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

Advent calendar December 3rd 2018

Our third advent calendar post is piece of a decorative weave from the Oseberg burial, Norway.
The textile is made out of wool. We are not 100% sure about the fibre content of the warp, we suspect linen.

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

40/ 2018- The hard core metal

As some of you may already know, Amica Sundström  from Historical Textiles, works at the Swedish History Museum as textile curator. Today, together with Thomas Neijman, she held a guided  tour for a group of people with a special interest for medieval metal works. The armourerAlbert Collins, Via Armoari, celebrates 20 years as a professional armourer this weekend and he has a big party to celebrate this. Plenty of people have travel to Stockholm just for this occasion. The group that came to the museum took the chance to visit the special tour today when in the neighborhood.

Albert also, as many of you may already know, just had a kickstarter campaign get help with the funding, in order to reintroduce armourer as a official craft in Sweden. The last master armourer we had in Sweden was during the late 18th century. After the last master died the craft was official gone.

Albert’s kickstarter campaign has been fully funded and it is incredibly pleasing that it will once again be possible to reintroduce this craft to the Swedish craft council.

We are incredibly happy about this and therefore deviate from our usual theme of displaying textiles. We will this weekend display a mix of photo on various types of medieval (and some older) metal items that are parts of the collections of the Swedish History Museum.

Hope you can forgive this textile free Friday. <3
ps. There are of course some pictures of things that are related to textiles such as scissors, pins etc.

Happy weekend!
Amica and Maria

Sytråd från Sigtuna/ Sewing thread from Sigtuna

Scrol down for English 

Vi får ofta frågor om vilken tråd man sytt sina kläder med under olika historiska perioder. Det finns inget enkelt svar eftersom det statistiska underlaget väldigt ofta är bristfälligt. Väldigt ofta saknas sömmar eller sytrådar i arkeologiska fynd. Men när vi ser sytråd i de textilier vi analyserat så blir vi givetvis väldigt glada och lägger till den informationen i vår samlade databas av sömmar och stygn.

Cellulosa bryts ner av fukt och klarar sig därför väldigt dåligt i jorden. Det är därför ganska ovanligt att hitta linne eller lintråd bland de arkeologiska fynden. Det finns dock både linne och lintråd i ett flertal textilier som bevarats ovan jord.
Ull bryts inte ner lika snabbt som cellulosa och därför är bevarandegraden högre för ull. Jordfunna textiler är inte representativa för de sorters textilier som har används under den aktuella tidsperioden på platsen.

Nedan ser vi en sytråd i ett av de textila fynden från Sigtuna. Sytråden är spunnen av ull. Detta fynd är daterat till första halvan av 1000-talet. Tråden är tvåtrådig och har en ganska hög snodd. Tråden är också grövre än tråden i väven på tyget.
Vad textilen har varit vet vi ännu inte men vi kommer att analysera denna närmare längre fram.
/ Amica och Maria

We often get questions about which sewing thread that have been used to sew clothes with during different historical periods. There is no easy answer to that, because the data is very often insufficient and can’t provide a good statistic basis. Very often there are no seams or sewing threads in archeological finds. But when we see the sewing thread in the textiles we analyzed, we are of course very happy and add the information in our overall database of stitches and sewing thread

Cellulose is degraded by moisture and survives therefore very poorly in the soil. It is quite rare to find linen or linen thread among the archaeological finds. However, there are both linen and linen sewing thread in a number of textiles that have been preserved above ground.
Wool does not decompose as quickly as cellulose and therefore  is the retention rate higher for wool. Archelolgical textiles are not 100% representative for the kinds of textiles that have been used during the period in question on the spot.

Above we see a sewing thread in one of the textile finds from Sigtuna, Sweden. The sewing thread is spun from wool. This find is dated to the frist or second quater of the 11th century. The thread is two-plyed and has a fairly high twist. The thread is also thicker than the thread in the woven fabric.
What the textile has been, we do not know yet, but we will analyze this further.
/ Amica and Maria

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