Viking Finn Costume

Here You can find some information about Viking Age costumes in Finland. Text in this page are handouts from my Viking Finn Costume classes. On the side You will find my articles about the subject and a couple of links to good sites. Take a look into these pages and give feedback. I am available, if You want me to teach, hold a class or write something, or just want to talk with me. Contact me.

My next project will be to investigate closely the weaving of hollow selvage that the vikings in Finland did weave to the side of their fabric. Nowadays it is made on a very complicated way. I am sure they made it much easier. To be continued...

Viking Male and Female Costume in Finland

Viking Age male dressed up in the same style to a tunic, a cloak or a jacket and legwear as the other people around the Baltic and in Scandinavia (see picture). Archaeological finds from Finland show that we had our own way to decorate and finish our garments. Unlike Scandinavia, in Finland Vikings continued to use the old warp weighted looms and the old weaving technique maintaining from the migration period. The pieces were woven in warp-weighted-looms and were lined, from start and end too, with tablet woven bands. Most common were woolen twill. Also striped and checked pieces of textiles are found from the graves.

Male Viking Costume Closet Selection
Picture is from: Elsner, Hildegard: Wikinger Museum Haithabu: Schaufenster einer frühen Stadt, p. 46. Wachholtz Verlag

To decorate their clothes Finns did use bronze spirals, which male used earlier than female; already in the early Viking Age. Later the spirals vanish from male costumes, to be continued and being more complicated in female clothing. To finish the tablet woven bands in the start and end of the fabric or the legbands they made simple looped bands, into which they put spirals. Separate spiral ornaments were sewn onto tunic necklines, around the side opening and on the cloaks. Many 9-10th century graves from southeast Finland had a tablet woven belt, which were decorated with bronze spirals. Towards the end of Viking Age the spirals vanish from male gravefinds; female continue to wear it. Spiral decoration technique is typical to other Baltic countries, too. There the technique were different.

Tunic were possibly several models, at least tight and loose to wear on at the same time; the length of the sleeve did vary. Pants are thought to be worn three models as in Scandinavia, long pants, kneelength wide ones and very tight socks with feet. Finns also used legbands, leg bandages, headdress (leather, textile or nålebinding (finds from Lithuania), hood finds closest from Denmark), a jacket (jinglebell button lines on the chest are found from some graves) a cloak, a raincloak and nålebinded mittens.

Many graves in Finland contained belt tags. Tagged belts give a hint from intercourse with other tribes around the Baltic. The brooch that closed the cloak and the one in belt did change during and towards the end of the Viking Age. The male Viking in Finland did not use much jewellery; bronze plate or spiral rings were common in male graves.

Finn female Viking from mid 11th century and male viking from 10th century
Photo Rauno Huikari

Female Viking Age Costume in Finland

The female Finn wore a different style of costume from Scandinavia. The textile pieces were woven in warp-weighted looms, and they were lined with tablet woven bands all over, from the start and ends, too. That is a tecnique which were used all over Nordic before Viking Age; Scandinavians developed a new fashion in Viking Age, the Finns contunued using the old technique. Most common were woolen twill, but plain weave wools and linen were also used.

The garments vere decorated with tablet woven bands from very finely spun wool. The weave was often plant fibre, nettle, hemp or linen. The belts were often multi-colored thicker-spun wool, and the belt-ends were finished beautifully.

The Finnish Viking always wore an apron. The dress consisted of underdress, overdress (peplos-type square or two rectangles), apron, legbands or legbandages, headdress, nålebinding mittens and a cloak. The rich ones did decorate their clothes, apron at least, with bronze spirals. The spirals were less and of stronger wire in the beginning of the Viking age; in the end more and finer quality wire.

The very richest did wear shoulder brooches to keep the peplos-style dress on; often Finns had chains with them. From the chains, more vithin the centuries, did hang many necessary equipments. The brooch model in Finnish Viking Age were always round. The decoration varied; and after Viking Age the brooch model changes into silver horseshoe in the southwest and into bronze pointed oval in Savo and Carelia. In the change of the Middle Ages new details come into southwestern textile finishing.

The are no idea of Scandinavian style headresses from Finland. We have our own type of so called curve veil in southwest and veils in other parts of Finland; all hardened with bark.

Making of Female Finn Viking Dress

Female Finn Viking Dress consists of 6 parts: underdress, overdress, apron, leg girdles, cloak and headdress. Apron was tied with a seperate tablet woven belt, likewise leg girdles. Magnificent bronze jewellery belonged to the costume.

In this picture I am wearing Eura dress, a replica from Luistari cemetery in Eura, grave 56. Jaana Riikonen, an archaeologist, who has done a remarkable amount of research of these costumes, has the opinion that the Finnish dresses were actually much shorter than this one, about halfway to the leg. Leg girdles were used to cover the legs. That made it easier to walk in the snow, for example. The veil that I am wearing is not very typical for this period and place. Women in Viking Age wore a certan headdress called "Arch veil", in Finnish kaarihuntu.

The materials used were wool (overdress, underdress, girdles, apron, headdress, mittens, belts and garters) or nettle or hemp (underdress, a possible under tunic, weft for the bands). Linen that is found from the graves was a luxury import from Europe and rather rare, silk as well. The few finds of luxury cloth we have are mostly located in male graves.

Pieces of costume were grown, spun, dyed, woven and stiched at home. Colorful, patterned bands for final decoration, hair and belt were bought from the local market. Due to the fact that Finns still did weave their fabrics using warp weighted looms, the costumes in Finland had same very interesting details as all North in earlier period. These small details that were made during weaving and finishing the piece of cloth, cannot be seen from very far, but are a very important part of the costume.

This picture is from an exhibition in the National Museum, Helsinki. These warp weighted looms had already became oldfashioned in Scandinavia at the very same period. Our Scandinavian neighbours began to use following invention of looms, the horizontal ones, in the beginning of the Viking Age. Their costume changed.

Some researchers in Finland nominate Viking Age the Younger Iron Age. In the Middle Ages these costumes were still in use in the Middle of Finland and in Carelia. There are no more grave finds from west coast Finland after 1200. I believe that this costume continued to be commonly worn among people living in the countryside through the Middle Ages until the renaissance. The costume got some changes, though. The decoration changed: spirals became oldfashioned little by little. The jewellery changed: new material and styles came into fashion. It was not so important to walk wearing all your savings anymore.

Pieces of a female Viking Finn costume


The exact cut of the underdress is uncertain. There are only small pieces left in the graves. For example in the grave 56 in Luistari cemetery, Eura, only two pieces of underdress textile has survived. We can only assume that the sleeves were very long and narrow, dress had a straight neckhole, which was not cut into curves and the neckhole was open to rather down to allow easy nursing.

This picture is from an exhibition in the National Museum, Helsinki. It is an upper part of the grave 56 in Luistari, Eura. One textile piece under the shoulder brooch contained fabric selvage. That lead the professors to a conclusion that the neck opening was a straight one, not vertical, but diagonal. If the opening is as long as to the nipples, it is very easy to nurse a baby: open the other shoulder brooch, reveal your shoulder and go. That was a very practical costume to wear.

The other survived piece in Luistari, grave 56 was found inside the armring. The big piece of cloth had no end, so the researchers think that the sleeve was cut to be too long in purpose, about 20 cm longer than normal sleeve length. The sleeve was rather narrow. Narrow but a long one.

The horizontal seam goes vertically over the top of nipples. The arm ring keeps the long sleeve in its place and holds the length beautifully. The sleeve is so long that it ends to halfway palm, when arm rings are in place.

The cut of the piece was likely designed in such a way, that the brick wall - tablet woven band that is woven to the fabric meets both the hem of the dress and the wristband of the sleeve.


Overdress was either a square piece of woollen fabric, mostly 2/2 twill, or two rectangular ones. The upper part of an overdress was sometimes turned double, sometimes worn plain and sometimes extra small pieces were added to give a folded look. This piece was sometimes decorated using simple stiches. The two rectangulars were sometimes sewn together from one or both sides, sometimes not. The rectangular was sometimes stiched to a tube.

The overdress got selvages and tablet-woven bands woven into the starts and ends of the loom. Some square fabrics were worn sideways. That means that the warp line goes horizontally, not vertically when worn. Colored, patterned tablet woven bands were stiched into the side of wrist and hem.

A= two tablet woven bands, first the brick wall - one that is woven to the fabric. A colorful, decorated one is stiched to the side of the first band, or to the selvage if the cloth is worn sideways (A and B switches their places in that case). B=Double selvage, which is made when weaving the fabric.

The overdress was worn on by two round brooches. Chains were hanging from chainholders in between. Sometimes, if the lady was not a wealthy one, the dress was tied with one or two wooden or bone sticks. Sometimes the overdress was stiched from either one or both shoulders.


Unlike a Scandinavian Viking lady, a Finn female Viking always wore an apron. The apron was a rectangular piece of fabric, which was tied around the body with a long tablet woven band. The material was wool, mostly 2/2 twill, with a sentence going down, unlike twill today.

A rich woman of 10-11th centuries had spiral decoration attached to the bottom of her apron. Every apron had a unique decoration, no two similar aprons are found. For example the richest grave in Luistari cemetery, grave 56, dated between 1025-1050 A.D., had probably nine spiral ornaments in line in the bottom of the apron (only five of them has survived).

As a conclusion researcher Lehtosalo-Hilander has written, that at first a woman had a rich spiral decoration in her apron. Later on, when she became wealthier, she got also the round brooches to her shoulder. First the bronze spiral apron, then the brooches! Poor women had no spirals, nor bronze jewellery.


Belt was made with tablets. It could be one-colored or colorful. The weft was of fiber plant, nettle or hemp undyed (Sarkki). A simple model is to take ten tablets, put a yarn through all four corners from the same direction. Weave it. The belt has to go around your body twice, and then tied, so make it a long one. Knive was hanging from the belt. The belt in the picture has been found from Humikkala, Masku. It is now in an exibition in the National Museum of Helsinki.

The ends of the belt should always be beautifully finished. Some examples:
- Make a group of finger looped bands
- Make three plaits, about five centimeter long, and stich them together side by side. This technique was found from a grave in Perniö, dated to about 1200 (Appelgren-Kivalo).

This is how to dress up a Finnish apron. First, place the apron against your body beyond the waist. Wrap the belt around you once. Then turn the part that is beyond the waist down. Wrap the belt around your waist the second time. Now you should place all the equipment that hangs from the belt, for example the knife. Tie the belt very tightly.


A typical headdress in the Viking Age Finland was so-called Arch veil (kaarihuntu). There are lot of finds of such a headpiece. Sari Raitio did make one and is wearing it in this picture (This picture was first published in Euran puku ja muut muinaisvaatteet by Lehtosalo-Hilander, p. 70. Photo by Pekka Kujanpää).

These are the leftovers from an Arch Veil, found from Humikkala, Masku. It is now in an exibition in the National Museum of Helsinki.

In a grave dated to about 1200 A.D. in Perniö traces of a veil has been found. It was a wollen square veil, which was folded double into a triangel. Into the side of the fold, placed in center, a tablet woven band is stiched for about 20 cm long way. Inside the fold a piece of birch bark was placed. It gives a crownlike look and makes its wearer to look very grand. This technique is introduces in the making instructions of Perniö dress replica - Perniön puku.


a cloakThere are traces from cloaks. They were rectangular, woollen 2/2 twill, with double selvages and tablet-woven bands in the starts and ends of looms. The cloak in this picture is a replica from a 10th century male cloak. Female cloaks looked very likely alike.

These are different spiral decorations, which has been found attached to either cloaks or tunics. The one in the middle left is actually a part of belt decoration. They are found from several graves in Luistari, Eura. Now they stay in the exibition in the National Museum of Helsinki.

There were often spiral ornaments attached onto, or "fans", spiral corner decorations. These were threaded into bands made by fingerlooping technique. This was a practical way to hide ends of the tablet woven band looms. Rich grave finds dated about 1100-1200 have large finger-looped band gratings with small and fine spiral ornaments.


In most of the graves, maybe in every one of them, nålebinded mittens were included. The mittens in this picture are a replica of the mitten leftovers in Luistari, grave 56. A researcher Krista Vajanto has drawn to this conclusion.

The researchers are discussing the meaning of those mittens. Whether they are symbolic: to be given to the ferryman as a payment when dead, in that case added to the dress as late as during the funeral ceremony; or they were really worn in a cold climate. Here I write more about Finnish medieval mitten replicas.


Nålebinded socks and leather shoes were worn. When coldest, girdles were worn. They were about 10-12 centimeter wide, three meter long each. They were tied around the leg with garters woven with tablets.

Girdles that was found from Kaarina, Kirkkomäki, 12th century, was woollen lozenze twill with double selvages. It was tied with narrow tablet woven gartes with spiral ornaments in the both ends.

Weaving details

The selvages in ancient fabrics were always some way strenghened. In Viking Age Finland the weavers used a technique of double selvage. The double selvage was always plain weave, though the fabric created between the left and right selvage was mostly twill. Fabrics got about 16- yarn - wide plain weave selvage, which turns into double during weaving.

A Viking weaver used warp weighted looms, but these double selvages can be made using modern looms with four heddle rods as well. Teacher Hannele Köngäs invented a technique, where heddles in the left got 16 yarns to the rods 1 and 3 in turn, and heddle rods 2 and 4 are to left empty. heddles in the right side got 16 yarns to the rods 2 and 4 in turn, and heddle rods 1 and 3 are to left empty. Weaving starts from the left, but the 16-yarn selvadge is left always unwoven in the beginning of each level. The shuttle finishes each level normally.

If you cannot weave the fabrics yourself, you could buy the fabric from a store and do either or both the following:
- fold the selvages into double. Stitch them 0,5 cm wide.
- weave a narrow tube band with tablets and attach it to the selvage

You also could:
- fold the selvages into double. Stitch them 0,8 cm wide. Insert a band inside to get a round effect to the selvage

Finishing your piece of costume before adding decoration

Tablet woven bands that are woven into the end (and start) of the fabric

The end - yarns of fabrics were finished with tablet woven bands, where these end - yarns of fabric were used as a weft, in groups of four. According to Seija Sarkki a typical feature to Finnish tablet woven bands that are woven into the fabric is so called brick wall- outlook.That is made by placing yarn through only two of the four holes of tablet, the opposite ones, look at this picture.

Two tablets in pairs (same position, but yarn goes into from the opposite direction) are common. Both sides of the loom are placed normally from one to four yarns through each four holes. The tablet in outermost side has four yarns in each four holes, which makes the outside of the tablet very beautiful. This picture of overdress band patterns that are woven into the fabric is copied from unpublished working instruction manual for Eura dress replica (Luistari, grave 56) made by Erja Valtonen. These are my favourite instructions, I like the look of these two bands very much. There are, and were, many other patterns for these brick wall - bands as well.

In this picture you can see the weaving of such band in process. End yarns of the loom are used as a weft, here in groups of four (depends on yarn thickness). The group goes through the loom once, the tablets are turned and the same group comes back again. The tablets are turned and a new group of yarns is used as a weft and to be continued... Notice the beautiful brick wall - structure.

If you want to use this method to a fabric bought from a store, buy 8 cm extra length and take about 4 cm warp apart from both ends. Weave bands to both ends of fabric.

Finishing of the tablet-woven bands

Tablet woven bands that are woven into the fabric were used to fabrics that were cut into pieces, too: tunics, underdresses etc. In this picture here is a hem of a tunic. Finishing like this is very tough and stays well-looking even after long wear. The brick wall - structure is here again, of course. In this picture (this a wrong side of the tunic) you can easily see small warp leftovers of red tablet woven band. They are cut after finishing the band. Ends of the looms of the tablet woven band were not used into decoration, because spirals were this time considered to be unpractical. Note - weave the bands before cutting the fabric. Choose a pattern for your costume that places both the sleeve hem and the hem of your dress / tunic / other onto the brick wall - finishing band.

Ends of the looms of tablet woven bands were woven into (here four) finger-looped bands. These bands are each woven with 3 loops, since using more loops to create one band would make it too thick to be used in decoration. Pieces of spiral decoration are threaded to those to form a "fan" decoration.

This picture demonstrates the method of making a simple finger-looped band. Make 3 loops from a tightly spun yarn and tie them all together from the bottom. Find a weight, tie it and let it hung towards the floor. It does not need to be a very heavy item, my bigger scissors are in most cases heavy enough. Take one of the loops to the finger of your right hand and two to the fingers of the left. Turn palms of your hands towards your face. Put the loop you have in your right hand through each of the left in turn and switch them from a hand to another. Spread your hands out between switching. When you are using this method to yarn that is attached to fabric, you just tie the upper ends - note that you may have to add some extra yarns to get the right amount of loops.

Patterned and colorful tablet woven bands

Patterned and colorful tablet woven bands, were stiched either to the side of the finishing brick wall -patterned tablet woven bands or the selvage, depending on how the overdress fabric was placed to wear. Bands were made of thin wool and were very narrow, about 1 cm wide. Weft was made of nettle or hemp.

Sometimes a bit thicker yarn were used for belts. Many of them are about 2 - 3 cm wide.

Patterns were often very complicated ones, and very sophisticated weaving techniques were used. The maker of these bands was most likely a professional band weaver.

Spiral decoration

Spirals were used to decorate apron and cloak mostly. The amount of spiral decoration used in one outfit increased from the start of the appearance (9th century) towards the most fashionable season, 11th century.

Some spiral decoration has been used to finish tablet woven leg bands and 9th century male tablet woven belts. In this picture there is a replica of a male belt of 10th century from the grave 100 in Luistari graveyard. The book Luistari I - the graves by Lehtosalo-Hilander has many photos of these belts. The diameter of the spiral wire should be somewhat bigger than used in this picture. So far no spirals that could decorate female belts are found from graves.

The size of the spirals varied. In the beginning of the season the diameter of bronze wire was as much as 1,5 mm, or more in male spiral belts, and the diameter of the tube made from the wire could be 5 mm. This male cloak replica is from Luistari, grave 358, 10th century. The diameter of the wire is about 0,5 mm.

Thinner wire got more fashionable within time. During 12th century the fashion in female costuming fashions minimal spiral diameter in the west coast Finland, because of the new fashion and a new outlook: lightweight silver jewellery. The ornaments attached to cloak in Masku dress replica (from about 1100) were only about 1,5 cm by diameter.

Spirals were made into tubes, which were cut into pieces. The wire used in that time was a mixture of bronze and brass, mostly brass. Typical for the spiral fashion of the Viking Age is that the tubes were opened every 5 mm length. When they are placed in angles, the openings will meet and form crosses, where the red yarn can be seen. The small spiral loops in the ends are for turning when the ornament is made, and also for stiching the ornament into the fabric when finished.

The right down corner of an 11th century apron replica. Down is the brick wall - decorated tablet woven band that is woven into the fabric. In the side there is a variation of double selvage, a hollow plain weave selvage. It was a version designed by 20th century researchers. The corner "fan" decoration of that century has two layers in the top; which is not the simplest form of "fan" that appears in the graves. The apron is outlined with pieces of spiral tube. Spiral ornaments are attached to the apron, which is very typical to 10th and 11th centuries. Women collected ornaments using spiral tubes, which they attached to aprons. These ornaments in the picture attached are about 5 cm by diameter, and the diameter of the spiral tubes are about 3 mm. They should have been made from a 1 mm bronze wire, but this is thinner. During 9th century the decoration of an apron was rather simple; the only spirals were these "fans" in apron corners. During 10th century an outlining with pieces of spiral tube was added. During the 11th century spiral ornaments were attached to the apron as well.

The degree of complexity of the "fan" decoration increased during the centuries. This picture is published in Euran esihistoria, written by Lehtosalo-Hilander, p. 241, drawing by Rauno Hilander. (an English summary of this book is available in Eura museum, Naurava Lohikäärme). In the beginning of the 9th century, when this model first appeared to the apron, the "fan" was simple, but became larger and more complex until the end of 11th century.

All apron corners had at least "fans" as a decoration (at least if the woman was a wealthy one). Finns did not bother to waste material putting expensive spirals into places where they were not seen. So, overdress was made with double selvage and attached tablet woven bands, just like an apron, but lacking spiral "fans". The "fan" was a speciality of an apron and a cloak.

The wrong side of an apron. You can see the long stitches attaching the spiral ornaments. You can hardly see the warp leftovers of a green tablet woven band. They are cut after finishing the band, but they could also left uncut as fringes. According to Tyyni Vahter (a former researcher of the difference of spiral decoration in different parts of Finland), the women in Finland liked to build their spiral ornaments with red yarn dyed with madder. The yarn used to collect an ornament from spirals was very thin, since it was not used as such, but made into finger-looped bands.

Male Viking Finn Costume Replicas

This article and the replicas were created for a competition of medieval crafts during 2001-2002. This is a documentation of the process of making these replicas. Yes, I got a first price!

No part of this text is allowed to be cited or published without my permission. Please note that methods of research get better all the time, and new interpretations may appear.

It is a well known "fact" that throughout Scandinavia during our period all men wore the same clothes, although women’s dress differed. However, this "fact", like many urban legends is not true. Men’s garment details differed according to nationality, and there were some elements that were typical to the Finnish Male costume of the Viking era.

During the Viking Age, Finns of the west coast were buried instead of cremated. They were buried with many of their goods and wearing their best clothing. Finnish women used bronze spirals to decorate their clothing, and because of that some pieces of their garments survived. Unfortunately men were less likely to use the spirals, so we have fewer extant examples to study. However, there are some pieces left. Since very little is left, we have to remember, as Professor Lehtosalo-Hilander says "It is dangerous to believe that we know everything there is to know about the Finnish male garments, luckily the situation is a lot better with the Finnish female garments" (lesson).

Parts of the garment


Male grave in Luistari cemetery in 9th-10th century (Suomen historia I, p.349)In a cemetery in Eura, on the west coast of Finland, a 9th century grave was found of a Finnish man. Professor Lehtosalo-Hilander describes that grave, number 90, this way: 'The upper torso of the male was dressed in garments made from at least two different types of fabric. Although both fabrics are woolen twill, they can be distinguished, because in one the weft is spun in different directions, i.e. four adjacent yarns were alternatively Z- and S-spun. The spiral ornaments were sewed to this fabric, while in the textile found beneath a large penannular brooch, all the wefts were Z-spun. This suggests that the spiral ornamented garment was not a cloak but possibly a smock. This is also suggested by a seam discovered beneath a spiral ornament located on top of a spiral fire-steel. The fragment was upside down upon being discovered, which means that the seam was facing upwards. The same fabric was found beneath the fire-steel; it had 10-11 S-spun warps and approximately 9 wefts per centimeter.' (Luistari IV, p. 198) Fabrics with alternately spun wefts have also been found in three other graves from the same time period in the cemetery of Luistari, and at least two of the remains are from a cloak. (Luistari IV, p.198) The woven result is interesting: one colored but still visible in the certain type of light. Picture: Male grave in Luistari cemetery in 9th-10th century (Suomen historia I, p.349) According to professor Lehtosalo-Hilander this type of weaving does not appear in other part of Scandinavia, nor other parts in Finland (which may occur from the fact that male graves from that period have not been found elsewhere in Finland). This type of weaving has been found from Austria, Halstadt-culture period, from 7th century BC. (Valtonen, p. 5)


I bought the Z-spun thread I used, and only spun the S-spun thread myself, with a drop spindle. The drop spindle was the type of spindle used in the Viking era. I did not do all the spinning myself: my husband did some of it. Sometimes the result is too tight; in the weft such tightness, which is good in warp, is not necessarily needed. In ancient Finnish dress reconstructions, in five of them, the weft is always recommended to be made of loosely spun yarn.


I wove the fabric using a modern loom. It is thought that during the Viking Age Finland cloth was only woven on warp-weighted looms (for example Lehtosalo-Hilander, Riikonen). Warp-weighted looms are a simpler construction than modern loom, but it is still possible to weave fine and complicated fabrics with it. Working with it is about five times slower than using vertical looms. Warp-weighted looms are difficult to keep the fabric width even, because the building of the loom is simpler, also the building of the bandage wanted is made manually after building the loom, not between the building like in modern looms (Raitio). However, recently I have found information from Köyliö, which is situated also at the western coast Finland, that there has been found 3/3 woven twill, which is woven on vertical looms instead of warp weighted ones (Tomanterä). The archaeologists think it was imported, but that means vertical looms were possible. The cloth I wove is 4/4 twill, which is common in Finnish Viking Age finds. The finest twills found from Luistari graves have 20 warp yarns per centimeter. Those Carelian graves, which have 40 warp yarns per centimeter, are probably have been imported. (Lehtosalo-Hilander, Euran puku ja muut muinaisvaatteet)

Here in my work I chose the thickness of 10 warps and approximately 9 wefts per centimeter, as it was in the most upper piece of textile in the grave 90. The warp I bought from the store, it is plied and has tex 90x2. In Viking Age Finland women were able to spin the yarn strong enough to be used in warp without being plied, but also plied yarns were used in warps. (Lehtosalo-Hilander, Euran puku ja muut muinaisvaatteet)


I decided to warp the loom using thread of a natural color, because I wanted to create a long piece of cloth, and then dye it in pieces. In color analyses from Luistari cemetery, it was noticed, that the color did not go through the yarns totally, and professor Lehtosalo-Hilander thinks that the dying was sometimes done to the finished cloth versus the thread (Euran puku ja muut muinaisvaatteet).

I bought some madder (Rubia tinctorum L.) and used it to dye the cloth. Madder is said to be the only source for red color in the Viking Age Finland (Lehtosalo-Hilander) and it was used in the wealthy Luistari graves (Lehtosalo-Hilander). My dyeing result is perhaps a bit more brown than optimal with madder. This could be because my liquid was a bit too warm. But, the latest investigations, made in a modern laboratory in York, has proved that the red in one of the graves in the cemetery in Kaarina, also in the west coast of Finland, did not come from the madder, it was dyed with the grey moss which grows on the stones (Parmelia saxatilis) (Riikonen, symposium). The resulting color is a brownish red. Also, to get good red from madder a lot of roots is needed (Hassi), and I have noticed when investigating ancient dresses that in many rich graves mostly smaller pieces, like belts, were red and the bigger pieces of cloth were other colors, often blue and green. So, the end result, is that the color I wound up with is correct.

It is, in fact, surprising how little red color there are in the west coastern Viking age graves. There are a lot of blue colored fabrics in the wealth graves, and a lot less red. Woad (Isatis tinctoria L.) and indigo (Indigofera tinctoria), which has both supposed to have been the source of blue color in Viking Age (Lehtosalo-Hilander) are not easy either. Indigo is an imported good and to dye with woad, you need to collect a huge amount of leaves, and the process to dissolve the color is said to be a lot of work (Raitio, morsinkovärjäys). I think that the Finns appreciated blue color more than red.

Cutting the fabric

The cut is very simple, like in most period costumes, some rounding is made under the arm to ease in movement: I do not want my husband to rip his clothes right away. There are no large tunic remains, so no patterns could be taken from Finnish graves (Lehtolsalo-Hilander) so I decided to cut a simple basic tunic.

According to professor Lehtosalo-Hilander (Euran esihistoria), the method of finishing the woven garment with table woven bands using the woven warp as the weft of the band, came to Finland from Scandinavia some time before the Viking Ages, so using a tunic pattern from earlier Denmark is a reasonable choice, since that shows that techniques traveled into Finland from Scandinavia during or before the time of my study.

Sewing and finishing

Though there are a few surviving seams from the Finnish graves (Appelgren-Kivalo, Lehtosalo-Hilander), I have used the seam structures found in the Danish Hedeby graves (Hägg). The side seams were sewn like this, which is a good choice, and it keeps its position well. The neck hole finishing method is interesting: the end of the fabric, which is hidden with a finger looped braid and the turn is finished with double rows of simple stitches, has also found from Hedeby. The finger looped band I have made after the Finnish Viking Age finds (for example. Tomanterä).

The tunic hem and sleeve hems are woven finished a tablet woven band, which is a common method of finishing women's clothes in the Viking Ages (Lehtosalo-Hilander). Lehtosalo-Hilander also finds it possible that this kind of finishing might have also been used in male clothing (Euran puku ja muut muinaisvaatteet). My husband wanted more red in the garment, so I made table woven braids from the madder-red colored wool. The yarn is a bit thicker than what is found in the grave finds from the rich Luistari graves (from the info from the instructions of making reconstructions of the female ancient dresses), but the color effect pleases my husband, who in the end is the one who is going to wear the outfit.

There is also one grave in the Luistari cemetery, in which woven bands are made in a different color than the fabric (Lehtosalo-Hilander, Euran puku ja muut muinaisvaatteet). The red yarn of the band was sold to me as having been dyed with madder, by Mrs Erja Kaarina Helkiö who sells the material for ancient female costume from Eura. Just red like this band is called an 'Eura red' because so many bands with exactly same red are found from all around the west coast and many archaeologist's think that there was a person or an entire village, who sold bands to a bigger area (Sarkki, Lehtosalo-Hilander).

tSeam constructions from Hedeby finds (Hägg, p.150)

Lehtosalo-Hilander finds this red to be very typical of the area of Eura (Ancient Finnish costumes) The model of the tablet woven band is taken from the Luistari woman's grave upper garment from around 1050, which is my favorite model among the fabric end finished bands. This kind of finishing is very common in Finland (Sarkki, Lehtosalo-Hilander) and the structure of the band, called brick model weave, is said to be very typical especially for Finland, though not uncommon in the rest of Scandinavia. (Sarkki).

In the fabric end tablet woven bands the yarns are not put in each four holes of the tablet, the opposite twos by pairs, then chancing the corners. Often the woven bands are finished with bronze spiral decorations, typically women's apron corners (Lehtosalo-Hilander), but not always, as in the women's upper dresses (Lehtosalo-Hilander) where those spirals would be under the arms and in the hem, which is not practical and also hidden, so other people won't see it. So here the spirals are left out, because there would be in very unpractical (sleeve) or hidden (sides) places.


In the grave 90 in the Luistari cemetery bronze spiral ornaments were attached (sewed) to the tunic. I have made four red finger looped bands which are decorated with spiral pieces. Finger looped bands with bronze spirals are typical to the west coast Finland (Vahter), and in the grave 56, where a highly decorated women's apron is found, the spirals were put into red yarn finger loops while the apron itself is green (Luistari I). The biggest spiral ornament is in the grave 90 was found where the middle of the stomach would be, but it is assumed that it moved from where it originally was. There is only one of them, which either has been in the middle of the breast or there has been other(s), which is now lost or broken.

A corner of the tunic I made. Notice the red tablet woven band as the hem finishing. Leftovers from the loomends can be seen here in the wrong side between the band and the fabric. Picture © Satu Hovi 2005.

This bronze spiral ornament decoration is not used in the rest of Scandinavia (Lehtosalo-Hilander, Geijer etc.), but there is a tunic from Viking era Estonia with sewed spiral decoration around the neck (Tallgren). Also there is a find from Lithuania, a man's tunic with plenty of spirals attached to the fabric (Zarina). So, this tunic represents features that are more common to the Baltic area during the Viking Age than Scandinavia.
Detail of an Estonian Viking Age tunic (Tallgren).

The belt

Round tablet-woven bands used as belts, worn doubled around the waist are found in seven graves from Luistari cemetery (Lehtosalo-Hilander). In grave 90 a couple of centimeters of the band has survived under the fire steel (Luistari I), and professor Lehtosalo-Hilander has concluded that the band was made with ten square tablets, each using a thread in every table corner, making a total of 40 threads. Grave 90 is the only grave in the cemetery where a piece of an actual belt fabric has survived, in the other graves only the spiral lines are left (Lehtosalo-Hilander). In some graves, some pieces of the finger looped bands between the spirals crossing each other are left (Luistari I), but it is not clear that these pieces are from belts. In many of those graves leftovers of finger looped band has survived inside the spiral pieces.

I made a round tablet woven band. A band becomes round, if the weft is always put inside the warp from the same side.

The warp of the band in the grave 90 is woven into finger looped bands and spiral pieces are put on those (Lehtosalo-Hilander). Only some of the finger looped bands survived inside the spirals (Lehtosalo-Hilander). Professor has drawn a picture, where she plans the order of the loops, which I disagree. On my opinion the spirals has moved from their original place during the centuries.

Here begins my investigations: when finishing the warp with finger loops, some extra thread has to be added, or ignored, to match. But, also in the finishing of female 12-13th century cloak ends, a bunch of extra threads are added to match the amount of finger loops with spiral decoration (the making instructions of the reconstructions of the ancient Perniö dress). Large pieces of the cloaks in many graves from around the year 1200 in Perniö area have survived because of the spiral decoration (Appelgren-Kivalo).

Spirals in grave number 100 in Luistari cemetery (Luistari I, p.407). The idea to the pattern to this belt end is taken from the grave number 100 in Luistari cemetery. It is damaged, but the idea can be seen clearly. My reconstruction is made from a bit thicker yarn than the original, but this is again the so called 'Eura red' which is close to the idea of west coast Finnish dress and feels good in use (my husband has used earlier reconstructions already).

The spirals are made from the bronze wire a bit thinner than was used in the period of the outfit, because that was the size I could get. The spiral wire should be about 2 millimeters thick. Thinner wire, like I am using here, seems to appear in younger grave finds. Those are found from 13th century Karelia, where they were much smaller in diameter and decorated women's apron hems in large surface (Lehtosalo-Hilander, Ancient Finnish Costumes). Picture: The belt I made. © Satu Hovi 2005.

Again, no belts exactly like this are found in Sweden or Denmark (Lehtosalo-Hilander), but there is a leather belt from Gotland with spirals (Geijer & Arbman, Thunmark-Nylén) as well as some remaining belts from Lithuania (Zarina). Neither of those are totally similar, though.

The cloak

According to professor Lehtosalo-Hilander in many graves of wealth men, traces of a blue (dark blue) cloak were found. There are several, and she thinks that in the west coast Finnish society of the Viking Age, a blue cloak was a sign of wealth or appreciation. (Euran puku ja muut muinaisvaatteet).

The blue color of the cloak was dyed either with indigo (Indigofera tinctoria ) or woad (Isatis tinctoria L.) (Valtonen), which is a common archaeophyte in Finland. Indigo was an import good. Both of the plants include the same type of color pigment. In the grave 348, from 10th century, in the Luistari cemetery traces of the cloak are woven with wefts using both Z- and S- spun thread, 4 of each in a turn (Lehtosalo-Hilander). It makes an interesting light effect. The size of the cloak can be estimated from the position of little spiral corners in the grave. It was about 110 cm wide and surprisingly short, only about 160 cm (a consultation of Erja Valtonen, now Erja Kaarina Helkiö).

I did the weaving myself using a modern loom. I bought the yarn for both the warp and weft, colored and spun from Erja Kaarina Helkiö, a lady who helped with the investigation of the first reconstruction of this cloak and made it. The reconstruction is visible in the National Museum of Finland. Nowadays she sells both material and ready made Viking male cloaks.

The cloth is again 4/4 twill, as the surviving pieces in the grave 348 in Luistari cemetery. The thickness of the warp and weft is about 9. The warp thread is Tex. 90x2 and the weft thread tex 165, which is as close to the thread thickness in the grave as possible. (After the consultation of professor Lehtosalo-Hilander to Erja Kaarina Helkiö).

The selvage construction is something that does not appear in Scandinavia anymore during the Viking Age. From a small piece of fabric in the grave 348 that could be investigated, the selvages of the cloak were woven into a hollow tube selvage, in the final weaving instructions erja Kaarina Helkiö recommends the one of 16 yarns in both selvages. These hollow tube selvages are common in Viking Age Finnish women's graves; they appear commonly in the apron and upper dress selvages (in fact finds of those garment without these selvages are rare). Those hollow tube selvages were used in all of Scandinavia during the migration period, but were still in fashion only in Finland during the Viking Age (Lehtosalo-Hilander, Euran esihistoria). I think that it is an approach typical to the warp weighted looms, and while those were in common use in Finland in the Viking Age and not anymore in the other Scandinavia, Finns were the only one's that continued that form of weaving.

I found the weaving of hollow tube selvages to be difficult. The warp yarns have to be very tight; a lot tighter than the rest of the warp. The mundane working instructions made by Erja Kaarina Helkiö ( the same method appears also in all the other working instructions of ancient Finnish dresses, made by others), are difficult to a non-professional weaver. After weaving this cloak I have read the graduate work of Elisa Torvinen, from the University of Helsinki, where she wove a Viking age woman's cloak using tablet weaving band tablets, the selvage warp yarns in table holes, when weaving her work in the modern looms, instead of complicated, modern method of weaving. Miss Torvinen did not have much trouble with weaving the cloak, according to her text. That sounds simpler, and I am sure the Vikings used tablets when making hollow tube selvages, too. Together with the hollow selvages seems to travel the method of weaving a tablet woven band both to the start and the end to the fabric. Those methods of finishing seems to travel together in the fabric pieces found from Finnish women's graves from the Viking age. The tablet woven bands are woven using fabric warp yarns as a weft of the band. Typical to Finland is, as I have written earlier, that there is a yarn only in two corners instead of four in the middle of he band. This band was made from 24 yarns, 4 yarns in the side tablets and two in the middle ones (Valtonen, Viikinkimiehen viitta, p. 8). My husband has built me a wooden rack, which helps weaving fabric end tablet woven bands.

Again a typical sign for Finnish grave finds together with fabric end tablet woven bands is that the tablet warp is formed into finger looped bands, into which some spirals are attached. From grave 348 those are formed into a beautiful detail (Luistari I and Valtonen, working instructions) where the finger looped bands twist between each other and the spirals. Picture: A corner of my cloak. © Satu Hovi 2005.

Other parts of the dress

No traces of pants are found from the Finnish graves, or traces of any headdress and only an idea of any shoes (Lehtosalo-Hilander, Euran esihistoria). Many graves have marks of mittens made with nålebinding.


Published sources
Appelgren-Kivalo, Hjalmar: Suomalaisia pukuja myöhemmältä rautakaudelta. Helsinki, 1907 (1908).
Geijer & Arbman: En detalj i den Gotländska mansdräkten under vikingatiden. Fornvännen 1940.
Hannusas, Susan & raitio, Sari: Morsinkovärjäys - historiaa ja kokeiluja. Turun maakuntamuseon monisteita 12. 1997
Hassi, Terttu: Kasvivärjärin ohjekirja.
Hägg, Inga: Berichte ûber die ausgrabungen in Haithabu. Bericht 20. Die textilfunden aus dem Hafen von Haithabu. 1984.
Ken kantaa kalevalaa. Kalevala Koru 100-year celebration exhibition booklet. 1985.
Lehtosalo-Hilander, Pirkko-Liisa: Ancient Finnish Costumes. Helsinki, 1982
Luistari 1-II. SMYA 89. Helsinki, 1989.
" Luistari IV. SMYA 107. Helsinki, 2000.
" Euran esihistoria. Vammala 2000
" Euran puku ja muut muinaisvaatteet. Vammala 2001.
Raitio, Sari: Kankaiden aloituksia ja lopetuksia sekä putkihulpion kutominen loimipainoisissa pystykangaspuissa. Turun maakuntamuseon monisteita 2. Turku 1991.
Sarkki, Seija: Suomen ristiretkiaikaiset nauhat. HYAL moniste no 18.
Suomen historia I. Weilin & Göös, 1982.
Tallgren, A. M.: Esihistoriallinen puku Viron Pärnumaalta. Suomen Museo 1923.
Thunmark-Nylén, Lena: Dräkt och dräktsmycken på Gotland under vikingatiden. Gutar och Vikingar.
Tomanterä, Leena: Kaksi Köyliön miekkahautaa. HYAL moniste no 16. Helsinki, 1978.
Vahter, Tyyni: Pronssikierukkakoristelun teknillisistä menetelmistä. Suomen Museo 1949.
Working instructions for the ancient dresses from Perniö and Mikkeli.
Zarina, Anna: Neue Funde der Lettgallischen Männertract aus dem 11. Jahrhundert. Textilsymposium Neumünster (NESAT V), Neumünster, 1994

Unpublished sources
Helkiö, Erja Kaarina before called Valtonen), a written consultation and weaving instructions of a men's cloak, February 2001.
Torvinen, Elisa: Vilusenharjun vaippa. Rekonstruktio Tampereen Vilusenharjun kalmiston haudan numero 2 myöhäisrautakautisesta naisten vaipasta. Syventävien opintojen tutkielma, Helsingin Yliopisto, kasvatustieteellinen tiedekunta, 1997.
Valtonen, Erja (now called Helkiö): The weaving instructions for the ancient dress from Eura.
Valtonen, Erja (now called Helkiö): Viikinkimiehen viitta. Artesaanityö. A graduation work from the Satakunta School of Handcrafts.
Working instructions for an ancient dress from Carelia

Non-written sources
Lehtosalo-Hilander, Pirkko-Liisa: a lesson held in the National Museum of Finland in March 12th, 2002.
Riikonen, Jaana: a lesson held in the symposium of ancient Finnish dresses held in Helsinki on February 2nd, 2002.

Some books about Viking Finn Costumes:

Appelgren-Kivalo Suomalaisia pukuja rautakaudelta. 1907 Archaeological grave find catalog with great pictures originally drawn with pencil. Westcoast female dress, lots of textile remains from about year 1200. In German. Not on sale anymore; nor to borrow from a library.
Hirviluoto, Anna-Liisa: Uutta tietoa rautakauden hiusmuodista An article about a grave where a female head was found with hair on and the hairstyle reconstructed. In Finnish.
Hägg, Inga Some Notes of the Origin of PeplosType Dress in Scandinavia. An article.
Kaukonen, Toini Inkeri: Kinnasompelun levinneisyys ja työtavat Suomessa; SM 1960 An Article about nålebinding methods in Finlands folk tradition. One photo from a medieval mitten reconstruction in scale 1:1. In Finnish
Ken kantaa Kalevalaa. 1835 Kalevala 1985. 1984. Working instructions about a westcoast Viking Age dress from about 1100. Printed, but because an exhibition catalog, might be difficult to find (no ISBN-number). Printed in English, too. Try an international loan from the National Board of Antiquities Library in Finland. In Finnish.
Kivikoski, Ella Suomen Rautakauden kuvasto I-II Two catalogs of all kinds of Viking Age finds from Finland. Full of originally pencil-drawn pictures!
Lehtosalo-Hilander: Ancient Finnish Costumes. 1982 Book about Viking Age costumes in Finland. Female only. Basic information is correct. Read the text, do not only look at the pictures! Some of the reconstructions are not archaeologically correct.
" :Mikkelin kalmistot ja karjalainen kulttuuri. Laudaturtyö. Helsingin yliopisto. 1966. Unpublished work about the gravefinds from Mikkeli era textiles and jewellery. In Finnish. Not much pictures. Try an international loan from Arts Faculty Library of the University of Helsinki.
" :Luistari. Lisensiaattityö. Unpublished work about Luistari grave finds, writes about male graves, too. Some pictures, fex. about a wallet and spiral belt reconstruction that are not in her later, published works. Try an international loan from Arts Faculty Library of the University of Helsinki. In Finnish.
" :Luistari I-IV. I-III: SMYA 82: Helsinki 1982. IV: SMYA 107. Helsinki 2000. Four thick grave catalogs from the archaeological finds from Luistari cemetery, westcoast Finland. Lots and lots of picture in number I and IV. II,III and IV includes more text. Buy from Tiedekirja, Helsinki. I and III are in Finnish, II and IV in English.
" :Kalastajista kauppanaisiin. Euran Esihistoria. Eura county, 2000 ISBN 951-969664-1-5. A very good book about the ancient history of the Eura county. Lots about food and male and female textiles from the Viking Age. Many pictures. In Finnish only.
" :Fishermen, Farmers, Warriors and Traders. The excavated past of Eura. Eura county, 2000 ISBN 951-96964-2-3. The Eura county museum Naurava lohikäärme sells this booklet (33 pgs), which is a summary of the book above.
" Euran puku ja muut muinaisvaatteet. 2001. ISBN 952-91-4118-6. About Female Viking Age dress reconstructions. In Finnish.
", Sarkki & Tomanterä: Euran puku ja sen edeltäjät. 1982. A black-and-white little book (48 pgs) about the development of the reconstruction of the Finn Viking Age dresses. Includes patterns to Eura dress, the original dress pieces are from about the year 1050. Buy from Eura county museum Naurava lohikäärme. In Finnish.
Margareeta, Pohjolan kuningatar. An exhibition catalog. Printed in Swedish and English (Margareta), too. A chapter about dress in the Middle Ages, after vikings from Margareta Nockert.
Muinais-Karjalan puvun työohjeet. Unpublished mundane working (weaving etc.) instructions of Ancient Dress of Carelia. Incl. dress patterns. In sale through Kalevala Koru. Note: the reconstruction and the instructions are not archaeologically correct in every detail. In Finnish.
Muinaissuomalaista muotoilua; Kalevala koru Jewellery from the Viking Ages; good overwiew of the development of style during the centuries.In Finnish. Lots of pictures.
Perniön puvun työohjeet Mundane working instructions (weaving & patterns) of the female dress from westcoast Finland from about the year 1200. Note: the reconstruction and the instructions are not archaeologically correct in every detail. In Finnish.
Pylkkänen, Riitta Renessanssin puku Suomessa 1550-1620. A very, very, very good book about the renaissance costume in Finland in 1550-1620 and its development from the Middle Ages and even before. Very, very detailed information about embroidery and the fur value. Writes also about fake-fur coats used in rain. Based on the survived account books of Turku castle. Many black-and-white pictures. In Finnish.
Pälsi, Sakari: Esihistoriallinen jalkine Raisiosta. Suomen museo (SM) An article about a shoe find from westcoast Finland. In Finnish.
" Miehen hauta…. (SM) An article about some male graves where lines of buttons in the right chest were found. It is construed to be a sign of wearing a coat. In Finnish.
Raitio, Sari Kankaiden aloituksia ja lopetuksia sekä putkihulpion kutominen loimipainoisissa pystykangaspuissa For those who want to build warp-weighted looms and weave Finnish Viking Age style hollow selvages with it. Photos of the finished textile experiments and some other pictures. A good loom building instruction one-page picture. The book is in sale in the store of Kurala, Kylämäki Village of Living History. In Finnish.
Riikonen, Jaana Naisenhauta Kaarinan Kirkkomäessä. Karhunhammas 6. An archaeological grave find from westcoast Finland about 1100, which includes lot of textiles. In Finnish.
Sarkki, Seija Suomen ristiretkiaikaiset nauhat. HYAL moniste no 22. The Crusader Age bands from Finland. A very, very good (directory-type) book about tablet woven bands woven into the fabric using fabric loom as weft. Lots of pictures = band instructions. Some other bands, too. Not in sale. Try an international loan from the National Board of Antiquities Library in Finland. In Finnish.
Sinihameet, kultavyöt. Suomalaisia muinaispukuja. Opintotoiminnan keskusliitto, 2003. ISBN 952-91-6391-6. Includes an article containing information never published before about the Viking Age grave finds from Tampere area. Older Ancient Dress reconstructions included. Many pictures. In Finnish.
Tomanterä, Leena: Tampereen Vilusenharjun tekstiiliaineisto; Karhunhammas 3 An appendix. Archaeological finds from the cemetry of Vilusenharju in Tampere. No pictures. In Finnish. " Euran puvun tekstiiliaineisto; Vakkanen 3 This article includes some photos from textiles from the female grave number 56 in Luistari, Eura, which are not published anywhere else. In Finnish.
Vahter, Tyyni: Pronssikierukkakoristelun teknillisestä menetelmästä; SM 1928. An article about how the spiral details were made and its difference depending of the area and century in Finland. Includes pictures. Very, very good, detailed information not available anywhere else. In Finnish.
" Tuukkalan neulakinnas, SMYA An article about a nålebinded male mitten with embroidery from 14th century. Some pictures (very small and bad one from the embroidery). In Finnish.
Vajanto, Krista: Euran emännän neulakintaat. About several nålebinded mittens in Finland in the Viking Age and in the Middle Ages. Good instructions about the methods and very good photos (also from the embroidered mitten in the article above). In Finnish.
Available in the Net: In Finnish, some fotos about the fragments.
Valtonen, Erja (Erja-Kaarina Helkiö): Euran puku; työohjeet. Unbublished working instructions of the Eura dress from about year 1050 for a mundane dressmaker and weaver. Some of the detail information is missing compared to archaeological finds. Weaving instructions are for mundane looms. Sold by the author.

To compare with Scandinavian and Baltic archaeological finds:

The Acient Hungarians. Hungarian National Museum. 1996 An exhibition catalog. Lots of belt decoration pieces and purses. (Printed in Finnish, too: Muinaiset unkarilaiset.)
Bau: Birkas kvinnodräkt i nytt ljus, KUML Swedish Viking Age female dress, a good article. In Swedish.
Bunt, Cyril G.E.: Byzantine Fabrics Examples about the patterned silk fabrics from early period.
Elsner, Hildegard: Wikinger Museum Haithabu: Schaufenster einer fruhen Stadt. Wachholtz Verlag. Good, short chapter about viking textiles. The best overview that I have found. In German.
From Viking to Crusader. Scandinavia and Europe 800-1200. Sweden, 1992 An exhibition catalog. Includes photos of some textile pieces from large byzantium-type pants and fake-fur coats.
Geijer, Agnes: Birka II:2 Swedish Viking Age dress. A book in German.
Gutar och vikingar; Statens historiska museum, Gotland Very good museum book from Viking Age Gotland. Little about food, a little about textiles, a little….note the belts, which have similarities to Finnish tablet woven spiral belts of men. Note that the cut of Female dress is similar to Finns and different to Swedish one. In Swedish.
Hagen, Karen Gjol: Solplissé - en reminisens av middelalderens draktutvikling? Varia 25. Oslo 1992 About pleating in textiles in the Middle Ages and later. Lots of pictures. A good one. In Norvegian.
Hald, Margarethe: Ancient Danish textiles Classical Viking Age textiles in Denmark- book. Very good.
Hägg, Inga: Ausgrabungen in der hafen von Haithabu Inga Hägg is a known archaeologist, who has sometimes some wild ideas about the Viking Age textile world. A book from finds of German viking town Hedeby. In German.
Ieruselimskaja; Anna A.: Die gräber der Moscevaja Balka. Munchen 1996 A book about archaeological graves from the lake Baikal with a lot of textiles. Lots of color pictures. Many coats from the Viking Ages survived. In German.
Myth and Metal; Cësu muzeju aprieniba. 1997 Lithuanian costume reconstructions. Lots of photos. A booklet. Text both in Lithuanian and English.
Nockert, Margareta: Högom Find and Other Migration Period Costumes in Scandinavia. A very, very good book about early achaeological textiles. One of my favorites. Lots of patterns from various pants.
Nockert, Margareta: Bockstensmannen och hans dräkt. Borås 1997 A medieval man found from a marsh with his clothing. Lots of patterns and a good text which does compare to other sources and gives patterns to other finds. In Swedish.
Rud, Mogens: Bayeux Tapeten och slaget vid Hastings 1066. Kobenhamn 2000 Note that the men of high rank are wearing a mantle, the ordinary men do not. Lots of books about this tapestry are being published. This one is in Swedish.
Viking och hvidekrist. A good Scandinavian Viking Age exhibition catalogue. In Danish.
Zarina, Anna: Neue Funde der Lettgallischen Männertracht aus dem 11. Jahrhundert. NESAT 5 An article about Lithuanian male costume. All the NESATs that are published (1-8) are good to read. They are very, very useful books containing lots of textile history articles. NESAT 5 is a book about historical costume reconstructions.

Picture of the layout Hannele Maahinen, other pictures Satu Hovi unless otherwise mentioned
Texts are written by Satu Hovi
Copying any material is strictly forbidden without permission from the author.