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

Advent calendar December 9 2019

Wool needs to be processed before spinning if you would like to make a smooth and even thread.

This pair of wool combs have lost their handles and one have lost almost everything of it’s wood. But considering they are over 1000 years old we must say that they are on great condition.

They are a Norwegian find and dated to Viking age.

Now in the collections of Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo, Norway

If sharing photos, please give cred to Historical Textiles. 

Advent calendar December 7 2019

The seventh advent calendar post is a once again a Spindel whorl. This time a really old one. Dated to 11th century. It’s from the old Swedish capital of Sigtuna. And it’s made out of glass.

Today it can be found in the collections of Sigtuna museum.

/ Amica and Maria 

Photos: Historical Textiles- pease cred us if sharing

Advent calendar December 3 2019

The third post in our advent calendar is a small spindle whorl from the city of Sigtuna, Sweden.

It’s made from a femoral head. The shape have been adjusted from the original shape and the whorl have now a cone shape. That shape is not so common with the whorls made out of femoral heads. So someone put some effort into this piece.

Right now we not 100% certain on the dating. But roughly it’s the same age as the other finds from Sigtuna. Approx. late 10th century – early 14th. Will update when we have the correct info.

Today it can be found in the collections of Sigtuna museum.
/ Amica and Maria

Photos: Historical Textiles- pease cred us if sharing 

Advent calendar December 2 2019

The second post in our advent calendar is a distaff found in Nyköping, Sweden.
Distaffs are rarely labeled as “distaffs” in the museum data bases. So is also the case with this one. The are often labeled as “wood fragment”. We understand if it’s difficult to tell one wood fragment from another, but the notch usually give them away.
This one is dated to 13-15th century.
It is broken and today it’s approx. 30cm long. The thickness is approx. 15-18mm wide.

Today it can be found in the collections of Sörmlands museum.

/ Amica and Maria

Photos: Historical Textiles- pease cred us if sharing

Spindel whorl from Sigtuna, SF 1502:ac inv. 123464

Spindel whorls made of bone have been found at many archeological excavations, from Swedish cities. They are dated from late 10th century and onwards to the 14-15th century.
The design is as simple as it is genius. A femoral head from an animal have been cut in half and a hole have been drilled in the centre of the semicircle piece. Creating a perfectly round spindle whorl. Sometimes a disc have been cut from the femoral head, making a slightly lighter whorl.

The whorls are sometimes decorated. Most common are the plain once.

The spindle whorl from Sigtuna is just one out of many, and we plan to post more pictures and measurements from them here on the blog.

SF 1502:ac inv. 123464
The spindle whorl measures 442mm wide, 24 mm thick.
It weighs 22g.
Dating- this whorl is undated, but similar whorls have been found from Sigtuna and they are dated 985-1000, 1075-1100, 1125-1175. So we can put this whorl in the same time.

Today it can be found in the collections of Sigtuna museum. Sigtuna was the first city in Sweden and the city was founded at the end of the 10th century. The city is very cute and if you ever visit Stockholm or Uppsala- take a detour to Sigtuna!

Happy spinning!
/ Amica and Maria

Advent calendar December 22th 2018

Our twenty-second advent calendar post is a detail from a gilded leather coverlet from Dalhem church, Småland, Sweden. This one is called Dalhem 2 since the church have got not only one but two coverlets connected to the church.

We would like you to look at the fabrics. The hard spun warp on the red fabric ( shows horizontal on the picture) and the thicker weft. And on the white fabric, that has got a z- spun warp and s-spun weft- giving a very dense look of the fabric. It gives sometimes a visual look of knitting when seen from the diagonal.

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

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

Dalhem 2

Advent calendar December 16th 2018

Our sixteenth advent calendar post is a selection of spindle whorls. They all comes from various archeological excavations from different Swedish cities. The whorls are made out of clay, lead, and bone. 

The whorls have different shapes and weighs differently. 

They whorls are dated 13-16th century. 

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

Advent calendar December 2th 2018

Our second advent calendar post is not a textile but a textile tool. A spindel whorl.
It’s made out of clay. This one was found at the excavation of Kalmar Slottsfjärden, the bay outside Kalmar castle, Sweden. Kalmar was one of the biggest medieval cities in Sweden during 14th century.

The whorl is dated to 14th century. Approx. size is 3 cm high.
Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical textiles

Textile dictionary

English below

För lite över ett år sedan så publicerade vi ett blogginlägg om Textilteknisk terminologi.  Här kunde ni läsa om hur ett antal olika personer och organisationer hade samarbetat för att göra informationen tillgänglig och sökbar på nätet.

Vi har nu glädjen att kunna publicera en förenklad variant av detta uppslagsverk, en tabell. Tabellen innehåller ca.450 textila ord, från förindustriell textilproduktion, och dessa är översatta till åtta olika språk. Ni hittar tabellen som ett alternativ i huvudmenyn på vår sida, Textile Dictionary.  Här visas alla åtta språk samtidigt och hela tabellen är sorteringsbar  per språk (tabellhuvudet), sökbar (sökfönster högst upp) och filtreringsbar per språk (längst ner i tabellen).

Om du drar markören över den svenska ordet så får du upp en beskrivning av detta. Klickar du på ordet så kommer du till grundinformationen i  KulturNav.
Än så länge finns det bara svenska beskrivningar. Du kan föreslå beskrivningar på andra språk och göra andra tillägg och ändringsförslag i KulturNav.

Trevlig sökning!
/ Amica och Maria

Just over a year ago, we published a blog post about Textile technical technology. Here you could read about how a number of different people and organizations had collaborated to make the information available and searchable online.

We have now the pleasure of publishing a simplified variant of this dictionary, a table. The table contains about 450 textile words, from pre-industrial textile production, and these are translated into eight different languages. You will find the table as an option in the main menu on our page. Textile Dictionary. Here, all eight languages are displayed at the same time and the entire table is sortable by language (table header), searchable (search window ) and filterable by language (table footer).

If you hover over the Swedish word you will get a description of this word. If you click on the word, you will open the information page, of that word, in KulturNav.
So far, there are only Swedish descriptions.You can propose descriptions in other languages ​​and make other additions and suggestions to KulturNav.

Happy searching!
/ Amica and Maria