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

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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
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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
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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

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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 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 20 2019

The Fogdö embroidery is made with long armed cross stitches. It’s dated to early 16th century.

St George is often depicted in late medieval art. Here we can see George with a lovely jousting shield fighting the dragon with a very long sword… The embroidery is very well preserved, but on some places you can see that the wool yarn have worn off and the tabby linen weave is exposed.
Today it is found in the collections of Historiska Museet, Stockholm, 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 10 2019

” Aglets (aiglets)- These small handmade metal tubes were sewn, or attached with tiny metal rivets, to the end of leather, cord or ribbon laces. You can find their plastic descendants on shoelaces today. 
Aglets, also known as aigletts, throwes or pyntes, were most commonly used from the 15th to the 17th century, when fashion and necessity required people to be laced together. They were used to secure the shaping structures that were worn under women’s skirts, known as farthingales, to fasten jerkins and to tie sleeves and hose (short or long trousers) to doublets (fitted padded jackets). Since virtually everyone needed them, they were mass produced, often quite crudely, and cheap to buy at around 2-3 pennies per dozen, which is why they are found in such numbers.” – London Mudlark: Lara Maiklem

Today we leave Sweden for a quick visit to Italy. We have had the pleasure to analyze a medieval textile collection with several objects in it. The owner wants to be unknown and we can’t therefore tell you where to find the objects. The collection is dated 1470-1540.

In the collection a broken point is found. It’s a tabby rep woven silk band and an aiglet at the end. The colors are brown and purple. The aiglet is made out of some sort of copper alloy/ brass. The band measures approx. 10-11mm and the weft is purple silk. It is possibly woven in a rigid heddle.

/ Amica and Maria

Photo: Historical Textiles – please cred us if sharing.