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My name is Ingrid Galadriel and this is a blog about my adventures in history, crafting, farm life and nature. I am passionate about preservation, cultural history and the Viking age. When I'm not doing farm life activities I'm a project manager in Hands on History.

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Napping Haithabu textiles

Napping Haithabu textiles

Ah, the familiar but yet so unexplored world of fabrics! Especially when dressing to keep warm and not to look fancy. 

Napping Haithabu textiles for Haithabu vest and wondering what the heck to do with the rest. 

Be my vest! 


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A few years ago (2010) Rickard made an interpretation of what is assumed to be a vest from Haithabu.

As with everything he makes it is a very nice garment.

Hand stitched, made from madder dyed wool and coated with linnen.

Leather strap closing mechanism.

Fancy. 

 

Soon after finishing the garment, he felt unsatisfied. 

Something felt wrong.

What could it be? 

The fabric! 

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A perfect fabric with perfect colors.

Texture yes!

Based on finding yes! 

The right finding?

No. 

 This is the lower back fragment of the assumed vest (Hägg 1984:65)

This is the lower back fragment of the assumed vest (Hägg 1984:65)

 This is the front fragment of the assumed vest, found in Haithabu (Hägg 1984:68).

This is the front fragment of the assumed vest, found in Haithabu (Hägg 1984:68).

 Lower back fragment (Hägg 1984:66)

Lower back fragment (Hägg 1984:66)


Napped wool anyone? 

So - super nerdy as we are - Rickard ordered replicas of three of the Haithabu fabrics. 

One for the vest.

One because we were curious.

And one more because we could (not going to talk about the last one, boring). 

And when I say ordered, I mean he spent hours translating the german texts, making drawings - putting together a PDF instruction manual with specifics on warp and weft, threads, yarn thickness etc. 

Swedes. 

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The fabric is woven by hand with hand spun yarn from raw brown wool. 

Need to keep some of that lanolin in there! 


When we finally got our hands on the fabric for the vest, 

one side of the fabric was napped (rugget in Norwegian) using a special brush made from thistle. 

This takes forever!

(I'm not even half done with my share). 

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 Photo stolen from  this article

Photo stolen from this article

Why napping? 

In short: fibers "stand out", fabric is hairy and contains lanolin = fabric is warmer, (more) wind and water proof.

Here, the nap is raised without trimming. 

Text says the fabric for the vest was both napped and walked (valket in Norwegian)

Want to buy the napping tool? Svenskull.se is selling it.  

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Old red vest inside of new brown vest - made from napped super fabric. 

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Tunic for Viking Hiking, also made with napped fabric. 

 Photo stolen from  this article. 

Photo stolen from this article. 

 Photo stolen from  this article. 

Photo stolen from this article. 


The other fabric, the one we were curious about - is really interesting too...

Its a twill weave with hundreds of tufts of sheep fur attached. Like a pile

On one side it looks like a normal fabric. 

On the other side it looks like a sheep fur. 

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This is a picture from another Hägg book on the Haithabu textile findings. In fig. 4b/b/4 you can see a very, very similar technique. 

Its like fake fur! 

And I have no idea what to use it for. 

Any ideas? 

(No, I'm not going to cut in it. I like having three full meters). 


The sadist

The sadist

I am Åsta aka Birthwoman

I am Åsta aka Birthwoman