|A Wandering Elf
You can now download all of the Birka materials legally and free! For those who do not have this, Birka III is the volume of textiles from the finds.
(A I have woven a couple of the Dublin headcoverings before, as mentioned in a previous post here (http://awanderingelf.weebly.com/blog-my-journey/dublin-scarf-finished ). I did those on a rigid heddle loom with two heddles and currently have one of the narrow scarves warped up on a table loom in an even more fine wool yarn.
But I have been trying to puzzle a few things out about the loops at the ends of the fringed items, and how the spacing was kept with out a tablet woven starting border. (Spacing by hand would not be difficult with a thicker yarn, but with a very fine yarn it could be a continual pain for the weaver.) String heddles some times help spacing, but sometimes they also can botch it up.
In Viking Age Headcoverings from Dublin, Elizabeth Wincott Heckett suggests that the headcoverings might have been woven on a two beam loom similar to the one found at Oseberg (which is also thought to be a sprang loom and possible the item that the famous Oseberg tapestries were woven on). Loom is pictured to the left.
Recently while cleaning I discovered a now unused stand that held wooden TV trays. I have repurposed it as a sprang frame/two beam loom, and figured I would play around with weaving a headcovering vertically.
I am more than pleased that my theories seem to be working out!
To get the warp yarn to space fairly evenly with little fiddling, I oped to wrap the warp around the beam an extra pass before stretching it down to the next beam. I did half my test warp in this manner, and half with two wraps between each vertical warp yarn. (A weaving comb would work to space for a thicker warp, but you would have to have an exceptionally fine comb for this and take care with it to not damage the fine warp yarn.)
In practice, it does very well at setting the spacing AND the additional wraps will allow me extra yarn at the ends to twist the fringe that will have the little looped ends that so many extant examples have. I absolutely cannot wait to try weaving some items on this loom now!
I will add string heddles and a heddle rod when I warp a full width piece (tonight I used a bone folder as both a pick up stick and weaving sword). I am quite excited and look forward to more work like this.
If you are interested in the headcoverings from Dublin, or Viking Era weaving in general, I cannot recommend Heckett's book enough. It is an amazing resource and has very, very detailed information about each item (thread counts, thread sizes, color, etc.). http://www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow/viking-age-headcoverings-from-dublin.html
Remember that the deadline to appear in the print edition of the class schedule for Pennsic is MAY 1 so it is a great idea to get those classes registered! Do you do wonderful things? Do people always ask you about your art? If so, consider teaching and sharing your knowledge!
I have wanted for some time now to work up a class on Viking Era women's clothing, but stalled because I was not sure of how I wanted to approach the subject matter. A whole class could be devoted to interpretations of the aprondress, for example. There are quite a few people who teach excellent beginners courses on layers, colors and getting the right look, as there are others who are teaching "next steps" classes (I took a fantastic one at Pennsic last year).
The class I will be offering soon will be a bit more specific and a bit more research oriented. I hope to give a better understanding of the investment that textiles were in period and use that to give one a better perspective on how to use them. Having an understanding of the daily lives of these women, and how valuable textiles were at the time, will give a better foundation for our projects.
Part of the class will cover what period fabrics looked like and how to try to determine which modern substitutions would be best. Also covered will be examples of details and embellishments for garments that are based on extant items. The themes that will be covered for each item are Provenance, Perspective, Plausibility, Practicality and Proportion. As always, there will be a lot of tactile samples of items to be passed around to help illustrate textiles, ideas and techniques.
The official listing for Pennsic is:
Deeper Look at Textiles & Trim of Viking Age Dress
By looking deeper at both the textiles and the details from extant items, this class aims to help individuals make informed choices for crafting their garments. Tactile examples will clarify the weaves and weight of period fabrics and there will also be discussion of possible modern substitutions. Additionally, practical details for finishing or embellishing garments will also be explored and their history investigated. The goal of this class is to help the individual understand how daily life during the Viking Age could affect how textiles were crafted and worn.
I plan to teach twice at Pennsic and hopefully once at War Practice. Also on the agenda (hopefully) will be Atlantia University and AEthelemarc AEcademy (both this fall).
(Note, this class is geared towards women's garments because I will often be using aprodresses as examples for various things, but a great deal of the class can be applied to any garments from the period!)
I am mother to a billion cats and am on journey to recreate the past via costume, textiles, culture and food.
A Wandering Elf participates in the Amazon Associates program and a small commission is earned on qualifying purchases.
Blogroll of SCA & Costume Bloggers
Below is a collection of some of my favorite places online to look for SCA and historic costuming information.
More Amie Sparrow - 16th Century German Costuming
Gianetta Veronese - SCA and Costuming Blog
Grazia Morgano - 16th Century A&S
Mistress Sahra -Dress From Medieval Turku
Loose Threads: Cathy's Costume Blog
Mistress Mathilde Bourrette - By My Measure: 14th and 15th Century Costuming
More than Cod: Exploring Medieval Norway