General
Construction
Fabric
Reference

 

General  
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The fragment of cloth recovered from the upper layers in a well, has been reasonably identified as part of a cap. The preserved section measures 15cm x 32cms. The cap was probably in use for a long time, as the fragment is very worn on both sides.
 


Construction
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The fragment consists of two pieces (a and b) linked by a seam. The cut edges along the seam may have been notched. The sewn edge of part (a) is cut in curve form, part (b) joins to the curvature. Together they form a pattern which consists of a rounded crown part with straight sides.
The seam (1) joining the two parts is sewn with a 2-ply thread, zS spun. Each cut edge of fabric is folded once and sewn down with over-cast stitch. The folded edges are then sewn together with over cast stitch. The stitches are between 2-4mm long and 3-4mm apart. (below)
(The arrowed lines on the diagram indicate the straight grain of the fabric.)
 


Fabric
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It is a 2/2 twill wool with a thread count of 18 warp and 8 weft threads per cm, which has been fulled or fluffed up, and into which pile fibres have been sewn. There is evidence that the wool was dyed. Warp threads are z spun in 3 ply and between 0.4 and 0.7 mm thick. Weft threads are s spun in 2 ply and between 0.7 and 1mm thick. It is classified as a 'very fine' fabric. (below left; scale 3:1)
The pile fibres are a long, dark animal hair and have been sewn-in with a needle no more than 6 threads apart. Two weft threads are picked up with the needle and the pile fibres taken through the cloth , the pile fibres are then taken over and under 1 or both of these same weft threads and out of the same side of the fabric to leave a tail (a and b - right).
The overall effect would have been to make the fabric look like fur.
 


Reference
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All information in this article is taken from the Hedeby archaeology report by Inga Hagg (see Books).

 

© Rosie Wilkin 2008
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