A mix of slightly different things with the common denominator “a thin two-plied wool thread”. First in our batch is a tablet woven band from Gotland. Dated 800-1100 AD. Today the band is exhibit in the new exhibition The viking world. The exhibition text says: “Tablet woven ribbon of wool with individual turns. Woven with a two-plied wool yarn where the thread’s high twist gives the pattern a certain depth. The ribbon is woven with twelve tablets. The two edge tablets on each side are threaded with four threads in each tablet, while the pattern tablets are only threaded with two threads in each. The lack of threads causes a relief pattern to occur during weaving. The pattern is obtained by turning the tablets individually so that the missing threads end up in a specific pattern. Width 0.8– 0.9 centimeters, preserved length 28 centimeters. This ribbon from Gotland differs from the ribbons found in Birka as the latter have silk in the warp and picked pattern elements in gold or silver thread. Part of depot finds “in pasture”, from Lilla Ringome, Alva parish, Gotland.”
The second find is a find that is interpreted as a cushion. Grave find from Birka, Bj739, Adelsö parish, Uppland. Hhere we can see something as unusual as clear colors on an archeological textile. Both red-purple, blue-black and yellow. The weaving technique is tapestry and soumak. Dating 800-1100 AD
The last picture is from Lödöse. Here we can see a small piece of a finger loop braid. Made with two different colours on the wool yarn. Dated to 13-14century.
The viking age finds are from the collections of the Swedish History museum.
The 20/2 wool thread is versatile and can be used in many projects such as, tablet weaving, embroidery, sewing, braiding and more. It dyes really good and we always try to have a range of colours when working. The pigments we use are madder, cochineal as a kermes substitut, indigo and woad, birch, weld, tansy, walnut, gall apple. Together with alum, cream of tartar, iron and pH-modifier we can produce countless nuances.
/ Amica and Maria
Photos by: Historical Textiles CC-by please cred if sharing the pictures
A selection of spindel whorls. All made out of lead. Lead spindle whorls are found all over Europe during the Middle ages. They seems to vary in style over time. Here you can see a number of spindle whorls from a private collection. All in lead. from 6 grams up to 42grams. Both flax and wool have been spun with spindled whorls like these. Did they only use lead during the period? No. Spindel whorls comes in a number of different materials. Femoral heads, horn, ceramics, amber, tin, stone are even wood. The most durable materials are the ones that can withstand degradation best and therefore they are just common among the archaeological finds. Few of tin and wood have survived to our days. The whorls on the pictures are dated from the 800. 1400 AD. They are all found in Germany and England. The sticks are rare and have off course a secondary use as firewood.
We like to spin on spindles. But we are staying off the lead when making whorls ourself. The singel whorl on the picture have been measured and have been modelling for us when we have made a copy of that one, but in tin rater than lead. A stick is also needed when spinning. That can be a simple stick carved by yourself or you can get one fancy stick made by our friend Helena Åberg. The stick on the picture is a simple sushi stick…
One wool fragment from the Viking age settlement of Birka, Sweden. The fragment is labelled as sprang by Agnes Geijer. The fragment is made out of a thin 2-plied wool thread. It measures 0,5 x 3 cm. It’s difficult to say if the fragment originally was dyed.
The chamber grave contains many interesting and costly items. The objects from the grave Bj660 can be found here. Dating is Viking period 800-1100 AD.
Today it can be found in the collections of the Swedish History museum.
The third post in our advent calendar is a small spindle whorl from the city of Sigtuna, Sweden.
It’s made from a femoral head. The shape have been adjusted from the original shape and the whorl have now a cone shape. That shape is not so common with the whorls made out of femoral heads. So someone put some effort into this piece.
Right now we not 100% certain on the dating. But roughly it’s the same age as the other finds from Sigtuna. Approx. late 10th century – early 14th. Will update when we have the correct info.
Spindel whorls made of bone have been found at many archeological excavations, from Swedish cities. They are dated from late 10th century and onwards to the 14-15th century. The design is as simple as it is genius. A femoral head from an animal have been cut in half and a hole have been drilled in the centre of the semicircle piece. Creating a perfectly round spindle whorl. Sometimes a disc have been cut from the femoral head, making a slightly lighter whorl.
The whorls are sometimes decorated. Most common are the plain once.
The spindle whorl from Sigtuna is just one out of many, and we plan to post more pictures and measurements from them here on the blog.
SF 1502:ac inv. 123464 The spindle whorl measures 442mm wide, 24 mm thick. It weighs 22g. Dating- this whorl is undated, but similar whorls have been found from Sigtuna and they are dated 985-1000, 1075-1100, 1125-1175. So we can put this whorl in the same time.
Today it can be found in the collections of Sigtuna museum. Sigtuna was the first city in Sweden and the city was founded at the end of the 10th century. The city is very cute and if you ever visit Stockholm or Uppsala- take a detour to Sigtuna!
As some of you may already know, Amica Sundström from Historical Textiles, works at the Swedish History Museum as textile curator. Today, together with Thomas Neijman, she held a guided tour for a group of people with a special interest for medieval metal works. The armourerAlbert Collins, Via Armoari, celebrates 20 years as a professional armourer this weekend and he has a big party to celebrate this. Plenty of people have travel to Stockholm just for this occasion. The group that came to the museum took the chance to visit the special tour today when in the neighborhood.
Albert also, as many of you may already know, just had a kickstarter campaign get help with the funding, in order to reintroduce armourer as a official craft in Sweden. The last master armourer we had in Sweden was during the late 18th century. After the last master died the craft was official gone.
Albert’s kickstarter campaign has been fully funded and it is incredibly pleasing that it will once again be possible to reintroduce this craft to the Swedish craft council.
We are incredibly happy about this and therefore deviate from our usual theme of displaying textiles. We will this weekend display a mix of photo on various types of medieval (and some older) metal items that are parts of the collections of the Swedish History Museum.
Hope you can forgive this textile free Friday. <3
ps. There are of course some pictures of things that are related to textiles such as scissors, pins etc.
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