Saturday 20 April 2013

Viking Conical Cap

For the eighth challenge of the Historical Sew Fortnightly, “By the Sea”, I made a cap for my brother, who does Viking re-enactment. 

 My handsome viking brother.

I had bought an old fur collar years ago, as I intended to make a fur trimmed cap for him, but never got round to making it. Now was the perfect time to finally do it.

Before cutting away the lining and zipper.

I did not want to cut in any of my larger pieces of leftover wools for this, as I intend them for new 14th century clothes for little B, when he’s outgrown the ones he have now. I turned to my scrap bins. I had a fine, dark green wool left over from making my short hose, that just had to be pieced once, and for the lining (the wool was so thin it’d look ridiculously floppy if left unlined) I decided to use up small linen scraps. How many scraps I used in the end I don’t know, more than 15 anyway.

 Most of the piecing done.

The cap is made in the shape of a cone, with a straight linen piece lining the fur sewn to the edge of it.

Simple yet elegant.

It looks a bit like a Father Christmas cap, and when inside out, like a goblin’s cap. I think it has a certain charm that way… 

 Goblin hat?

I made it way back in February, as I had to mail it to my brother, and wanted him to have time to take pictures when wearing it.

The Challenge: #8 By the Sea

Fine tabby woven wool, fur (fox, I think) for trim.

I googled this kind of cap, them measured and cut.

Viking age, so somewhere between late 8th to mid 11th centuries.

Unbleached linen thread.

How historically accurate is it?
It’s hand sewn with waxed linen thread, using historic stitches, but as for the pattern and linen lining – who knows? There are very few extant fabrics from this period, and most are really tiny. In “Viking Clothing”, by Thor Ewing, several types of pointed, conical caps are mentioned, from picture stones, written accounts by Muslim observers, and the Nordic sagas. Wool and silk, gold, silver and sable trim are found in graves, or mentioned. So I’d say it’s plausible. 

Hours to complete: 6-8, but most of that was spent piecing together the linen scraps for the lining.

First worn:
For the pictures, but it is likely to see a lot of use during the summer.

Total cost:
The fabric was left over from old projects, so nothing. The fur cost 20 SEK, I think, which would be $3,16, £2,04 or 2.37.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Reenactors - a Documentary

In 2011 a couple of friends of mine, Thomas and Maria (amongst others) pulled of the greatest re-enactment in Sweden to date: the Battle of Wisby 1361-2011. Now a documentary about the project, Reenactors, have been released on YouTube. Do see it - it is in Swedish but subtitled in English.

 Thomas and Maria at the Battle of Wisby 2011, 
picture by Vix.

Sadly I couldn't partake, but instead of looking back with regret, I look forward with the hope of attending Battle of Wisby II this summer. It will be amazing!

Monday 1 April 2013

Tablet Woven 14th Century Belt

For the seventh challenge of the HSF I decided to make a new 14th century belt. I have wanted a cloth belt for some time, and bought a small buckle for it almost two years ago. Last week I read about a black belt, and saw the tablet woven belts in Textiles and Clothing, and finally it clicked. I wanted a black, tablet woven wool belt. 

 After weaving for a few centimetres I split the warp in two, and wove each one 
separately for a little bit: this hole is where the pin in the buckle goes through. 
I don’t know if this is period, but I think it’s plausible, and it looks nice.

I wanted to use materials I already had, and I didn’t want a true black belt, but rather a naturally black one, like you’d get from using wool from a black sheep. Luckily I had very dark grey knitting wool, but it was a little thicker than I wanted it. After warping half the number of threads needed, I had to split every thread in two for it to work. 

Even simple tools can get the job done: my tablets are made 
from cardboard, and the warp is attached to a belt at my waist on one end, 
and at the other to any convenient spot where I happen to be 
(like my big toe, the head rest of a car when traveling, or the drawer of my desk). 

Threading and weaving was a straight forward enough business: twelve tablets, all four holes threaded. I started warping on Monday evening, and on Friday evening I was done weaving. The belt is a little thinner than I’d have wished: I wanted it eleven millimetres wide, but it turned out only nine millimetres, a little too small for most strap ends on the market. I thought I could have used a couple of more tablets even when warping, but I was too lazy to look for the missing ones, or make new ones, so it’s my own fault. Never mind: I like it anyway, simple as it is.

The Challenge: #7 Accessorise
Fabric: Wool 4 ply (fingering) knitting yarn.
None, though leaning on what information can be found in Textiles and Clothing.
Late 14th century.

How historically accurate is it?
Pretty much I think: tablet woven wool belts did exist, and the buckle is a reproduction.
Hours to complete:
Maybe seven or eight.
First worn:
For the picture.
Total cost:
None at this time as I have had all the materials for some time. 

Now I need to find a strap end I like of the right width, which might prove a challenge in itself.