Advent calendar 2021 – 23 December

Our twenty-third Advent calendar post 2021 is:

Bees wax. Sewing wax to be precise. It’s difficult to know people used sewing wax during the Middle ages, but a small lump of wax have been found at Läckö, Sweden. It’s both calming a charming to see that the historical person that once slid the linen thread over the wax created the same trace in the wax that we do today. This piece of wax shows in a wonderful way a contact with a human hand, even if the time elapsed is at least half a millennium.

The wax is from the collections of the Swedish History museum.

1- sorry for mixing days up for all you advent calendar people.
2- wax is an absolute necessity in the sewing box. Waxing linen thread before sewing starts is important so that the thread does not wear out more than necessary. That is why wax is very important in our sewing kit.

/ Amica and Maria

Photos by: Historical Textiles CC-by please cred if sharing the pictures

Advent calendar 2021 – 19 December

Our nineteenth Advent calendar post 2021 is:

Items sewn from linen or hemp cloth. There are countless things preserved to our day of just linen or hemp. Unfortunately, there are 10,000s of times more that have not been preserved to this day. But we know enough myclet to be able to say what these fabrics looked like. Linen and hemp are almost entirely woven in plain weave. In cases where they are woven in another technique, it is a twill variation. These are always for towels. Old towels can sometimes be found as, among other things, as embroidery bottom fabric.

Here we can see trust different mixed images. A mended knitted sock, a coif, a mended alba, a sudarium x 2, a chasuble and an appliqué M.

Linen and hemp are both bast fibers and are very difficult to distinguish with the naked eye only. They have the same characteristics. The fiber has high tensile strength but less good wear resistance. It gets stronger in the wet state. We use both linen and hemp in our reconstructions. A piece of 50 x 75 cm works well as a veil, or as an embroidery base, or as lining in a garment etc.

/ Amica and Maria

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Advent calendar 2021 – 7 December

Our seventh Advent calendar post 2021 is:

Sewing needles from the lake Furen, Sweden. They come in many sizes. Many of the needles have corroded badly over time and are difficult to separate from one another. The have round eyes and are very delicate and a sign of hand from a skilled crafts person.

The needles are dated 1100-1499 AD.

When sewing one need to have a good needle. To be able to press the metal through the fabric it needs to be sharp and have a small eye. A good steel needle is possibly to sharpen. Therefor we choose needles of high quality when sewing. A good tool makes the task more fun.

Today the needles can be found in the collections of the Swedish History museum. 

/ Amica and Maria

Photos by Swedish History museum. 

Advent calendar 2021- 3 December

Our third Advent calendar post 2021 is:

One dark blue seal bag dated 1376 from Björnsäter Sweden. The blue wool seal bag itself is spectacular but this time we pay attention to the sewing thread. A 2-plied linen sewing thread, white.

White linen sewing thread is like the bread and butter of the historical sewing kit. Not only the medieval kit. Often the thread is a lot coarser than one would expect. Don’t fear to use a thick sewing thread!

Today in the collection of the National Archives.

/ Amica and Maria

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Advent calendar December 19 2020

Today we go early 19th century with an empire dress from the house hold after Carl von Linné. The famous Swedish botanist, zoologist, and physician who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the “father of modern taxonomy”.

The dress is made in a lovely thin checked silk fabric and have a blue linen lining in the bodice.

Today in the collections of Linnaeus Museum in Uppsala, Sweden.

/ Amica and Maria

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Advent calendar December 17 2020

Today we will show something rare. A undershirt for a solider in Hälsinge regiment anno 1757. This shirt was sewn as a model copy for the regiment.
It is one of few surviving examples in the world.

The shirt is sewn in hand woven linen. A very coarse fabric. Very fabric efficient model. Not much have happend since the shirts from the Middle Ages.

Today this shirt can be found in the collections of the Swedish Army museum.
/ Amica and Maria

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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 8 2019

Putting pieces of fabric together to create a larger fabric. That seems to have been more rule then exception during the Middle Ages.

Matching a pattern in the fabric was possible a luxury not even the highest nobility and the church could afford.

Here is a Danish chasuble from 1470-80 with some piecing that gives us a bit of a headache but also a smile of relief. If they weren’t perfect then, we reenactors can take a deep breath and let go of our modern eye too. The chasuble is made in silk velvet.

It can be found in the collections of the National museum, Copenhagen, Denmark
/ Amica and Maria

Photos: Historical Textiles- pease cred us if sharing

A printed chasuble from Husaby church, Sweden

We would like to wish you all a happy weekend with a very rare object.
A block printed chasuble in linen from Husaby church, Västergötland, Sweden. Dated early 15th century.
The chasuble is in a remarkable condition considering it’s age. And it has kept it original medieval shape and have not been remade in any matter.

The chasuble consists of six different pieces sewn together and then printed on top of seams and everything. The fabric is woven in two shaft/ plain weave, and is a fairly even weave with high class spun threads. No lumps on the threads!

Originally it was printed with black paint, but it also show signs of being painted with a red, yellow and green paint on some places. The green paint have eaten the fabric and today the fabric is broken where it was painted.

The pattern bring to mind 14th century Italian silk weaves and it’s very easy to understand where the inspiration came from.

The print believes to be either Swedish or German. The print size is 44 x 15 cm.

Today the chasuble is to be found in the collections of The Swedish History Museum.

/ Amica and Maria

Photos by Historical Textiles and Historiska
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Advent calendar December 20th 2018

Our twentieth advent calendar post is a small fragment of linen. Also today we show a quite unusual piece. It is a dark red linen fabric from Italy.
The fragment have got a small seam but we can’t say what it use to be. We know from sources that dyed linen did occur during the late medieval period in Italy. But it’s not the dye that we want you to focus on today.

We would like you to look at the seam. Check out the tiny back stitches. The scale above show millimeters. The stitches are less than 1 mm each.

They fragment is dated to late 15th early 16th century. 

Now part of the secret Italian collection.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles 

Tiny stitches