Since you guys clearly liked the tablet woven band from Falun, we toss you another one. This one a lot older… This one dates to the 10th century. From Valsgärde boat grave no. 15.
Valsgärde is situated not far from Uppsala, Sweden, and is a place with many Viking burials and therefor a lot of excavations have been preformed there.
The band is woven in silk or wool with a silk weft and a brocading weft in a metal thread wrapped around a textile core. The patterns are the same kind of geometrical patterns as we see on the tablet woven bands from Birka. The edges have fallen off and was originally attached to the side of the band.
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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