Viking costume inspiration: Embellishment

Huginn & Muninn

Huginn & Muninn – copywrite Christine Foltzer


Viking costume inspiration: Embellishment

Beyond jewellery, other embellishment (like embroidery, trims, etc) is also something I wanted to look at. Most of the designs I’ve seen use tablet-woven trim, and in some cases small embroidered motifs around the neckline, but I thought in case there are embellishment opportunities, that a little look at designs I like might be useful. First up, (above) Odin’s Ravens Huginn & Muninn (Old Norse for “Thought” and “Memory”). Originally I saw this image on Pinterest, but it tracked back to a tumbler account.

This dragon sketch has been widely distributed on Pinterest, but it leads back to a deviant art account image.

Dragon sketch

Dragon sketch

A common symbol I’ve seen popping up several times is the ægishjálmr – (also apparently called the ayjershjelmet) which translates to the “helm of awe” or “helm of terror”, a magical symbol which would make the wearer invisible or unkillable, worn on the forehead between the eyes. While I don’t imagine there will be a lot of battle at the upcoming wedding… it might be an interesting nod to the mythology to embroider the symbol on the top of a hood…. 🙂

Original ægishjálmr symbol from The Viking Answer Lady - click for source.

Original ægishjálmr symbol from The Viking Answer Lady – click for source.

On the Folk Metal and a Pagan’s life Facebook page, there was also a chart of symbols. I found the original source on the Symbol Dictionary, and edited it a bit to include it here.

Norse symbols from the Symbol Dictionary

Norse symbols from the Symbol Dictionary

I don’t know if I want to include any of these, but I like having the reference. 🙂


Apron panel with embroidery.

Apron panel with embroidery.

Although most (but certainly not all) of the apron-dress panels have been relatively unadorned (apart from a bit of trim at the neckline) the two-piece apron front panel certainly would lend itself nicely to embellishment, like this panel from Deviant Artist Flashgriffin. I could see doing this or something similar by machine with a very narrow and short zigzag, or even couching. The artist describes this panel as white DMC cotton thread split stitch on linen.

“The design is based on a wood carving, apparently. It’s supposed to represent the twin silver wolves of Borealis.” 

Further, she says that the panel is about 2 feet long by about 8 inches across.  In this photo it isn’t complete; the final owner will be adding loops at the top to hang the panel from the brooches. Pinterest is proving to be a great source for ideas, this is another that I originally pinned before following through and reading the original page.


I might come back to add more things to this post later on, or I might just continue to add things to my “To Holmsgard and Beyond” Pinterest board.


5 comments on “Viking costume inspiration: Embellishment

  1. Adolph says:

    hello!,I love your writing so so much! proportion we
    be in contact extra about your article on AOL?
    I need a specialist in this area to solve my problem.
    Maybe that is you! Having a look forward to peer you.

  2. Hi Dawn,

    I am the artist behind the Huginn & Muninn image and it is copyrighted to me.
    I have no issue with you putting my art up as inspiration but please if you could credit me and link back to my website I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you,

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Christine,
      Thanks for tracking ME down! I try to track down the sources of inspiration to their creator, but Pinterest doesn’t always make it easy, and Tumblr (where I found your image) is even worse! I’ve updated the image with a link to your website and added your credit to the caption. Hope that is ok with you? 🙂

  3. tiffanywales says:

    It is just about the nicest one for inking purposes. I might do something I’ve never dreamed of doing before.. and wear the workings of an artist (who is not me) yet unknown to me! Very clever, very thoughtful – thank you for doing what you love; and if I do go ahead with “the unimaginable” I will be sure to accredit you with every compliment received. 🙂 Is that OK?

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