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 24 2019

Today, 24th of December, we celebrate Christmas ( Jul) in Sweden.
That means this is the last calendar post. We hope that you have enjoyed this years calendar and that you have seen things that you haven’t seen before.

Todays post is a Swedish embroidery. Wool on linen. Dated mid 15th century.

We have analysed the embroidery and a full report will come soon.

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!
/ Amica and Maria

Photo: Historical Textiles- please cred if sharing.

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

Advent calendar December 17 2019

Some metals are better then other in combination with textiles.
Iron tend to rust and this piece have today some rust “blobs” and rusty rings on the fabric. Originally it was rings sewn on to a velvet fabric. Most likely lacing rings on a doublet. The rings were sewn on with double white linen thread.

The piece comes from Italy and is dated 1470-1540. Read more about the finds from this collection here on our blog. Use the search word Italy and you will find more finds from the same collection.

/ Amica and Maria
Photos: Historical Textiles – cred if you share!

Advent calendar December 16 2019

Spindle whorls are often found in archeological excavations. The once found in medieval contexts are often made of bone, stone, metal or ceramic. In most of the cases the spindel stick is gone. Why? One thought is that a broken stick have a secondary value as fire wood. And that it’s difficult to mend a stick. And quite easy to make a new one.

What about spindel whorls made of wood? It’s a lot easier to cut a disc from a piece of wood then to make one in all materials mentioned above. Stone takes time to work with, and demands tools that can take some beating. Metal whorls was most likely made by craftsmen in a guild. Bone needs a saw, a tool that not all persons had. Ceramic needs a kiln.

We find few or no whorls made in wood. And when a wooden disc is found- can we be sure that it is a whorl without the spindle stick?

Anyhow- in the Gothem church on Gotland, Sweden, some items was found under the 13th century floorboards. A broken disc and something that really look like a distaff. Is the disc a whorl? We don’t know. What do you say?

Advent calendar December 15 2019

Plant dyed fade over time. The more light they are exposed to the faster the fading goes. What was dyed on a large scale in historical times was wool and silk. Linen is difficult to dye, unless it’s blue.

Sometimes you are lucky and can see the backside of an old textile. The backside have often been protected from light and are therefore of stronger colours then the front side.

Here- a gilded leather embroidery dated to mid 15th century. Skokloster 2, today in the collections of Historiska museet, Stockholm, Sweden. To the right you can see the front, and in the middle the backside. Compare and see for yourself.

Advent calendar December 13-14 2019

Sometimes you come across a breathtaking textile. This fabric, that is part of a Swedish embroidery from mid to late 15th century, is probably that highest quality linen we have ever seen.

The photo is taken with a USB microscope and we are sad that the quality of the photo is not matching that quality of the fabric. Sorry for the blurry pic!

The fabric measures 21-22 threads per 5mm. That is 42-44 threads per cm.
Thinking of the skills that it takes to hand spin, on spindle, such even and thin threads is just beyond mad. The weave is super even and it is just pure pleasure for a weaver to look at it.

/ Amica and Maria