Advent calendar 2021 – 21 December

Our twenty-first Advent calendar post 2021 is:

A mix of slightly different things with the common denominator “a thin two-plied wool thread”. First in our batch is a tablet woven band from Gotland. Dated 800-1100 AD. Today the band is exhibit in the new exhibition The viking world. The exhibition text says: “Tablet woven ribbon of wool with individual turns. Woven with a two-plied wool yarn where the thread’s high twist gives the pattern a certain depth. The ribbon is woven with twelve tablets. The two edge tablets on each side are threaded with four threads in each tablet, while the pattern tablets are only threaded with two threads in each. The lack of threads causes a relief pattern to occur during weaving. The pattern is obtained by turning the tablets individually so that the missing threads end up in a specific pattern. Width 0.8– 0.9 centimeters, preserved length 28 centimeters. This ribbon from Gotland differs from the ribbons found in Birka as the latter have silk in the warp and picked pattern elements in gold or silver thread. Part of depot finds “in pasture”, from Lilla Ringome, Alva parish, Gotland.”

The second find is a find that is interpreted as a cushion. Grave find from Birka, Bj739, Adelsö parish, Uppland.
Hhere we can see something as unusual as clear colors on an archeological textile. Both red-purple, blue-black and yellow. The weaving technique is tapestry and soumak. Dating 800-1100 AD

The last picture is from Lödöse. Here we can see a small piece of a finger loop braid. Made with two different colours on the wool yarn. Dated to 13-14century.

The viking age finds are from the collections of the Swedish History museum.

The 20/2 wool thread is versatile and can be used in many projects such as, tablet weaving, embroidery, sewing, braiding and more. It dyes really good and we always try to have a range of colours when working. The pigments we use are madder, cochineal as a kermes substitut, indigo and woad, birch, weld, tansy, walnut, gall apple. Together with alum, cream of tartar, iron and pH-modifier we can produce countless nuances.

/ Amica and Maria

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

Advent calendar 2021- 2 December

Our second Advent calendar post 2021 is:

One wool fragment from the Viking age settlement of Birka, Sweden. The fragment is labelled as sprang by Agnes Geijer. The fragment is made out of a thin 2-plied wool thread. It measures 0,5 x 3 cm. It’s difficult to say if the fragment originally was dyed.

The chamber grave contains many interesting and costly items. The objects from the grave Bj660 can be found here. Dating is Viking period 800-1100 AD.

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

/ Amica and Maria

CC-By. Please cred us of sharing picture.

Advent calendar December 24 2020

Today we celebrate Christmas in Sweden. We call it Jul. A name that originate from the tradition we celebrated before people up in the north became Christians.

Therefor we would like to share some Viking age things.

Wool combs from Norway. Dated 800-950. For combing wool.

God Jul! /Amica and Maria

Please cred us if sharing photos

Advent calendar December 18 2020

Today we have some items from the world famous Oseberg ship burial. Viking age. Norway.

The excavation is exceptional in many ways. It’s a woman’s grave and it contains a lot of items that she might need in her afterlife. Amongst some of the things a lot of textile tools.

Niddy noddy
Distaff and spindle sticks and whorl
Tablets for tablet weaving

Today in the collections of Vikingskipshuset, Olso.

/ Amica and Maria

Please cred us if sharing pictures

Advent calendar December 3 2020

Behind door number 3 we find a Viking age posament from Birka, Sweden.

The metal wire is made out of silver and the core is a textile fibre. We don’t know if the textile fiber is made out of silk or linen.

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

/ Amica and Maria
If sharing photos: please cred us.

The Birka museum exhibition.

We have during the autumn and spring been working on some items for the Birka museum’s new exhibition about three Viking graves from 8-10th century,l Today was the grand opening and here are some photos from the exhibition.

It has been great to be part of the production and we would like to thank Strömma, Veronika Björkman, Linda Wåhlander, Historiska museet and all the other scientists and crafts people- no one mention- no one forgotten. <3

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 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 

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 12th 2018

Our twelfth advent calendar post is once again items from the Oseberg burial, Norway. But this time it is fragments from a tablet woven bands.
The textile is made out of wool. 

The ship, from where the textile was found, was built 820 AD and the grave was covered  834 AD. The ship was covered with clayey soil. This has protected the grave as clay-rich soil is very low in oxygen.

Now in the collections of Kulturhistorisk museum, Oslo, Norway.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles