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cl-Norse-msg - 2/29/12


Period clothing of the Norse. Viking clothing.


NOTE: See also the files: Norse-msg, pst-Vik-Norse-msg, Norse-food-art, fd-Norse-msg, fd-Normans-msg, clothing-msg, patterns-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.


Please respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: haslock at rust.zso.dec.com (Nigel Haslock)

Date: 1 Nov 91 20:07:43 GMT

Organization: DECwest, Digital Equipment Corp., Bellevue WA


From BLUND.ILS at mhs.unc.EDU (BLUND):

> I recently ran across a brief mention in a fairly reputable source that

> Icelanders and other Norse Colonists have been making cloth using wool yarn

> and "needles" in a fashion "similar to knitting" since the age of

> expansion.  Does anyone know anything more about a technique "similar to

> knitting," used in the Middle Ages?


> And, how about knitting itself?  I would think warm wooly socks would be

> perfect for cold Northern winters. . .  :-)


I am told that knitting is period, but have yet to see proof. However,

leggings are another matter. There are some Norse leggings that were made

using Spang. Peter Collingwood's The Techniques of Sprang mentions them and

describes more techniques than you are likely to use in a lifetime.


The Irish also have evidence of leggings but in late period the used Frieze

to make them. This, I am told, is a thick haiary cloth which is much more

likely to be windproof than even a thick knit. The leggings and the

relevant evidence is described by A.T.Lucas in his article on Irish Footwear.


It seems to me that knit stockings might work in cold still air but are likely

to be worse than useless under wet and windy conditions. I frequently wear

knit sweaters in the mundane world and find them worthless for warmth in

any kind of wind. Thus, I am not surprised at the rareity of knits in period.



       Aquaterra, AnTir



From: bmorris at access.digex.com (Beth Morris)

Date: 9 Dec 91 05:06:22 GMT

Organization: Express Access Public Access Unix, Greenbelt, MD


I would also recommend Paul Norlund Meddelelser Om Gronland (Copenhagen, 1924)

(or in English The Buried Norsemen at Herjolfsnes).  It has excellent patterns,

and comparisons of the different finds at Herjolfsnes (Greenland) and a good

discussion of fibers, seams, finishing, mending, etc.  There are flat

patterns as well as sketches of the garments, and illustrations from ms.

with similar garments.  Should be available through inter-library loan.


Keilyn FitzWarin

Lochmere, Atlantia



Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 04:26:51 -0600

From: Gunnora Hallakarva <gunnora at bga.com>

Subject: Re: ANST - garb question


This question was asked:

><< We have introduced a teenaged girl into the SCA recently.  She is looking

>for a culture/persona that will allow her to wear pants, rather than dresses,

>as she is more comfortable in them.  Can you please suggest a time/place

>where ladies did wear pants?  She is not interested in a male persona.


To which someone replied:

>My lady suggests that Norse or Mideast persona's might serve, I seem to

>remember other parts of the world that would serve as well.  I will try to do

>some research for you.  Good Luck!


Norse women did not wear pants.  It was grounds for instant divorce

(including a lot of public shame and a huge financial burden in the

division of property) if a woman did wear pants.


It is possible that Norse women may have been wearing some sort of leggings

or "bloomers" under their dresses, since the source which describes the

divorce based on a woman wearing pants specifies "pants with gores in the

crotch like a man's".


Gunnora Hallakarva




Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 09:39:02 -0500

From: capriest at cs.vassar.edu (Carolyn Priest-Dorman)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Viborg Shirt Query


Ciorstan wrote:

> The best pictures I'e seen so far are in NESAT V, which shows a young

> man wearing a hand-woven and hand-stitched replica of the shirt. The

> citation is for an article called:

> Viking Age replicas in research and abstract, by Mytte Fentz

> Textilsymposium Neumuenster, Archaologische Textilfunde (Archaeological

> Textiles) 4. - 7.5.93 (NESAT V)


The best article I've seen in English is "An 11th Century Linen Shirt from

Viborg Sonderso, Denmark," also by Mytte Fentz, but it's in NESAT IV.  It

has lots of very clear line drawings about how the various pieces of the

garment are cut and sewn together, including a suggested cutting diagram.


Carolyn Priest-Dorman                 Thora Sharptooth

capriest at cs.vassar.edu                Frostahlid, Austrriki



Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 22:49:23 -0400

From: capriest at cs.vassar.edu (Carolyn Priest-Dorman)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: New Web Pages


I have just added the following documents to my website.


   '"But That's How They Look in the Book!": Viking

   Women's Garb in Art and Archaeology,' a critique

   of depictions of Viking women's clothing, with

   a short list of trustworthy depictions




   "A Quick and Dirty Look at Viking Women's Garb

   in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries," a work with

   no footnotes but with links to other footnoted

   documents on related subjects




Carolyn Priest-Dorman              =DE=F3ra Sharptooth

capriest at  cs. vassar. edu         Frostahlid, Austmork




Date: Fri, 09 Apr 2004 15:22:56 -0400

From: rmhowe <MMagnusM at bellsouth.net>

Subject: [SCA-AS] Viking Age Headcoverings

To: - Authenticity List <authenticity at yahoogroups.com>,  - BARONY of

      WINDMASTERS' HILL <keep at windmastershill.org>


<<< Elizabeth Wincott Heckett, (2003), "Viking Age Headcoverings from

Dublin". In the series "Medieval Dublin Excavations 1962-81.

Ser.B,vol.6 (2003)". ISBN: 0-9543855-5-1. >>>


http://www.ria.ie">http://www.ria.ie [I'll insert that.]


<<< Hardcover, costs 30 euro.


It can be ordered from: Royal Irish Academy 19 Dawson St Dublin 2

Ireland Attn: Hugh Shiels


And on to contents:


The book covers 68 textiles: scarfs, headbands and caps (10th-12th

cent.Dublin), which are discussed after a general information on the

excavation sites. The sections for scarfs and headbands and caps are

similar, in that they start with pictorial and archaeological

comparisons for the objects, and then the catalogue part goes into

detail on size, weave, stitches etc. There are drawings for almost

all finds. For caps there are also some thoughts - and illustrations

- on how they might have been worn. The cloth technology is then

discussed: cloth-type, yarn, weave and dimensions. The author also

discusses cloth production and loom-type. There are also a few pages

on sewing techniques, and a discussion on the origins of the cloth,

commerce, and a short discussion on viking age dress in Dublin. The

appendix covers analyses of dyes and of hair found in the textiles.

There are also 16 colour plates (12 of textiles).


If the price is a bit too much, you might wait until it comes in a

softcover version (as the previous books in the series were published

in both hard- and softcover, I believe that this one will do so as

well.). >>>



Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2006 02:35:52 -0400

From: rmhowe <MMagnusM at bellsouth.net>

Subject: [SCA-AS] Viking Clothing

To: - Austlend - Vikings-NA in NC List <Austlend at yahoogroups.com>, -

      BARONY of WINDMASTERS' HILL <keep at windmastershill.org>,  -

      EKMetalsmiths <EKMetalsmiths at yahoogroups.com>,       - Dunstan

      <Dunstan at yahoogroups.com>, - Historic-HornAntlerBone

      <Historic-HornAntlerBone at yahoogroups.com>,      - Manx

      <TheManx at yahoogroups.com>, - Medieval Leather List

      <medieval-leather at yahoogroups.com>, - SCA-ARTS

      <artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org>


This is not a private endorsement, but just a notification.

I have not examined the thing myself.

Just become aware of it.







From: L T <ldeerslayer at yahoo.com>

Date: February 26, 2008 7:19:45 PM CST

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] For the Viking Personas




There has been quite a bit of discussion on the Norsefolk2 Yahoogroup

on the subject of Annika Larson's reconstruction.

(which is the one in the article)...

I suggest that anyone who wants to make the garment per

her interpretation read the discussion first.


Personally I wouldn't trust her reconstruction...

cause she's taking a reconstruction of a Russian find

and applying it universally to pagan Scandinavia...


It's kinda like saying that in the US

during the 60's all young people were hippies.


More probable reconstructions from the same find she drew her conclusions on...




Lorraine DeerSlayer


Chelsea Durham <baby_sis_83 at hotmail.com> wrote:

Found on fark.com



-Lady Grainne Kathleen NicPadraig MacDaniel



To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Two New Viking Era Costuming Books to be published in the coming mon

Posted by: "Brad Moore" mamluk at yahoo.com mamluk

Date: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:35 pm ((PST))


I ran across these while ordering my books for the term and thought I would post

them for those who haven't seen these yet.  They should both be available in the

next few months.






The first is co-authored by Else Ostergard who wrote Woven Into the Earth.  The

second is an English/Norwegian bilingual edition written by Nille Glaesel, she's

famous for her museum reproductions in northern Europe.  Both are available for

pre-order on Amazon and should be available soon.




This is a second link with some images of pages from Glaesel's book.


Je Reste,


En Service au Reve,

Nicolas L'Anguille

Brad Moore



To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Two New Viking Era Costuming Books to be published in the coming

Posted by: "Kendra Dey" dey.kendra at gmail.com exotrix

Date: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:08 am ((PST))


Just so everyone is aware, Medieval Garments Reconstructed: Norse

Clothing Patterns was supposed to be published early last year (prior

to Gulf Wars 2010). The release date has been moved back twice already

and currently has missed the most recent publish date of 12/2010. It

currently does not have a release date by Amazon (I pre-ordered it

last year) though I now have hopes of getting the book since there is

a cover pictured.





To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Two New Viking Era Costuming Books to be published in the coming

Posted by: "Sperry Workman" sperryw at yahoo.com sperryw

Date: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:01 am ((PST))


Medieval Garments Reconstructed looks awesome, but does anyone know if it

actually contains Viking-era clothing?  Ostergard's fantastic book "Woven into

the Earth" actually covers from the late 12th C until about the 15th C.  Yes,

the digs are "Norse," but they're not "Viking."  I'd hate for someone to be

really hoping for one thing and this book not be it.





To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Two New Viking Era Costuming Books to be published in the coming

Posted by: "Brad Moore" mamluk at yahoo.com mamluk

Date: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:15 pm ((PST))




My copy of Medieval Garments has shipped, but hasn't arrived yet.  I will post

what it includes as soon as I have it in hand.  I believe it covers the

Herjolfnes finds.  Sorry for any confusion.  


I have seen pictures from the Glaesel book, however, and it is Viking era for

certain, but I have only looked at screen caps, and can't speak for the

documentation or credibility of the book.  I plan to order it as well.  Oxbow

Books has it on pre-order for $100/copy, and their website says it should have

arrived from Norway in December of last year, so hopefully it will be available

in the coming weeks as well.

Brad Moore



From: Liam <liamdevlin99 at yahoo.com>

To: gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com

Sent: Fri, January 21, 2011 2:13:40 PM

Subject: [Gleann Abhann] Re: Two New Viking Era Costuming Books to be published

in the coming months.....

I have purchased three copies of the Nille Glaeselsonn Book, and have made three

Viking-era dear friends very happy this past Christmas. (yes, I did examine the

first one that came in for I had to re-ship it off to Ealdomere). I will say

this--Mrs G & her husband, daughter, & son are living re-enactors in Lofoten

fjiord. Anothger bonus of this book is that it comes with PATTERNS that are

separate from the book, and thus removal of doesn't damage the tome itself.


Lord Liam Devlin



To: gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com

Subject: Medieval Garments Reconstructed:  Norse Clothing Patterns

Posted by: "Brad Moore" mamluk at yahoo.com mamluk

Date: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:24 am ((PST))


I have my copy in hand now.  It covers the Herjolfsnes finds in Southern

Greenland from around 1000 AD forward, not Viking, but more like the continental

styles from the Bayeaux tapestry, and forward.  The foreword states that the

book was written as a companion pattern book to Woven Into the Earth, but was

designed to be used without it.


The work details the process used to study the surviving fibres, and includes

images of bone weaving-tablets, a walrus-tooth buckle, and other rarely

seen objects from the settlement.  Details are given on yarns and wool types,

and an entire chapter called "Producing a Hand-Made Reconstruction" take you

start to finish through creating a garment.  


This includes finding raw wool, combing and carding, treatment prior to

spinning, the spinning of the yarn, Dyeing with available natural dyes (lichens,

etc), warp-weighted looms, sewing and the stitches used on the found garments,

the creation of foot-woven and tablet woven piping, braided cords, and making

button holes (only one surviving garment actually had buttonholes, but bone and

walrus tusk buttons have been found).  A chart at the end of the

chapter breaks down the thread types used on each garment, the color of the

warp/weft threads, the type of stitch used, where the stitch was used on the

garment (neck, etc.), where braided cords, tablet or foot weaving was applied to

the garment, etc.  


The layout of the patterns is not unlike Janet Arnold's treatment of late period

garments, with the pattern pieces laid out on a grid.  There are patterns for

nine garments, from dresses to tunics, six hoods, two caps, and two pair

of stockings.  


Hope this helps to answer any questions regarding the work.





Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2011 10:01:04 +1000

From: Alonya Mazoyer <submarinechick at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] book review norse textile

To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list"

        <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


And all the patterns are in metric measurements.  I have had this book since

release and it is an excellent resource.

Some of the reconstructions do not have the original garment displayed next

to it (most do) so you need to go to Woven into the Earth to see the

original, but other than that, it can be used as a stand-alone pattern





On 11 June 2011 08:30, Raymond Wickham <insidious565 at hotmail.com> wrote:

Fransen, Lilli, Anna Norgaard and Else Ostergard. "Medieval

Garments Reconstructed: Norse Clothing Patterns".  Aarhus: Aarhus

University Press. 2011.  Pp. 143.  $40.  ISBN: 97887777932989.


This book should be regarded as a supplement to the book "Woven into

the Earth: Textiles from Norse Greenland" written by Else Ostergard

in 2004.  The book "Medieval Garments Reconstructed" is a useful

practical guide to making Norse period clothing based on actual finds.

The original book "Woven into the Earth: Textiles from Norse

Greenland" deals with most of the topics in this book, but in much

greater depth, and is essential reading for anyone with an academic

interest in the subject.  While the subsequent publication does not

expand on the earlier book, or meet its standard in terms of

background and history, it does serve a utilitarian function by

including a practical section detailing how to reconstruct prehistoric

and historic clothing, including actual patterns.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org