True Facts about Edelweiss

True Facts about Edelweiss

  •   edelweissThe edelweiss’s scientific name is Leontopodium alpinum.
  • It can be found at high altitudes in the mountains of Europe, Asia and South America. The original home of the edelweiss is in the high plateau of the Himalayas and Siberia, but the plant “migrated” to Europe during the Quaternary ice ages.
  • The edelweiss is a perennial, which means it will flower year after year but must reseed itself. Continuous picking of the flowers from the same plant will cause it to die off. In other words, look, but don’t touch!
  • The edelweiss is about 6 inches tall with 5-15 woolly-white velvety floral leaves and 500 to a thousand tiny florets grouped in several yellow disk-like heads (between 2 and 10 of them) surrounded by silvery, greenisy, kinda seafoamy colored bracts. (A bract is a typically small modified leaf or scale).
  • The edelweiss is fertilized by flies.
  • Despite its inconspicuous appearance it is esteemed (chiefly by the Swiss) as a symbol of purity and inaccessibility.
  • In Switzerland the edelweiss is protected by law.
  • During WWI and WWII Alpine soldiers carried a sprig of edelweiss to remind them of home. It was traditionally given to them by a female friend, or sister.
  • The movie, The Sound of Music, almost caused the flower to become extinct because so many tourists were pickingEdelweiss-Flower-10-18316-HD-Screensavers them. But It can no longer be regarded as an endangered species.
  • At the 2015, Lady Gaga sang a melody of songs from The Sound of Music, including the iconic song, Edelweiss and killed it! (She didn’t kill the flower, she killed the performance… you know what I mean)
  • Towards the end of the Second World War, the Edelweiss became the symbol of the German resistance against Nazism. The “Edelweiss pirates” were groups of young workers who had turned against Nazism and were active as a kind of urban guerrillas against the regime.
  • The edelweiss isn’t really the prettiest flower in the world… It’s probably one of the farthest from pretty! But that is why we love it. Because it has more charm, history and meaning behind it than out right beauty. (and it looks great illustrated! Or as a Clip!

Edelwiess Hair Clip

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!

Here’s to you Mommy! – #MomandMeDirndl

Mom and Me Dirndl Mother’s Day is just around the corner and it has me thinking about my Mom and how awesome she is. Then it has me thinking about how all the moms in my life are pretty awesome! And now I see my friends having children and becoming moms and that’s awesome too. So this blog post is simply a collection of pictures that I love that feature the fabulous Moms in my life, so Prost to all you Moms out there! And to celebrate I’d love to see pictures on Facebook and Instagram, of you and your Mom or people we know are Moms using the hashtag #MomandMeDirndl. I can’t wait to spend Mother’s Day (this coming Sunday, May 10th) looking at all the great pics you post with your Mommy!

Rare Dirndl Team - Dirndl Shop in Chicago

Me and My Mom and Sister

Edelweiss Clip - Rare DirndlSide Note: If you want to give your mom a fabulous gift that says, “Thanks for being awesome”… I would recommend an Edelweiss Wrap Bracelet or an Edelweiss Clip! Both very popular among Moms and both very fashionably German.


Me and my Grandma -1989

Dirndl in chicago - rare dirndl

My cousin and his wife


My Best Friend and her daughters

modern dirndl - dirndl in the usa

My cousin and his wife

edelweiss -edelweiss hair clip

My cousin and her daughter

mom and me dirndl

One of my fabulous friends and her daughter

dirndl mom - Dirndl USA

Kat, from the Rare Dirndl team and her daughter with my good friend, Karin and her son

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!

Old Favorites and New Must Haves: Open Gloves and Edelweiss Wrap Bracelets

Last week released our newest accessory, the Edelweiss Wrap Bracelet and at first I thought maybe it was just me who thought they were fabulous, but apparently not, because they are the talk of the town.

Available in 8 colors they can easily be mixed and matched and layered and I could go on and on! They make great gifts at $20 each and as a bonus, you can get 2 for $30 in select colors!

There have been a few questions surrounding the new bracelets, so I made a quick video to explain a little bit more about them!

Another item that is all the buzz, it the final return of the Open Gloves. This is the very last run of the gloves because I have officially used every scrap of the cotton loop knit fabric to make the gloves. I had a few yards left in olive so I decided to use all of it to make the last round of gloves! They make great texting gloves because it leaves your fingers free, and they are also perfect over those grab n’ go gloves from the dollar store! A quick and easy way to spruce up those old and tired $1 glovies. Click here to get your gloves now!
What’s even better… Pairing the gloves and new bracelet like Monika did! She posted this picture to instagram and used #raredirndl and now her picture along with any other picture tagged using #raredirndl comes up on our new website! How cool is that!?
We also have 2 great events coming up if you’re in the Chicagoland area. This Thursday is the Lincoln Square Fall Wine Stroll and Sunday is the 3rd Annual International Fair & Wine Tasting at the AAS. We will be participating in both events and will have both of these great accessories available!
As always we love to hear from you! So comment below or on Facebook and tell us what you think of our winter accessories or what you’d like to see from Rare Dirndl.
Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!  

Best Way to Wash the Edelweiss Cut-Out Tee

Candice asked yesterday “Erika… What is the best way to wash my Edelweiss Cut-Out Tee?” That’s a fabulous question and I’m sure other people have that question too, so here is the answer for all to see!

The Edelweiss Cut-Out Tee is a pre-washed 100% cotton shirt with a hand cut boat neckline, screen printed Rare Dirndl Edelweiss Logo on the front and a large edelweiss cut-out on the back.

It’s a super comfortable shirt for over a bright tank, bathing suit or nothing at all (if your feeling bold)! It is a delicate shirt since it has a bunch of strategically placed holes, so you might be nervous to wash it, but not to fear, I’ve written it out step-by-step care instructions for your Edelweiss Cut-Out Tee. 

  1. Put your shirt into a mesh delicates bag that you would usually use for fancy schmancy undies, bras or stuffed animals (I’m not the only one that washes stuffed animals right?)
  2. Wash on a regular cycle with like colors, or on a delicate cycle if you can.
  3. Either lay it flat to dry, or you can put it in the dryer on the low/delicate setting.
  4. Once it comes out of the dryer, you might think it looks stretched out, but it’s not… it’s perfectly fine. You might want to considering ironing it since the cut edges of the shirt will curl a bit. However, it’s not necessary (depends on your personal style and if your super German and have an unnatural love for ironing)
Thats it folks, easy peasy!
If you don’t have an Edelweiss Cut-Out T-shirt… now that you know how to clean it, you should get one! Click here to get yours before they’re gone (only 4 smalls left). If you have more questions please feel free to comment below!
 Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!   

Perfect Gift for Mother’s Day – Edelweiss Clip!

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and usually I’m a big fan of the gift that never fails… a Big HUG! But this year I felt that all the women in my family have been extra supportive and extra fabulous and deserving of more than just a good ol’ fashioned hug. I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve honestly decided to give them all an Edelweiss Clip!

Check out this quick video of how I make these fab little accessories as well as all the unique ways to wear it!

I decided to give the clips to my mom and grandmothers this year, not because I make them, but because it’s a simple gift that goes a long way! Here are just a few ways you could wear the clip:

  • On a scarf (like I did pretty much all winter)
  • On a bouquet of flowers
  • On a teddy bear
  • On a hat
  • On a grumpy cat
  • On a purse
  • On shoes
  • On a bottle of wine
  • As a ring
  • On your coat
  • In your hair

I could really go on and on! At only $9 for a fabric Edelweiss and $18 for a Leather Edelweiss it is perfect on it’s own or paired with another little gift.

Click HERE to get your own Edelweiss Clip or to order one for your Mom, Oma, Aunt, Cousin, Sister or any other mother in your life! They’re going to love it! I can’t wait to see my Oma’s face when I give her the clip. I hope she likes it as much as my boyfriends Great Aunt did when I gave it to her while we were in Basel, Switzerland.

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
Take our dirndl quiz and find out! Simply type in your email here  
 Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 

Edelweiss Flower Power!

Chicago at 6:30am

On Tuesday morning I woke up bright and early to catch a flight to NYC for the dg Expo, a fabric and trim show held in the heart of the garment district. I decided to go because, as much as I love woking int my studio and sourcing here in Chicago, I just knew that if I explored what this expo had to offer I would be able to find things that would simply make Rare Dirndls better… and I was right!

I found a great source for zippers, took wonderful seminars about costing, sourcing and marketing, ordered a beautiful knit for a summer sweater, met a digital printer who would be able to get the Rare Dirndl Edelweiss Icon printed onto fabric, found a source for beautiful beading for bridal dirndls, but probably the most exciting was meeting Warren Brand, president of M&S Schmalberg, who specialized in custom fabric flowers.

Awesome presentation from Jane Hamill of Fashion Brain Academy.  Love her!
M&S Schmalberg Showroom

I was simply walking around the show and I had on my Loose Knit Scarf on with the Edelweiss Clip and he says to me “Where did you get that?” I replied, “I made it,” And that started a conversation that led to, “Erika, why don’t you come by the booth tomorrow morning and I’ll take you over to our warehouse/workshop and you can see the place for yourself. Maybe we can help you make those flowers!”

I was over the moon! Soooooo excited!! The next morning Pam, (a lovely woman who works for M&S Schmalberg) took me to the warehouse, which was only 3 blocks away. I was blown away by the old school feel, the genuine artwork that was taking place. They showed me how the fabric is starched, cut into the petals and then pressed to shape the petals to look like real flowers!

Flower Petals being cut

We searched through their vast array of die cuts and tools to find a shape that would work for an edelweiss. Some had too many petals, some had too little, too fat, too round… until all of a sudden, the lovely man who worked the cutting machine pulls out a perfect shape! A little uneven, some petals longer than others, it was perfect! I couldn’t believe it!

The flower shape I picked for the Edelweiss (unpressed and then pressed)

When I showed the girls who were putting the flowers together the edelweiss that I made, and they were most impressed with the fuzzy center. They said right away that those tiny details were something they would not do, but just having the petals cut for me is a blessing! Not having to take apart a bunch of lilies from Michaels Craft Store would save me so much time… and these are much better quality!

Then I found some fabric that they had laying around and they said I could use that as my flower petals for no extra charge. And believe it or not, they made the petals that day and I took them home with me! I also bought some beautiful white leather  at the expo that they are going to create into leather edelweiss petals for me and I can’t wait to see how they turn out.

Overall, I am so glad that I went because I met some amazing people who are doing amazing things in beautiful US of A and I got to hang out with other wonderful designers that I have been working with over the past year. I have to thank my coach and mentor, Jane Hamill, for convincing me to get out from behind my computer and “go get it, girl!!”

Heidi Kelly from HKelly Designs, Adeline Olmer from French-Secrets, Jane Hamill from FBA, and ME!
Also check out this great video I found that features M&S Schmalberg and be sure to grab your Rare Dirndl Edelweiss clip while we still have them!
 Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now! 

History of the Edelweiss Flower & Why We LOVE it!

From the well-known song, to it’s iconic and unique beauty, the Edelweiss flower is regarded in Switzerland as a national symbol and a common theme on Bavarian and Austrian trachten. This wonderful flower has a unique history.

Edelweiss is not really a flower as such, but a set of 500 to a thousand tiny florets grouped in several heads (between 2 and 10 of them) surrounded by 5 to 15 white velvety leaves, that’s fertilized by flies.
“The Edelweiss was adopted as a national symbol in the 19th century to give back some lustre to a nation that was looking a bit washed out,” says Didier Roguet, project head and keeper of the Botanical Garden in Geneva “but no-one knew that this little silvery and hairy flower would become a real alpine celebrity.”

Over the years the edelweiss has been used to decorate a large number of products made in Switzerland, from postcards to chocolate bars, from folk costumes to sun lotions, and from penknives to purses.

The original home of the Edelweiss is in the high plateau of the Himalayas and Siberia, but somehow my grandfather learned to grow the beautiful flower in his garden!

The plant “migrated” to Europe during the Quaternary ice ages. Today it is found in the alpine region of Switzerland, Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Spain, and the Balkans at an altitude between 1,500 and 3,000 metros.

“It can no longer be regarded as an endangered species, seeing as it has been cultivated in Valais since the 90s. But it is protected in almost all the countries where it grows,” explains Roguet.

“The star of the snows” as the Edelweiss is sometimes called, is also a reminder of a dark past. “The Edelweiss was the favorite flower of Adolf Hitler. For that reason it was used as a symbol by the Nazis,” says the curator of the “Edelweiss – Myths and Paradoxes” national exhibition, which was on display in 2011 in Geneva.

In 1935, the German Wehrmacht formed an alpine unit which used the flower as part of the insignia on its uniforms. Towards the end of the Second World War, however, the Edelweiss became the symbol of the German resistance against Nazism.

The “Edelweiss pirates” were groups of young workers who had turned against Nazism and were active as a kind of urban guerrillas against the regime. For English-speaking people, the famous “Edelweiss” song in The Sound of Music is also associated with patriotic resistance to Nazism.

Today the image of the Edelweiss continues to adorn many items to represent, Switzerland, Austria and Southern Germany. It is the logo for many trachten companies in Germany and it’s our icon too! The Rare Dirndl Edelweiss icon is a unique design taking the traditional shape of the flower and giving it a fresh, edgy street look.

The Rare Dirndl Edelweiss Icon
(designed by Sydney Musselman)
I’ve also created fun and unique Edelweiss clips that can be put in your hair, on your jacket, on your bag… wherever! Its a great little item and has a felt center that has the look and feel of a real Edelweiss!
The Edelweiss Clip on one of our Loose Knit Scarves!

Do you love the Edelweiss flower as much as I do?

Be sure to follow Rare Dirndl @raredirndl on Instagram and on Facebook because all this week I’ll be posting all the fun items with the Edelweiss on it that is either in my own apartment or in the Rare Dirndl Design Studio. I’d love for you to comment back via social media of all your Edelweiss things using #raredirndl and #myedelweiss! Maybe it’ll turn out to be a battle of the Edelweisses!!!

 Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!