Advent calendar December 11 2019

Sewing thread. All reenactors ask themselves how thick should it be? And how should it look?

All sewing threads for hand sewing, that we have seen on items from migration period up til 20th century have one thing in common. It’s 2-plied. Silks not included, it’s impossible to count.

Thickness? Some say that a sewing thread should be as thin as the threads in the fabric. That is not a rule that is usable on the older historical material. They used a lot thicker thread then both warp and weft combined sometimes.

Here we can see a bottom hem on an alba from Forsby church, Sweden. It is dated 1100-1350. Now in the collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.

So- don’t be afraid to use a thicker thread

Advent calendar December 3 2019

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.

Today it can be found in the collections of Sigtuna museum.
/ Amica and Maria

Spindel whorl from Sigtuna, SF 1502:ac inv. 123464

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!

Happy spinning!
/ Amica and Maria

Medieval belt buckle from Kalmar, Sweden

Sometimes you find a find that you haven’t seen before, and you get really exited about it. This is one of them! This belt buckle is found in Kalmar, Sweden. It was found in the famous excavation Slottsfjärden, the castle bay, where the city of Kalmar emptied the bay of water during 1933-1934 and the bay got cleaned up. A pile of things were found but unfortunately a lot of the things are still very anonymous. And we don’t think they get the attention they deserve.

Today this lovely buckle is in the collections of Historiska Museet in Stockholm, Sweden.

According to the information the buckle, it’s dated to “medeltid” meaning Medieval 1100 – 1500AD . We guess that the dating could be a bit more narrow, we think it belongs in the time frame 1350-1500. Please share your thoughts on the subject too!

The metal is copper alloy. And the buckle measures:
Length- 6,4 cm
Width front- 6,7 cm
Width back- 5,8 cm

It still have some small pieces of leather, that probably was the belt, still attached to the metal. It has also a lightly ornamented decoration.

We really like it and hope that someone, that works with metal, would like to make a copy of it.

Happy weekend!
/ Amica and Maria

When sharing pictures please cred us. CC-By-SA

Advent calendar 19 December 2017

Our  nineteenth calendar post is a wool fabric. From Uppsala, Sweden.

Here we can see a the fabric. It’s a 2/2 twill. With one thread system spun in Z and the other thread system spun in S.

The fabric dates to 1100-1500 AD.

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden

SparaSpara

Advent calendar 14 December 2017

Our fourteenth calendar post is a double weave. From Marby church, Sweden.

Here we can see a close up on the backside of the weave. The wool yarn is dyed with madder and woad. The white yarn is made of linen/ or hemp.

The weave dates to 1000-1200 AD.

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden

SparaSpara

SparaSpara

SparaSpara

SparaSpara

Opus Anglicanum

Historical textiles meet textile historian Ingela Wahlberg at Victorian& Albert museum in London to see the exhibition Opus Anglicanum together.  Ingela have been guiding us around the exhibition all day and we are, and five hours later, still here.

Opus Anglicanum is a group of embroidery produced in England during the middle ages. Typical for the style is for liturgical use and shows biblical scenes, saints, bishops, scrolls, heraldic beasts and much more.  Materials used is floss silk, metal threads (both gold and silver), sometimes highlighting with tiny (!!) fresh water pearls. Embroidered on silk, compound twill, velvet or linen. If they are embroidered on linen the whole surface is covered with stitches. If they today show some linen, it is because the silk stitches have worn off. The most common techniques are underside couching and split stitch.

We will come back to the items exhibit here and give you a full report. The exhibition have got a photo restriction so we can’t share any photos from it.

The exhibition will be open until 5 February 2017 and we STRONGLY recommend you to go and se it. Last time some of these items were exhibit was in 1963 and before that 1905. So… it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Ingela, Amica, Maria