pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
This is interesting, I don't agree with all of their conclusions (I can't figure out how the paired brooches were worn), and I do wish they had updated the PDF after the competition with photos of the finished pieces, but it's great to see people trying different things. :)

The Oseberg Cart Woman - C.E. 800

Also, here is an English summary on the Skjoldehamn find:
pearl: (cat)
I think they've updated their database with more photos!

See: (for small screens and netbooks, like me) or

Here are the photo ID numbers for the shirt (BRM 31/2)(skjorte) from Guddal, including close-ups of the neck.
BRM_31/2 (gives you two photos of the full-length shirt)
030986 (full-length photo)
030987 (full-length photo)
030988 (full-length photo)
030989 (full-length photo)
030990 (full-length photo)
030991 (full-length photo)
030992 (full-length photo)
030996 (close-up of weave)
030995 (close up of edge)
030994 (close up of neck)
030993 (close up of neck)

For the striped tunic (kjortel) with pleated & split side-gores of awesome (BRM 31/1):
030979 (full-length photo)
030980 (full-length photo)
030981 (check out those stripes!)
031002 (it says it's of Løpegang, so I think it's focusing on the seam finishing/alteration?)
030983 (side split)
030985 (side split)
030982 (gathering at the top of the gore)
030984 (a gore)

031000 (BRM 31/3, described as a blanket or cloak here)
031001 (BRM 31/3)
031003 (BRM 31/3)
030997 (BRM 31/3)
030998 (BRM 31/3)
030999 (BRM 31/3)

031004 (31/4, a plaited band)

I'm now pretty sure that the way I interpreted Vedeler's description of the shirt collar, and her diagram, is probably what she intended (from looking at the colour photos). Not entirely sure how the collar closed though - anyone?)
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
I finished this a couple of months ago, but hadn't posted about it yet.

All of the fabric used was from my stash, it's a greeny-blue 2/2 wool twill, lined with very cheap and thin ramie. Most of the seams trimmed with yellow silk tabby strips, with the exception of the front triangular gores, and the front, neckline and cuffs are trimmed in wool 'fake fur'.

Green open-fronted caftan/coat, fastened with a brooch

It's primarily based around the Birka evidence, particularly
Inga Hägg. 1983. "Viking Women's Dress at Birka: A Reconstruction by Archeological Methods", in Cloth and Clothing in Medieval Europe (Heinemann Educational Books); 316-350.
for the ideas of fur trimming and the overgarment being often lined, shaped and gored.

The front triangular gores weren't originally part of the plan, but since I was trying to wrap a rather tubular garment around a non-cylindrical body, things gaped a bit so, like some extant kirtles, I added gores so things would sit nicer. Everyone else I've loaned it to for wearing looks stunning in it, so I can only hope I do, too. I could get used to this whole upper-middle class Norsewoman look!
pearl: (machine)
Managed to find a copy, and can now give a brief review of the article. (With, for anyone who stumbles upon this a little more background information about what you're looking at.)

So, the article in question is:

Judith Neukam 2011. "Zero Waste: Simple approaches to sewing garments with nary a leftover scrap" Threads no. 155 pp. 66-71.

The focus on the article is not about historical dress, but efficient cutting layouts. Still, on page 67 it suggests that 'zero waste' layouts can be found in historic dress, and it gives three examples; 'the viking dress', 'the bog coat', and 'the one-yard apron'. I'm only going to comment on the first two.

They essentially are a short paragraph describing the pattern, and a diagram of the cutting layout. It assumes that people are able to easily interpret from diagram to garment, which may not be the case.

The Bog Coat

Read more... )

The Viking Dress
Read more... )

Hope this is useful for someone!
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
Apparently the latest issue of Threads magazine has a section on economical pattern cutting which features an 'Viking dress' and (from reading the comments here) a 'bog coat'.

So, anyone have a subscription and seen a copy? Is it any good? (I'm not keen on ordering it online when the postage costs more than the magazine issue itself.)
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
Just curious to know, who or which company is your favourite supplier of bossed, oval-shaped metal bling?

And as a follow-on question, anyone seen any of Northstar Armoury's brooches in person? They look lightweight (which is a good thing, for me) but they also don't seem to answer e-mails. :(

Edit: Oooh, just remembered: Mercia Sveiter list the weights of their jewellery, along with photographing them on a grid for scale.


Mar. 3rd, 2011 06:36 pm
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
This article doesn't seem to appear on Inga Hägg's website, but...

Hägg, I. 2006. Methodische Probleme der Erforschung ur- und frühgeschichtlicher Gesellschaftsstrukturen am Beispiel Birka [PDF] Archäologie 2000: Festschrift für Helmut Ziegert (Hamburg: Books on Demand) pp. 155-185 [159-189 in PDF] ISBN: 3-8334-6736-3.

Even if you're not interested in "Methodological problems of research into prehistoric- and early historic- society structures, for example Birka", I'm willing to bet you're interested in some very nice black and white photos of the wirework posaments, what looks awfully like fingerbraided wirework, little wire animals, cages for holding mica and foiled glass, a silver hat end, and a list of graves with the different hat types...

Weirdly enough, I didn't find it searching for any of those things, I found it while trying to figure out what colour the silk fragments were from grave Bj 824. The answer is "golden-yellow".
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
Continuing on, from 'the reader has to do all the work instead of the author just telling us his reasoning and sources', here is the sort of things I think may have been useful to include when arguing for a back-cloth...

Considering "it is unlikely that fashions remained unchanging throughout the two-and-a-half centuries we call the Viking Age" (p. 10), wouldn't you consider referring between contemporary archaeology and images important?

So, the artwork he is referring to is from Oseberg (9th c.), Grödinge (9-10th c., Wincott Heckett 2003) and Hauge (10th c., Horn Fuglesang, 1989).

But the textile finds he seems to refer to are from Hvilehøj (no tortoise brooches, 10th c.), Køstrup (10th c.), Bj 824 A (10th c.), 950 (9th c.), 964 (10th c.) and 965 (10th c.). (Birka grave dating is from the grave register in the back of Geijer, 1938.)

Now, the find Ewing focuses on, even giving us an illustration (on p.38 of Ewing, figure 47 from Geijer), is Bj 824A. Geijer (Birka III p. 167) thinks the brocaded silver bands came from possibly something with right-angled corners. It's not likely to be a half-circle mantle, but it seems to be something (according to Geijer) that may have been fastened at the throat that ran over the shoulders/back, and which may have been pulled downwards by the brooches. There is a lot of guesswork here, but Ewing never addresses why he thinks a garment that may have tied at the throat also needed to be pinned at the bust or that there are examples of graves where the brooches were pinned to under-layers, possibly to stop things shifting around on a corpse. (eg. one of the Køstrup brooches, and grave 31/1905 from Hedeby -- thank-you for posting about that, Engisdottir!) It seems to be much more important to state the theory rather than actually argue about it.
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
From: Fuglesang, S. H, 1989. Viking and medieval amulets in Scandinavia. Fornvännen
84; 15-27. [PDF]

There is an "amulet of bronze: frog or toad crouching behind female genitals (?), from Sonderteglgård,
Jutland, Denmark. Viking period, probably lOth century. Danish National Museum, Copenhagen." on page 5.

And a colour photograph of the amulet is on the Viborg Historie site.
The description translates as:
"A small bronze frog from the 900s, found in a grave at South Teglgård. Note that the frog displays female attributes. It is thus a fertility amulet."
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
"These fascicules in the Archaeology of York series are now out of print, but are available to download:"

And so there is a list, including...
Finds from Anglo-Scandinavian York
Finds from Medieval York
Leather and Leatherworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York

All free! FREE!!!!!!1!!one!!!
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
Deviant art seems to be just as good as Flickr when it comes to people wanting to show off what they (or their friends) are wearing...

For appetizers, the Unnr's wrap has spread to Russia. (With a bib-panel on top. I don't think it works too well unless there is somewhere to put the trefoil brooch.)

For the main, cloaky-things, including a
dress-pin-pair-fastened shawl, a ruana (I'm confused about the rest, so I'll focus on the cloak), and a cloak I can't figure out how it stays on.

And for dessert, a stripey naalbinded shawl.
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
Firstly, it looks like there is a new mailing list that may interest some people: Elizabethan and Jacobean Embroidery.

Secondly, this justification for using Oxford cloth is interesting. It honestly reads as documentation-after-the-sewing, but the author seems so sure that it is evidence that "...this fabric was used to construct the entire gown garment."

I can't resist breaking out my copy of Birka II:2 and seeing just what Hägg says for the rest of that paragraph...
Read some German and my translation thereof... )

Maybe it's just me, but if you're trying to justify an entire gown (ignoring if it's Oxford cloth or some sort of plaid-thing), wouldn't you use the part of the paragraph you didn't reference to do so? I'm confused.

And, to continue the 'interesting reconstructions' theme, here is another shawl-draping interpretation.
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
From the Nov/Dec issue of British Archaeology, an article by Jane Kershaw about female Viking Age jewellery in the Danelaw, and how Anglo Saxon and Scandinavian jewellery differed (including differences in the pin fitting! How cool is that!?).

I can't get the site to load directly, so here is the google cache version of the article, although the original page should be here.
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
I'm sure that Elizabeth Wincott Heckett is an excellent archaeologist, but flicking through Viking Age Headcoverings from Dublin, how can she get the literary comparisons so... weird?

Read more... )
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
A little bit about the Guddal tunic... it has sort-of pleated-looking side-insert-gore-things!

A Norwegian fashion article, mentioning just how old tunics are, with a reconstruction drawing.

And, the Vitenskapsmuseet has put all of their issues of SPOR before 2005 online for free, number 2 from 1997 has an article by Marianne Vedeler Nilsen that has black and white photos of the tunic, including an interesting split-side-gore-thing.

Løvlid, quoting Vedeler, says that it's dated 1035- 1165 CE in Skjoldehamnfunnet i lys av ny kunnskap. [PDF]
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
From the 2001-3 Annual Report of the Portable Antiquities Scheme

p. 58
Read more... )

What I want to know, is why the conclusion that it's a male figure? As far as I know (which isn't much) the 'Valkyries' from Denmark, which I'm assuming they're referring to when they mention valkyries meeting a warrior on horseback, don't look all that different. (The last one seems to have a helm, and long hair, but the others largely seem to go for Elvis-esque hairdos.)

And there's are amber Valkyries? Where!? How can such a brief blurb be simultaneously so useful and so irritating.
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
Can someone who isn't me, and skeptical, double check these two things?

Is the photograph from the Danish National Museum in this handout about '10th century' bead-hangers awfully similar to the drawing of the 7th century configuration on this page of "Eine untypische Trageweise" [A non-typical way of wearing]? Down to the colours/shading of the beads?

(I'm skeptical because it also looks like the 'Viking Age' drinking horns with cow heads from the same museum trip is a style which apparently dates to the Roman Iron Age. It's all very cool archaeology, but labelling it as 10th century is doing it a disservice, and unintentionally spreading disinformation.)
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
Would anyone be able to take a peek at page 131 of Textilien aus der Siedlung und aus den Gräbern von Haithabu? The notes I'm looking at  indicate female grave VI/1930 included folded pieces of a twill fabric. It almost sounds like a  winding-sheet or mantle?

Is there any additional information?

Thanks in advance!
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
Had a lightbulb moment yesterday, about what on Earth Annika Larsson's press release, about her rather odd Viking Age dress theory, was saying. It isn't "glittering bits of mirrors," it's glittering bits of mica and glass and gold and gilded leather.

That little gold wirework deer from Birka? Was inlaid with mica. There are little silver wire pendants that act as settings for slivers of shiny mica. Can't find any of them photographed in the Historiska Museet database, so you'll have to settle for a text quote from:

A. Geijer. 1983. 'The Textile Finds from Birka' in Cloth and Clothing in Medieval Europe: Essays in Memory of Professor E. M. Carus-Wilson (Heinemann Educational Books); 80-99.
p. 91-2

"Another kind of stitch was termed Slingenstitch, perhaps retranslatable as 'twined wire technique'. This is unique to the best of my belief.... This technique was used by itself or together with plaiting to make a kind of 'fold' - reminiscent of the setting of a jewel -- for mounting pieces of thin mica, foliated glass, sheets of gold or gilded leather."

So where is the 'mirror' part probably coming from? Foliated glass, where you cover one side of a piece of glass with foil, is how mirrors were made. Apparently backing your glass with gold leaf looks like this. Very shiny, huh? Apparently it's still used by very very rich people for tiling.


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