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Vintage Scandinavian knitwear

July 21, 2015

There’s a real love for vintage Scandinavian knitwear right now and it seems to have been revived with the help of Danish TV, more importantly, The Killing with Sarah Lund’s sweater’s creating a craze for a good old wool sweater to keep out the cold.

Vintage Scandinavian knitwear styles

At first sight they may appear a little frumpy, perhaps something an old aunt would wear while knitting on the sofa, and certainly not something anyone under the age of 30 would consider wearing, but perhaps Lund has changed that – forever.


I know very little about Scandinavian knitting myself, apparently there’s a great deal of emphasis on a purl stitch and working with two colours, and yes, there are lots of different patterns and they look great with a pair of skinny jeans, but what else is there we need to know about our favourite Scandinavian knits?

All types of colours, shapes and wool

Well, there’s Norwegian jumpers and cardigans and Danish knits, which would stand to reason seen as these are Scandinavian countries, other than that, it’s really hard to find a definitive history of Vintage Scandinavian knitwear and how and when it started.


There is a sense that it started as most knitwear did, back in the 1100s with stockings and undergarments being the order of the day, until that is, someone, somewhere graduated to something more exciting.


If you’re from Denmark or Norway then the knitting became VERY exciting, on a par with Fair Isle. The patterns are all very different although they do follow a certain style, what’s most prominent is the use of colours, there is a lot of work using two on one set of needles, but a jumper can include many different colours within the same sweater.


What we do know is that Scandinavians started using the loom in the first millennium, although men and women were wearing skirts and cloaks as early as the Bronze Age. During the Viking Age, textiles with no patterns were favoured, with red blue and green becoming more popular during the medieval period.

We embrace the Scandinavian sweater

We also know that from the 19th century onwards the ‘lusekofte’ otherwise known as a Norwegian sweater started to be worn, with the original ‘setesdalsgenser’ containing a more simple black and white design came first. And then of course more colour was introduced with intricate patterns and delicate shapes of snowflakes, reindeers, diamonds and other shapes decorating what started out as a simply decorated jumper.


However scanty our information is on Scandinavian sweaters, what we do know is how gorgeous they are. Naturally, they look better on the young, they lose their retro appeal once you’re old enough to remember having worn one as a child, after your aunt produced them in abundance every Christmas.

Why vintage Scandinavian knitwear is better

If you’re tantalised and mesmerised by the appeal of a Scandinavian sweater then do go and find yourself one. Obviously as fellow vintage lovers, vintage Scandinavian knitwear is always better, less likely to be mass produced, with more opportunity to find original and unique designs.


Throw it over a pair of baggy denim cut off shorts and a vest top, or wear with heels and a pair of skinny jeans, it will look effortlessly elegant whichever way you wear it. It’s like you didn’t make a great effort to choose your outfit and the sweater’s doing all the work for you.


We all love a great vintage winter knit. Whether it’s traditional or novelty, the festive season is the perfect time to grab a fabulous vintage Scandinavian sweater that will last numerous winter seasons. Take a look why this iconic vintage knit is a must have for the festive season.

A brief history of vintage Scandinavian sweaters

Vintage Scandinavian sweaters-Kiko & Rico

Vintage Scandinavian sweaters – Kiko & Rico


As the name of this fashionable Nordic sweater gives you quite a big clue of its origins, it’s no surprise this Vintage Scandinavian knit was made in the chilly Nordic countries of the northern hemisphere. Here they were created to keep people warm and the patterns in early knitwear depicted a family or village to identify fisherman and seafarers. It was in the 20th century that Norwegian knitwear became a fashion statement with patterns and novelty knits made for the increasingly popular fashion industry.

Christmas sweater-Rico

Christmas sweater-Rico

Vintage Scandinavian Knitwear – a variety of patterns

Many vintage Scandinavian sweaters were made for the male clothing market with a variety of patterns and colours available to buy. Traditional Scandinavian design displayed anything from snowflakes, winter floral patterns and mountain scenes all the way through to novelty festive fashion pieces.


Many people relate vintage Scandinavian sweaters to Christmas time with festive jumpers a popular on trend knitwear item and a must have for your winter wardrobe.



Scandinavian jumpers – style for winter

Men and women can both take advantage of this Vintage Scandinavian knitwear winter trend. There are plenty of examples of Scandinavian sweaters to take your pick, all in a variety of colours and styles. For the ladies, take one of these iconic Christmas jumpers and style it with vintage denim for an over-sized look.


A vintage Scandinavian sweater is a must have knitwear item for the winter season. Team it with denim for cosy, on trend festive style. Take a look at our fabulous range of vintage Scandinavian sweaters for the perfect festive knit.

vintage scandinavian sweaters-from Blue17

Vintage Scandinavian knitwear -from Blue17