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 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 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 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.

Advent calendar December 8 2020

Today we give you an old textile and it’s reconstructed younger cousin.
The Dalhem 1 coverlet, gilt leather and intarsia technique. Dated to 15th century.
Today in the collections od The Swedish History museum.

Reconstruction made by many people. Read more about the project here:
/ Amica & Maria
If sharing photos: please cred us. 

Advent calendar December 1 2020

The last few years we have put together an Advent calendar during december. Out plan is to do the same this year. But since the new plague hit our world we have not been traveling at all. And we might lack a bunch of “new” historical textiles to show you. We are doing the best we can to show you hidden gems in our photo collections. It’s possible that we bring up new angles of a piece that we have shown you before. Hope you can find joy in a recycled textile too.

Our first post is an embroidery:
The peacock on the Masku coverlet, Finland. Intarsia technique.
Wool fabric in green ( now with a blue tint since the yellow dyestuff have faded), dark blue, white and red. Also thin cotton or linen fabrics as decoration on the top of the antennas. The silvred/gilded leather have fallen off in the majority of places. The stitching shows where they were placed.

The coverlet is in the collections of the National Museum of Finland.
Dated to 15th century.
/ Amica and Maria
If sharing photos: please cred us.

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