Colourful embroidered folk costume bags

Look at these lovely antique and marvelous embroidered “dräktväskor”, belonging to the traditional “folkdräkt” or “daladräkt” in Dalarna, Sweden. Folk costume bags made by women in Dalarna. These are from 1700-1900. I think they are amazing with there explosive use of colors and patterns and flowers!

Textiles have always fascinated me since I went to “syjunta” as a child with my grandmother and her friends. Sewing and laughing and telling gossip… and making wonderful textiles, that no one cares for anymore… 

Embroidered textiles are a good source of inspiration when wanting to look for a typical swedish style in the cultural history. Made by women of high craft skills and good sense of colour, design and traditions. Combined with a will to express their own feelings, taste and style. How does women express themself today? Like this, bloggin!

antique embroidered folk costume bag from Gagnef in Dalarna Sweden
svart broderad folkdräktsväska från Gagnef Dalarna tidigt 1900
svensk folkdräkt
Dräktväska från Dalarna 1916
Swedish dalecarlia folk costume

All photos are from Dalarnas Auktionsbyrå, a big auction house in Borlänge, Dalarna.

Lena Svalfors Hedin
Hi! My name is Lena and I love creative and beautiful things in life. Sometimes it inspires me to photograph and write something about it, hopefully you can enjoy it too. I have previously been freelancing as an illustrator, now I have a day job focused on communication, web development and graphic design for print and web.
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2 thoughts on “Colourful embroidered folk costume bags”

  1. Hello!! I’m trying to do some research on dräktväskor and don’t read/speak any swedish. I particularly want to understand some of the images on the bags. Particularly on the right hand bag on the image marked “draktvaskor_gagned_tidigt_1900”. Do you know anything about the significance of the figures embroidered, or anyone who does? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Mary! I am so sorry but I can´t help you much. Even thou I love these bags I don´t know anything about the meening behind the images. Like you I guess it is just not “flowers”, I think they spoke to the persons back then much more than they do to us today.

      Maybe you could try to contact the museum in Dalarna and they can lead you on further. Or the cultural history museum Nordiska Museet in Stockholm.
      It seems to be hard to find information in english on internet. One post in english about general swedish folk costume is here.
      The museum Skansen in Stockholm has a list of books (in swedish…) about folk costumes.

      If I stumble upon something better I will post it. Or does anyone else know?


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