands and even one viking among us.

Some in our group have been fortunate enough to have folk costumes made by Shirley Gustafson. She has since retired but is world re-known for her skills.  Fitting for Shaila and for Rachel are pictured below. The process is a long one involving besides actual fitting, choice of fabric, colors, embroidery, lace, pins and probably more than I can remember. Shirley actually had the king and queen of Sweden in her shop and she made costumes for the royal family.

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Sockendräkt (parish costume) is another term used for Swedish folk dress. When the natural boundaries of an area coincided with the parish boundaries, then the local dress of that area became a parish costume ('Sockendräkt') as well as a 'Folkdräkt'. This is true of many parts of Dalarna. Even a 'Häradsdräkt'_ (the 'Härad' is an old jurisdictional unit, composed of several parishes, perhaps most nearly equivalent in size to an American county) can also be a 'Folkdräkt', if the natural boundaries of an area coincided with the 'Härad's' boundaries.  This is common in the province of Skåne and the south of Sweden.

'FOLKLIG DRÄKT', it is impossible to give a short translation for 'FOLKLIG DRÄKT', the every day clothes of common people. This term can be used in much wider sense than 'Folkdräkt'. All clothing worn by the common people in both city and country can be called 'Folklig dräkt', even if it lacks the distinctive local character of the more pure-bred 'Folkdräkt'. clothing connected with certain trades, such as the blacksmith's shirt or the butcher's apron, are examples of 'Folklig dräkt'. Those clothes used by simple burghers, the middle class, in town are also 'Folklig dräkt', as is that used by peasants living in the vicinity of towns and cities and which lacked a distinctive local character. 'Folkdräkt' is of course 'Folklig dräkt', but 'Folklig dräkt' does not have to be 'Folkdräkt', and it is still a valuable example of our folk culture.'Bygdedräkt' and 'Hembygdsdräkt' (District or Home-District costume). In many areas of Sweden a distinctive, local manner of dress never developed. In and around cities and towns, market places, and other areas where trade and commerce were common, contact with new developments and external influence become so strong, that the local group was not able to control and standardize the clothing of individuals.

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During the national romantic period around the turn of the century, 'NATIONALDRÄKTER' (National Costumes) became popular. This is the name which was given to the 'Folkdräkt' (and even to newly created folk costumes) that the upper classes amused themselves by wearing. The term is incorrect. It would mean that all in Sweden had a uniform dress.ALLMÄNNA SVENSKA NATIONALDRÄKTEN is not a new invention, but it took eighty years for it to be accepted as THE SWEDISH NATIONAL COSTUME ! It was another Swedish Queen, Victoria, (as Queen Silvia - also born in Germany), who unwittingly inspired ALLMÄNNA SVENSKA NATIONALDRÄKTEN (The Swedish National Costume). In 1900 a young gardening pupil came to the Royal Castle of Tullgarn in the province of Södermanland. Her Name was Märta Palme, a daughter of a wealthy merchant in Norrköping. She was dressed in the typical middle-class woman's fashion of the time - tight fitting at the waist and with long skirts which dragged in the dust of the street. At the Royal Castle of Tullgarn Märta Palme came into contact with the Folkdress that Crown Princess Victoria had introduced. This costume was both more romantic as well as more comfortable then her own middle-class clothes. Märta married the son of the gardener at Tullgarn and under her new name, MÄRTA JÖRGENSEN, they moved to the province of Dalarna. As a teacher in a rural domestic college at Falun she was forced back into her tightly laced middle-class clothes. But her experiences at the Royal Castle Of Tullgarn and the example of Crown Princess Victoria had awaken a strong feeling in Märta Jörgensen for Traditional Swedish Dress.

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