In my next few posts I’m hoping to share with you a few more photos from the Vikings in BC exhibit I visited over the summer. There were so many photos, and I had so many other sewing projects and things to share with you, that I didn’t get to them until now!
The photos in this post are all about ‘clothing construction’ from various areas in the museum exhibit. Above is a close up of the weaving combs below – these could be made in one or two pieces (Two-piece examples were found at Birka, while one-piece designs date back to the iron age) – and based on their design, I would imagine they were used for tightening a weave on narrow woven cloth (like trim or leg wraps) rather than the beating sword used for wider cloth. Based on their design, I don’t think they’re like wool combs, used for preparing raw wool for spinning into thread.
The combs are decorated with “ring & dot” along with line patterns. “Halldor the Viking” shows off an example of this pattern in his bone-working blog post, along with a tool used to make these designs. These combs were made of bone/antler, though I imagine wood would have also been used in areas where wood was available – though like the bobbins from the speculative four-strand braid “whipcord” the small pieces of wood have lots of reasons for not surviving through the centuries.
Next up is another ring & dot decorated ‘ironing board’ along with a smooth stone (or glass?) used for ‘ironing’, smoothing, pressing, and polishing linen. In Pauline’s Period Wardrobe blog, she shows a similar board, made of carved whalebone with a smoother made of beautiful glass. Her examples were from Sweden as well.
The exhibit case also included bone needles and scissors/snips – the design hasn’t changed much over the centuries for either!
You might remember that this exhibit didn’t encourage photography, so I wasn’t able to photograph the comments and information about each piece, and the photos are a bit dark compared to what I would have like to have photographed. To go back and read other posts from this exhibit, please click the Vikings in BC tag.