Nineteen years ago, Martha Jaszkowski (now 84 years old), found herself flat on her back following some surgery and needing something to do, took up the craft known as Hardanger embroidery. Today she likes to show others what she’s accomplished over the years and talk about the craft – and recently she did just that for several of our Nordic Lodge members!
Although this style of embroidery had its beginnings in ancient Persia and Asia, by 1700 variations of it had spread into Italy, then northern Europe, and finally, into Scandinavia. Between 1650 – 1850, it flourished in Norway, and took on the name Hardangersom (work from the Hardanger fjord area). Traditional Hardanger embroidery is very geometrical in form – using combinations of several basic shapes such as squares, rectangles, triangles, diamonds, hearts – and involves counted thread stitches, drawn thread work and some pulled thread embroidery. Traditionally the work was carried out on white fabrics as fine as 50 threads to the inch using white thread, but coarser fabrics and coloured threads are often used today.