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



List of books related to plant dyeing

After our latest plant dyeing lecture we got a question of good books related to plant dyeing.

Here are our favorites:

Växtfärgning / Gösta Sandberg & Jan Sisefsky

En farverig verden/ Anne Støvlbæk Kjær & Louise Schelde Jensen

Indigo- en bok om blå textilier/ Gösta Sandberg

Den blå handen- Om Stockholms färgare 1650- 1900/ Eva Bergström

Kulör i träff- Minnesskrift vid invigningen av Färgargården i Norrköping 20 maj 1939

N. Wide 1869- anteckningar från Widegårdens färgeri i Sundsvall- köpes av Sundsvalls hembygdsmuseum

Purpur, koschenill och krapp- en bok om röda textilier/ Gösta Sandberg
1700-tals textil- Anders Bergs samling i Nordiska Museet

En handbok om indigo: färgning och projekt/ Kerstin Neumüller & Douglas Luhanko

Natural Dyes : Sources, Tradition, Technology and Science / Dominique Cardon

The Colourful Past: Origins, Chemistry and Identification of Natural Dyestuffs / Judith H. Hofenk de GraaffWilma G. Th RoelofsMaarten R. van Bommel

The list will be updated!
/ Amica and Maria



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 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 4 2019

The fourth advent calendar post is a collection of things, all found in Nyköping, Sweden. And they are all dated to 13-15th century,

The flat spindle whols are something called Marleka in Swedish. The Marleka is a concretion and that type is very unique for Nyköping. It is a hard, compact mass of matter formed by the precipitation of mineral cement within the spaces between particles, and is found in sedimentary rock or soil. The medieval craft person just drilled a hole in the middle of it, and got a perfect spindle whorl.

The scissor is made by a highly skilled black smith. It still looks like it could cut some fabric.

The bone needle is quite large and is probably for nålbinding.

The wool fabric is of very high quality and have many threads per cm. The reddish fabric on the left was probably dyed with madder. Madder dyed fabrics seems to stay red even after 600+ years in the ground.

All items can be found in the collection of Sörmlands museum and are exhibit in the medieval exhibition at Nyköpingshus / Nyköping castle. 

/ Amica and Maria
If sharing photos- please cred us at Historical Textiles

Advent calendar December 8th 2018

Our eight advent calendar post is an embroidery from Fogdö church, Sweden. Made in long armed cross stitch. Wool on linen. But today we focus on the colours. Or rather the lack of colours. Some dyes fade quicker then others. The pinkish purple colour on this embroidery have faded a lot. But on the backside one can get a feel for the original colour. 

We don’t know what kind of pigment that was used to dye this pinkish purple colour. 

The embroidery is dated late 15th century. 

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

Frontside- where the thread have broken, one can see that the thread sticking out use to be pinkish. 
Backside 

21/ 2018 The weekend picture’s- Skog wallhanging

We would like to wish you all a happy weekend with a  historical textile.

This week we focus on a wallhanging from Skog church, Hälsingland, Sweden.
The church was built 1805 and the wallhanging was found in 1912 in the church. The wallhanging could have been an interior of an older church in either the neigborhood or from the old church in Skog.

Both the white warp and the weft is in linen. All the colored details are made in wool yarn. Woven with soumac weft. It’s dyed in red, blue, yellow and green. Madder, woad and reseda are the pigments that most likely have been used.

The wallhanging can be found in the collections of Statens Historiska museum in Sweden.
Here is the link to the object in the database. The wallhanging  is dated to 13th century.

Happy weekend!
/ Amica and Maria

All images subject to CC BY SA. Photographer: Historical Textiles, specified at sharing of images. Make sure to do the same with the pictures from Historiska

Advent calendar 20 December 2017

Our twentieth calendar post is an antependium in printed linen. From Tegelsmora church , Sweden.

Here we can see a close up on the print. The linen is woven in two shaft.

This piece is undated. But the print shows great resemblance with woven silk fabrics from 14th and 15th century.

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden

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Advent calendar 14 December 2017

Our fourteenth calendar post is a double weave. From Marby church, Sweden.

Here we can see a close up on the backside of the weave. The wool yarn is dyed with madder and woad. The white yarn is made of linen/ or hemp.

The weave dates to 1000-1200 AD.

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden

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