Advent calendar December 19th 2018

Our nineteenth advent calendar post is a small fragment of a wool fabric item. The fabric is something quite unusual. The warp and the weft have very different colours, warp lighter and weft darker. This is not something common, at all. The fabric have gone brown after years in the ground, but even before it must have been a clear visual difference of the warp and the weft. It’s woven in 2/2 twill. The fragment also have some seams. It was clearly sewn into something before it ended up in the ground in the city of Enköping, Västmanland, Sweden. 

They fragment is dated to 13-15th century. 

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles 

Advent calendar December 16th 2018

Our sixteenth advent calendar post is a selection of spindle whorls. They all comes from various archeological excavations from different Swedish cities. The whorls are made out of clay, lead, and bone. 

The whorls have different shapes and weighs differently. 

They whorls are dated 13-16th century. 

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles

Advent calendar December 15th 2018

Our fifteen advent calendar post is, once agin not a textile but a textile tool, a rigid heddle is from Västkinde, Gotland, Sweden. It’s made out of elk horn.

It is decorated on both sides. The size is H. 4,7 cm , W. 4,5 cm.

The rigid heddle is dated to 1350- 1490 AD.

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles

Advent calendar December 13th 2018

Our thirteenth advent calendar post is two copes from Uppsala cathedral, Sweden. They are both made out of silk brocade with membran gold thread.  The fabrics are both produced in Lucca in Italy. 

The copes are dated to the second half of the 14th century. 

Now in the collections of the cathedral Treasury Museum, Uppsala , Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles

Advent calendar December 9th 2018

Our ninth advent calendar post is 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. They are really small. Some are not more then 2,5 mm in diameter. 

Over time a lot of embroideries, from this period of time, have over time lost the majority of their pearls. But this lovely mitre have still got some left.   

The mitre is dated to 1350- 1490 AD. 

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles

Advent calendar December 7th 2018

Our seventh advent calendar post is, technically speaking, not a textile any more. But it used to be. In 1361 the bodies of the fallen from The Battle of Wisby was buried outside of the city of Visby on Gotland, Sweden. The med were buried in their armors and clothes as they wore that day, 27th of July 1361. The textiles have after 569 years in the ground  gone missing. But at some places where the textile have been in close contact with the metal from the armors, the textile have become metallized after so long time in contact with the metal.

This piece of amour might give us an indication on where on the body the textile were used. If the textile imprint in placed on the inside of a lamella from a coat of plates, one can assume that the textile have been part of some sort of clothing on that person. Sometimes it’s even possible to tell the weaving technique and even the fiber content. 

The lamella with textile is dated to 27th of July 1361. 

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles

Advent calendar December 4th 2018

Our fourth advent calendar post is a purse made out of brownish/ purpleish silk velvet with metal band decoration. It’s lined with red leather. Draw string is made out of blue silk.
The purse have been used as a reliquary bag and contains small hard objects wrapped in fabric and with notes of parchment. Possibly bones from saint/s. We have no idea what saint or saints.

The purse is dated to 1350-1500 AD,

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles

Advent calendar December 2th 2018

Our second advent calendar post is not a textile but a textile tool. A spindel whorl.
It’s made out of clay. This one was found at the excavation of Kalmar Slottsfjärden, the bay outside Kalmar castle, Sweden. Kalmar was one of the biggest medieval cities in Sweden during 14th century.

The whorl is dated to 14th century. Approx. size is 3 cm high.
Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical textiles

46/2018- A good quality wool fabric from Uppsala

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Denna textil är hittad vid utgrävningarna i kvarteret Rådhuset i Uppsala. Textilien är daterad till 1200-1500. Idag är den en del av samlingarna från Historiska Museet.

Fragmentet är ett ylletyg, vävt i  2/2 kypert och är av en relativt fin kvalité, även om den i dag är mycket tunnsliten. Varptråden är tunn och jämn, den är Z-spunnen med många snoddvarv per cm. Inslaget är lite tjockare än varpen. Inslaget är S- spunnet och har inte heller lika många snoddvarv per cm, detta medför att inslaget är lösare och fyller ut mer än vad varpen gör, i tyget. Därför är det också färre inslag per cm än det är med antalet varptrådar per cm. Att förhållandet mellan inslag och varp är så här pass olika är mycket vanligt under medeltiden.

Tittar man noga längs kanterna finns det på sina håll tydliga lämningar av tidigare stygn. Dessa stygn syns idag som ett antal runda små hål, och de är placerade på rad efter varandra. Jämnt fördelade.

Fragmentet räknar vi till grupp 3 – fragment av utslitna klädesplagg. Det skulle mycket väl ha kunnat varit ett klädesplagg ursprungligen. Vilket plagg tror du att det kan ha varit en del av?

Trevlig helg,
Amica och Maria


Photo: Ola Myrin, SHM

This textile fragment was found at the excavations at Rådhuset (City Hall) in Uppsala. The textile is dated to 1200-1500. Today it is part of the collections at The Swedish History Museum.

The fragment is a woolen fabric, woven in 2/2 twill and of a relatively fine quality, although today it is very worn and thin. The warp threads are thin and even, they are Z-spun with a high twist per cm. The weft is a bit thicker than the warp. The warp is S-spun and does not have as many twists per cm, which means that the warp is looser and fills out the fabric more than the warp does. Therefore, there are also fewer weft threads per cm than warp threads per cm. This kind of sett is very common during the Middle Ages.

Looking closely along the edges, remains of previous stitches are plainly visible. These stitches can be seen today as a number of small round holes, evenly spaced in a row. We classify the fragment as group 3 – fragments from worn-out garments. It could very well have been a garment originally.
What do you think it may have been a part of?

Happy weekend!
Amica and Maria