The history of Hardanger is quite vague. Some say it began during the Renaissance period. Just where is another question up for debate. I've seen everything from Norway to Persia. Today it is mostly associated with the Nordic countries. In my mind, I think Scandinavian. Whatever it's origin, it is a beautiful art that was almost lost. Thankfully, it has been revived for the modern era.
Hardanger is also sometimes called White Work as many of the original designs were done with white thread on white material. My German Grandmother did beautiful pieces in ecru. The design is painstakingly counted out, stitched and then cut. In most designs, after threads are removed, more stitching is required before the design is finished.