Paper at Nesat XIV

This year we presented our paper at Nest XIV. “Colours in medieval textiles versus archeological textiles from Swedish cities” was the title of our abstract.
Nest XIV was supposed to take place in Oulo in Finland but was first postponed a couple of times and then became a digital version on Zoom. All participants sent in their paper presentation in advance and only the session discussion was a live talk. A lot of interesting papers were presented! We can’t wait for the publication!!!

Since our talk was pre recorded we decided to put it up on YouTube. Here is the link:

We are so happy that we finally can share some of our research that we have been working on the last couple of years, it has taken long due to the pandemic… But finally we can share the amazing colors and fine fabrics from the medieval seal bags from Riksarkivet / National archive


Best wishes,
Amica and Maria



Advent calendar December 21 2020

Today we would like to raise the idea of a perfect result. That seems to be a fairly modern approach. We see repeatedly during our analyses that the perfect result is a non existing thing during the Middle Ages. This embroidery from Ärentuna is a good example of that.

Check out the blue square with the yellow pattern in. During the sewing someone ran out of yellow yarn. And continued with a light orange yarn instead. That someone, was also a bit unfocused and turned one of the wings of the pattern upside down.

Misstakes happens all the time when people are doing crafts. But during the Middle Ages people seemed less interested in fixing them. We find this very heartwarming and would like to strike a blow for not correcting things too often. It’s a bit like live TV. Don’t mention it, then the audience will notice it, just move on and everything will be just fine.

The embroidery is dated 14-15th century.
/ Amica & Maria
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Advent calendar December 14 2020

Today we give you a close up on an embroidery that have something that is pretty unusual. Glass beads and something that could possibly be coral pearls.

Pretty often old embroideries have been stripped of their pearls and beads. So it’s rare to have an embroidery with some left.

The beads and pearls are threaded on a silk or linen thread and then the thread have been sewn down in between every bead. The corals are threaded on a red silk and the glass beads on a blue silk or linen thread.

The embroidery is dated to 15th century. And it’s a mitre from Linköping cathedral, Sweden. The mitre is covered with embroidery and enamelled plates with different saint on them. But the mitre is also covered with small pearls.

The mitre is dated to 1350- 1490 AD. 

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
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Advent calendar December 12 2020

Today we post a picture of a small piece from an embroidery, silk on linen. It’s a sort of brick stitch that is called eye stitch in Swedish. We don’t know the English term.

It’s quite small and described as a part of an antependium.

Dated to 14-15th century. Now in the collection of the treasury in Uppsala cathedral.

/Amica and Maria

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Advent calendar December 7 2020

We stay in Gent state archives. Today we have have another important document. This one dated 1385. The silk ribbons connected to the seals are all green. Some are loop braided and some a woven round, most likely in a rigid heddle.

/ Amica & Maria
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Advent calendar December 6 2020

Today we take a turn to the State Archive in Gent. It’s a document, with lovely green silk ribbons connected to the document. It’s rare to have exact dating on historical textiles and here we have a document dated to one single day. That is so awesome!!!
3 December 1339

Since we don’t know what the document was about we asked a friend that translated the museum text for us. Here is a summary:

“This “oorkonde” is about an alliance between Vlaanderen (Flanders) en Brabant to secure the trade of wool (I suppose from England) Jacob encouraged other duchess and dukes to do the same. So basically an other act in the 100 year war between France en England. Jacob is murdered and has a statue on the Friday market in Gent. A “oorkonde” is an official document normally with seals on it. They should be at the bottom of the document attached to a ribbon. From 1600 the seals made way for autographs or signatures The “lakennijverheid” is a trade of cloth makers and of huge economical interest in Gent (whole of Flanders really)”

An important document with costly silk. Woven in plain weave. Possibly in a rigid heddle.
/ Amica & Maria
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Pre order your book!

Historical costume – inside and out: The women’s clothing in Northern Europe 1360-1415

A few weeks ago, “Historical Costume – inside and out: The women’s clothing in Northern Europe 1360-1415” was released , Maria Neijman is one of the two authors and as you may know, she is also 50% of Historical Textiles.

What is the book about? As the title indicates, it is a book that overall shows how women in the Northern parts of Europe between the period 1360-1415 could dress. The book contains principle sketches of patterns, stitch descriptions and much, much more.

In early 2021, the book will be published translated into English. For those of you who are interested in buying the book, can already now pre-order your copy.

The book cost 175SEK. Shipping to Europe for a book costs 130 SEK. Australia and the USA cost 104SEK. Of course traceable!
Payment either via Paypal or bank transfer.

Book your book by emailing Maria at neijman(a)icloud.com Do not forget to write your full address. For those of you who want to buy the book in Swedish, you can email already now!

Gilt leather embroidery exhibition at the Swedish History museum

On October 10th, our exhibition of reconstructed gilt leather embroidery opened at the Swedish History Museum. The exhibition is called Guldskinnsbroderier- rekonstruktioner och nya tolkningar. (Gilt leather embroideries- reconstructions and new interpretations).

Together with a group of dedicated people we have recreated five large embroideries. Four of the embroideries are large coverlets, and two are large cushions. All originals, except Östra Stenby, are to be found at the museum. Since they are too fragile to be exhibited in a too well-lit room, they are not on display right now.

Two of the coverlets, Skepptuna and Dalhem 1, have been exhibited before at the museum, but three new pieces are on view for the first time. We proudly present reconstructions of Skokloster 2, Dalhem 2 and Östra Stenby. All fabrics are off course plant dyed, sewn by hand and decorated with gilt leather strips and some with white wool fabric. The new interpretations of how to use the old technique to create new art in our modern times, have been made by the group Skapande broderi Stockholm.

Here are some pictures from the opening. Thank you Göran Wingstrand for the photos. The exhibition will be on show until 14th of February 2021.

Dalhem 2
Östra Stenby
Detail Östra Stenby
Skepptuna
Dalhem 1

We would like to thank everyone that have been sewing and helping out with the project to make this happen. Without you this wouldn’t have been possible. <3

Agnes Bohman Boyle
Aina Hagman
Anders Klintholm Lilliehöök
Anna Malmborg
Anna Odlinge
Anna Sönsteby Lilliehöök
Barbro Bornsäter
Catharina Drakmården
Catrin Karlsson
Elina Sojonen
Elin Andersson
Elin Jantze
Emil Lagerquist
Emma Fryksmark
Ester Spetz
Eva Eriksson
Fia Makalös Lindblom
Hannah Ström
Ida Berg
Ingela Wahlberg
Justine Arnot
Kerstin Petersson
Khelan Butén
Lena Dahrén
Lia de Thornegge
Linnea Vennström
Magdalena Fick
Malin Ekberg
Maria Franzon
Mervi Pasanen
Sofia Berg
Thérèse Pettersson
Rasmus Rasmusen
René Guthof
Tove Kluge
Ulla-Mari Uusitalo
Ulrika Mårtensson
Vea Collins
Ylva Nellmar

Thank you all!

Project leaders:
Amica Sundström and Maria Neijman

Advent calendar December 22 2019

It’s too late and I have been driving 450km. So I’m to tired to update something useful.

Here goes a random collection of things.

Spindel tops in metal. And whorls. Athen, Greece. Dated medieval. 10-15th century

Lucet in bone/ horn. National museum Copenhagen, Denmark. Dated “medieval 13-16th”

Net shuttle from Lödöse. Dated 13-15th century

Shears for cutting the nap after fulling fabric. Dated 1850-ish. 9year (132cm ) old for reference . Sundsvall Museum,

/ Maria- tired

Advent calendar December 21 2019

Today we travel to the north of Sweden. All the way up to Resele church in Ångermanland. The medieval church was demolished 1841 when the new church was built. Today’s textile is an antependium from the old church.

It’s a wool weave and it has got one warp system and two weft systems.
The birds are a common motif during the later part of the Middle ages and the antependium is dated 1350-1500, it is dated by style.

The textile is part of the collection at Historiska Museet in Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria

Photos: Historical Textiles- pease cred us if sharing