The Inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Netherlands contains ICH of which the communities, groups or individuals involved have written a safeguarding plan. Those plans are reviewed by an independent review committee. Every three years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.


Many elements of the traditional costume of Marken are decorated with embroidery. The various embroidery techniques are: the colourful free embroidery (called: the wild colours), Marken whitework,  cut work, utterwork, cross stitch and akertjes. The colourful free embroidery is applied on corsets and middeltjes (waist corsets). There are woollen, daily corsets and middeltjes, decorated with woollen embroidery thread as well as silk ones, the Easter and bridal corsets, decorated with silk thread. White work is the name for embroidery with white, cotton threads on white, linen fabrics. For cut work horizontal threads are removed from linen fabric in a certain scheme. This causes long open lines that are decorated. The utter technique means that both horizontal and vertical threads are removed from the linen fabric. The raster that results is subsequently filled up with thin embroidery thread. The cross stitch can be divided into the black and the red and black cross stitch. For black cross stitch black embroidery thread is used. This was done on a strip of linen. These strips were worn under the hat by the women. The black embroidery is also applied on ornamental pillowcases and bedspreads. Black and red cross stitch is applied on elements of festive costumes, like neckbands and the tips of apron strings. Akertjes are small tassels that are attached to neckerchiefs.



Very few people still hold the knowledge of Marken embroidery techniques. The Marken Museum plays an active role in safeguarding the tradition. The Dutch Open Air Museum in Arnhem has well documented its collection of the traditional costume of Marken, and described it in detail.  Needle art studio Wit op Wit (White on White) in Dordrecht, with Sary Maas as needlework teacher of Dutch regional costumes, endeavours to keep this tradition alive. She specialised in the needle art of the traditional costume of the isle of Marken.



In 1521 one hundred and fifty peasant families from North-Holland and Marken moved to the Danish isle of Amager. As a consequence of this emigration Danish people came to know a few things about the costume that was already worn on Marken. The so-called Marken utteren and working with tassels have evolved much further in Danmark than on Marken itself. On the needlework samplers of Marken from the eighteenth and nineteenth century, the embroidery technique utteren was only applied in a modest way. The Dutch East India Company brought more prosperity to Marken. The inhabitants could afford beautiful clothes. Around 1650 it became the fashion to wear artistically knotted tassels, akertjes. In the nineteenth and twentieth century the needlework was done by the women on Marken themselves. The consequence of a changed life style in the twentieth century, causing the costume to almost completely disappear, is that women did not need to keep qualifying for the various embroidery works. Still, because of the long relative isolation of the island and the care for the old clothing by the women of Marken, the traditional costumes have been preserved fairly well. The Marken costume has also inspired fashion designers, like the fashion house Oilily, for which the patterns and colours of the Marken costume were a source of inspiration for its collections.



Wit op Wit Naaldkunstatelier
Zuidendijk 251
3317 NN