numera oftast kallad Sverigedräkten.

1983 was a big year for Sweden. We were able to celebrate a new holiday, our first National Day on the sixth of June, and on the same day our Queen, Silvia, for the first time wore ALLMÄNNA SVENSKA NATIONALDRÄKTEN (the Swedish National Costume).

ALLMÄNNA SVENSKA NATIONALDRÄKTEN is not a new invention, but it took eighty years for it to be accepted. It was another Swedish Queen, Viktoria, also like Queen Silvia born in Germany, who unwittingly inspirered ALLMÄNNA SVENSKA NATIONALDRÄKTEN (the Swedish National Costume).

In line with the patriotic and romantic ideas common in Sweden at the turn of the century (1900) Queen Viktoria decided that the court and employees at the Royal Castles should wear appropriate folk dresses in line with the traditional dress worn in the areas.

In 1900 a young gardening pupil came to the Royal Castle of Tullgarn in the province of Södermanland. Her name was Märta Palme. The 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 long skirt wich dragged in the dust of the street.
At the Royal Castle of Tullgarn Märta Palme came into contact with the folkdress that then Crown Princess Viktoria had introduced. This Costume was both 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 to return to using her tightly laced middle-class clothes. But her experiences at the Royal Castle of Tullgarn of Crown Princess Viktoria had awoke a strong feeling in Märta Jörgensen for traditional Swedish dress. Together with similarly inclined woman she started "SVENSKA KVINNLIGA NATIONALDRÄKTSFÖRENINGEN" (The Swedish Wopman's Society for National Costumes) in 1902 to further the use of traditional Swedish Folk Dress. But as man of the Society's woman came from parts of Sweden with no local or provincial costumes, (mostly towns), it become necessary to create a new one.

In 1903 Mörta Jörgensen designed the first ALLMÄNNA SVENSKA NATIONALDRÄKTEN! (The Swedish National Costume), a name wich she shortened to "din SVENSKA DRÄKT" (your Swedish Costume).

Here soma quotes from a series of articles from 1909 in wich she describes her creation:
ALLMÄNNA SVENSKA NATIONALDRÄKTEN (the Swedish National Costume) hs bees designed in accordance with the principle of granting as much room as possible to differente tastes, "naturally within the limits of style, cut and fabric." (As far as we know, SVENSKA DRÄKTEN has originally only been made of wool).

"This means that the costume can be made in two different models".
"The first model is orginally accepted design with the skirt and the bodice (=laced vest) as separate pieces and the second way, accepted later, is the (short) bodice and the skirt to be worn (and sewn) together  (LIVKJOL), a design wich originates from Vingåker in the province of Södermanland (and the style used of Crown Princess Viktoria) and the apron in yellow".

"The skirt and bodice can both be made of cloth in the now established 'Swedish' blue color, or with the skirt alone in this hue and the bodice in bright red."
(Both the blue and the yellow must be in the more subdued tones of the turn of the century Swedish flag in wool, not the bright colors of today's flag in cotton or
synthetic material,)

"In addition we need the bright colors of the peasant costumes. They have an invigorating  effect on our censes that is all to often underestimated and 'they are necessary as a contrast to the deep green pine forest and teh white snow' - as the great artist Carl Larsson writes in "ETT HEM" (A Home)."
"there are two different headgears wish can be worn."

"The stockings should be black unless red is used in teh costume in wich case they should be red."

"Shoes, preferably with straps or laces, in black, never yellow (=brown)."

Unfortunately, SVENSKA DRÄKTEN did not catch on, in spite of the patriotism of that time. After the First World War, nationalism declined and the idea of a National Costume was forgotten, although Märta Jörgensen continued to use hers until her death in 1967.
But in the last few years SVENSKA DRÄKTEN has experienced a renaissance which we wish Märta Jörgensen could have witnessed. It is becoming increasingly popular and will probably become the single most used form of folk dress in Sweden.

The woman's and the girl's costume we provide material for are faithful copies of the oldest exemples of SVENSKA DRÄKTEN of wich we are aware, both in style and fabric. We have a very light wool in skirt and bodice, and a slip in pure cotton to keep you cool and comfortable even when the weather is warm. And it does not crumpled as much as a costume in cotton.


Photo on a daughter / granddaughter of the pupill at
the school in Falun with Märta Jörgensen as teacher.


    After having written a number of articles in LAND (one of the largest weekly papers in Sweden) we receives so many questuins that Bo Skräddare (=Bo 'Tailor') created a SVENSKA DRÄKTEN for men (NYA SVENSKA MANSDRÄKTEN, The New Swedish Costume for Men) in 1982. Bo Skräddare's guiding principle was to design a costume for men that would agree in both style and period with Marta Jörgensen's costume for women.
The result was an embroidered vest in the some colors as the woman's bodice in 'Swedish blue' and bright red, with pants in navy blue or black and a silk kershief to a stiff-collared shirt.

 An elegant escort to a stylish woman in the beautiful SVENSKA DRÄKTEN !

Nationalism and fashion come and go. now, both 'National Costumes' and 'Folkdräkter' are more popular then ever, and our new Queen Silvia did what Queen Viktoria never did, she wore SVENSKA DRÄKTEN on our first National Day, the sixth of June 1983, (and our second 1984 and all following, as well).
ryding.JPG (73080 bytes)And in August 1984 Sweden got a new Queen, the Queen of Beauty, Miss Universe, former Miss Sweden, the then 21-year old Yvonne Ryding from Eskilstuna, Of course she wore SVENSKA DRÄKTEN, made by SVENSKA DRÄKTEN.
'The beautiful smile and the National Costume gave her many extra points' as a Swedish paper wrote.

            With love from Bo Skräddare, SVENSKA DRÄKTEN, Sweden.

Ågestavägen 27, STUVSTA.

Phone 46 (0)8 711 4060.

Åter till sida ett. Back to Main page. 

This article may be copied freely, provided the source is given.
Writer: Bo Skräddare, SVENSKA DRÄKTEN, Stockholm.