Advent calendar December 22 2020

Fulled fabrics. The fabrics during the Middle Ages were often fulled. When fabrics from that time is found in the ground, the majority of the nap is often gone. That means the fabrics that we find give a different surface then the fabric originally had. Also fabrics other than archaeological, may have lost a lot of its fulled surface. Here we can see some evidence of that.

The examples are both from gilded leather coverlets, where the gilded strip ( or a twisted linen strip) has fallen off and exposes a fabric that has significantly more nap than the rest of the fabric.
Both fabrics are dated to 15th or 16th century.

The first fabric is from the Ilsbo embroidery. Now in Hälsinglands museums collections.

The second fabric is from Dalhem II embroidery. Enlarge photo to get a even better view of the nap. Now in the collections of The Swedish History Museum.

/ Amica & Maria

Please cred of sharing photos.

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
Please cred us if sharing photos. Click on the photo to enlage

Advent calendar December 20 2020

Today we return to the Grödinge double weave.
But today we focus on the animals of the middle section. We got lions, eagles and the animal combined by the two, griffins. At first sight all animals looks the same, but at a closer look, all the animals have some small individual parts. That menas that the pattern have been picked by hand during the weaving.

The weave is made out of white and dark blue wool and is dated to the 15th century.

Today the double weave can be found in the collections of The Swedish History Museum.
/ Amica & Maria
Please cred us if sharing photos. Click on the photo to enlage

Advent calendar December 16 2020

Down. A material that we know was used a lot during the Middle Ages.
Not very many down filled items are still around. But luckily we have a few cushions in Sweden, still filled with down. Or at least what we believe is down. They have not been opened… yet.

The weight and the fluffiness feels like down. And sometimes even a small down find it’s way out though the cushion fabric. As in this case with the lovely gilded leather embroidery cushion from Aspö church.

Dated to late 15th century. Possibly also early 16th century.
Now in the collections of The Swedish History museum.

/ Amica & Maria
Please cred us if sharing photo

Advent calendar December 15 2020

Today’s post is a very basic but very important item, a band or a ribbon. This small band in linen have served it’s owner well. Today it’s very little of it left. Woven in single spun linen thread. Most likely in a rigid heddle. Just 8 mm wide.

It’s a small find from the Secret Italian collection.
Dated 1470-1530

/ Amica & Maria
Please cred us if sharing photo

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
Please cred us if sharing photo.

Advent calendar December 13 2020

Today all swedes celebrate a saint. St Lucia. So let’s go for a saint today. Or two.

This lovely chasuble in blue velvet decorated with embroidery on the back. A magnificent piece! Check out the piecing on the bottom of the chasuble.

Dated late 15th century. In the collections of National museum, Danmark

/ Amica and Maria

Please cred if sharing photo

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

Please cred if sharing photos

Advent calendar December 11 2020

When we analyse old textiles we use simple equipment. Phones, a clip on magnifier, glass magnifier, measuring tape, ruler and in special cases we use a USB microscope.
Here you can see the benefits of using a clip on magnifier. It’s a simple thing that you can buy at any IT shop that sells mouses or charger for phones.

This piece is a linen fragment from the so called The time capsule . You can find more finds related to it at our blog.

The linen fragment have got lovely decorations at the edge.
We don’t know what it was before it became a fragment. A part of a veil? A towel? A table cloth?
It you have any suggestions- please write them in the comments!
/ Amica & Maria

If sharing photos: please cred us.

Advent calendar December 10 2020

Today we want to show you some spangles/ sequins and some mini-mini pearls.
It’s a top of a sudarium. The top is silk, metal thread, linen thread, spangles and pearls.
The linen is also embroidered with red and blue silk. The seams are covered with silk ribbons, woven in a rigid heddle.

Dated to 15th century.
Today in the collections of The Swedish History Museum.
/ Amica & Maria
If sharing photos: please cred us.