Making a bycocket / Att göra en Robin Hood-hatt

För ovanlighetens skull så inleder jag på Svenska.
Detta för att jag redan har skrivit om denna hatt och delat mönster och instruktioner på Medeltidsveckan på Gotlands facebooksida 🙂

Hantverksonsdag i dag. Medeltidsveckan närmar sig, och det är nu man kan börja tänka på detaljerna till sin dräkt om…

Opslået af Medeltidsveckan på Gotland på 12. juli 2017


Everybody is familiar with the classic bycocket, the hat that Robin Hood is wearing. The ”hunting hat” that you can find in many manuscripts with images about hunting.

I do agree with those that says that it is a hat made out of a felted fabric that is steemed and pulled over a mold to get it’s bellshape and then the brim is folded upp on just one side, which create the pointed shape.
Like this one that my husband is wearing here.
It is made by Amica Sundström from Historical Textiles

But – It is quite easy to sew one and get the same shape.

I have made two – but in different ways.
The first was just two pieces of fabric stitched together on the curved part.
Like this:

Well… to be honest, I did this twice and then stitched those two different hats together to achieve this:

If you look closely, you can se that the part on the right is a bit straighter than the part on the left and the peak is shifted a little bit back (to the left in the picture) thats just to achieve balance and get a longer ”nose” on the hat when you have it on. 

But I made a pattern that I believe is a good crossover betwen the two.


The blue arrow say ”your hat-measurement divided in two”.
And this is how I’m thinking when I am measuring for the pattern.:

The pattern above is made for one with about hatsize 56 cm. Every square measures 5 cm. Notice that the blue line is a bit above where you actually measures your hatsize. Therfore it is a bit smaller. Do a mocup before cutting in to your expensive fabric though 😉

About that – fabric. If you use a thick felted fabric, like something suitable for a cloak. Then you can sew with almost invisible stitches.
Like this:

The text says:
Blue dotted line = the fabrics core/weft.
The bended needle shows the way that the needle should take trough the fabric, but the needle is of course supposed to be straight when you are sewing 😉

Start by closing the small V-shapes on the crown, and then line up and sew the two halfs together.
I noticed that the underside got better than the side that I have up when I sew like this. You have to put the needle in just about where you got out to take the next stitch. You will go over the gap like a zigzag almost.
Here is some pictures of me sewing in this way so you perhaps can see for yourselves


And this is the back of the hat, you can se how it is curving in on top and giving you that round three-dimensional shape that you get from the pulled felted hat.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of it beeing worn. I had deleted the one where I tested it out. And it was a trade-of to a friends husband so I haven’t any pictures of him wearing it. I will ask for one if he is ok with me posting it here on the blog 🙂

If you want to make the hat taller or pointier on top or… well any changes on the crown. Just make certain that you leave the corners at 90 degrees so they will go together flat.

If you try this out – please show the resaults here in the comments 🙂

Everything but the kitchen sink / Allt eller inget

Every now and then I come across people that wants to know if they can use ”cooler” materials than wool, since it would be to warm during the summer to wear all the layers they want to wear.

Well, you can be a nobleman and use silk for the inbetween layer but why do you feel the need to wear autumn and winter garments during the summer?
It’s the same thing as putting on your warmest scarf, a nice thick cap and a coat in the middle of the summer.

If you want to have a lieripipe hood in the middle of the summer with hot sun. Well do so, but that is similar to putting on a knitted scarf in the middle of the summer in modern times.
You can do it, it can be a fashion statement. But you know that you will be hot and sweaty and that is a choice that you will have to make then.
If the fashion of today states that you need a thick woolen scarf, you probably wouldn’t get one in linnen. You would wear the wool and be warm or skip it. Perhaps you would bring it hanging over your bag or tucked in your belt so you could put it on when the sun goes down and it gets colder?
Sounds kind of like common sense?
Well yes it is.
So why do we insist of not listening to our common sense?

(We do need to remember though… the ”common sense” have changed a bit over the centuries. )

When I started doing ”Medieval things”, one thing that I heard often was that everyone had almost everything in their belt. Their food bowl, something to drink out of, the cutlery… If you owned it – you wore it in the belt.
Well, that was a lot of crap actually…
It seems that you don’t carry around your whle household in your belt. Perhaps a eatingknife. Or a dagger.
Maby a pouch for some gold for the less fortunate or to shop with. But not more than that. Or not at least what I have seen…

So strip your outfit down.
Do you really need everything at the same time?
If you don’t plan to use it – leave it at home. That goes for the garments as well.

On the other hand – when it is cold outside – use what you have to keep warm 😉
The picture is an old one of me at a winter event.


Ibland stöter jag på människor som vill veta om de kan använda ”svalare” material än ull, eftersom det skulle vara för varmt under sommaren för att bära alla lager som de vill.

Tja, du kan vara en adelsman och använda silke för mellanlaget, men varför måste du bära höst och vinterkläder under sommaren?
Det är samma sak som att sätta på dig din varmaste halsduk, en fin tjock mössa och en kappa mitt i sommaren.

Om du vill ha en struthätta i mitten av sommaren när solen skiner. Tja, ha det, men det blir samma sak som att man sätter på sig en stickad halsduk i mitten av sommaren i modern tid.
Klart du kan göra så, det kan vara en modetrend. Men du vet att du kommer bli varm och svettig och det är ett val som du får göra.
Om dagens mode säger att du behöver en tjock halsduk i ull,  såskulle du förmodligen inte skaffa en i linne. Du skulle bära ullen och svettas eller hoppa över den. Kanske skulle du bära halsduken hängande över din väska eller nerstoppad i bältet så att du kan ta på den när solen går ner och det blir kallare?
Låter det som vanligt sunt förnuft?
Jo, ja det är precis det.
Så varför insisterar vi på att inte lyssna på vårt sunda förnuft?

(Vi måste komma ihåg att ”sunt förnuft” har förändrats lite under århundradena dock.)

När jag började göra ”Medeltida saker”, så var det en sak som jag hörde ofta…  Alla hade nästan allt i bältet… Deras matskål, något att dricka ur, besticken … Om du ägde det – så bar du det i bältet.
Skitsnack helt enkelt …
Det verkar faktiskt som om man inte bar hela sitt hushåll i bältet. Kanske en ätkniv. Eller en dolk.
Kanske en påse för lite guld för de mindre lyckliga eller att handla med. Men inte mer än det. Eller inte vad jag har sett i alla fall …

Så förenkla din outfit.
Behöver du verkligen allt på samma gång?
Om du inte planerar att använda en sak – lämna den hemma. Det gäller också kläderna.

Å andra sidan – när det är kallt ute – använd vad du måste för att behålla värmen 😉
Bilden är en gammal av mig vid en vinterhändelse.

Historically Correct? Or just Historically Enough? / Historiskt Korrekt? Eller bara Tillräckligt Historiskt?

This is something that has been in the back of my head for a long time.
When we speak Historically Correct (HC), we also talk about sources. There can be finds, statues, images (often manuscripts) or some kind of text documents, etc. Everyone can sew a version of the Bogman’s clothes, or a Moy Bog dress, or perhaps use the sketches of the findings from Herjolfsnes to get as close as we can, even if we do not weave ourselvesor buy handwoven fabrics. But when you walk around in an event and point out that ”there is a Moy Bog,” and ”ah a Herjolfsnes * number *”, then you start to wonder if it really shows how it would have been?
Were all clothes made in the same shape? Were all clothes cut after just those models? And where is the line between ”HK” and ”Reconstructed after a finding”?
Can you be ”HK” without copying the shapes and models of a dug up piece?

I want to argue that you can!
There are a lot of common things if you look at what has been found. Among other things, the models on sleeves and sleeve gussets. How the gussets are located and how to sew the garment together. So if you are using the right material for the right garment, the right type of thread and the right kind of stitch and cut to your garment with an eye on images so that you get the right silhouette, I think you’re ”HC enough”.

My benchmark when I started sewing more source-based has always been to participate at Battle of Wisby, which takes place every third year at Gotland, and it’s partly what this blog and the tutorials I’ve done are about.
I do not recreate directly after finding. Or well I’ve done it twice just to try it and for me it’s not as fun when I can’t think of solutions to problems that can pop up – the answers are already there …
It’s also not fun when you risk walking around and looking like you have been shopping at the same store, when several others appear with the same model and maybe even the same fabric and color. Therefore, I have started looking at several different items, and deliberately not in detail. I do not want to be programmed to think that everything must be in a certain way.

On the other hand, it is quite interesting if you start with a simple kirtle – just a simple front and back. Then you look if the fabric you have left is enough for sleeves with a S-curve or if you want to make a straight sleeve as on a shift. Maybe you should have a straight cut sleeve but cut out the sleeve hole a bit like it’s on the Bogmans kirtle. Do you need to pice some fabric together to make bigger pieces?
My last kirtles sleeves is made up of several pieces. I practically speaking had to do a jigsaw-puzzle out of fabric, but it seems that they did that in the Middle Ages, too, if you generalize.

And well it is here my thoughts comes together – generalizations.
In some cases, it’s not good to generalize, you can miss much or get the picture wrong of what’s true and not.
But to generalize for yourself – when you have an idea about what is common and not and thus stay on the straight and narrow but still without directly reconstruct findings. Well, it feels like you get closer to the true way it could have been then.

So I’m basing my clothes on the findings. But just loosely. I mix parts from different findings.
Are the kirtle too tight around the chest?
Just put a gusset that goes all the way into the armpit, we know that they have done that in the Herjolfsnesfindings.
Do I need extra mobility around the shoulders but know that the model calls for a tight sleeve? Moy Bog has the solution, but I do not need to copy straight of.

One of the only things I’m looking at, is if I need to open and close the garment. How do I do that in the best and most historical way? And what findings do we have to assure that it closed just like that?

Can we freestyle a little more?
Can we try to coin the term  Historically Enough” or can we agree that ”HK” does not need to be equal to ”copy of …”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Det här är något som har legat i bakhuvudet länge.
När vi pratar Historiskt Korrekt (HK) så pratar vi även om källor. Det kan vara fynd, statyer, avbildningar (ofta manuskript) eller någon form av textdokument osv. Alla kan sy en variant av Bockstensmannens kläder, eller en Moy Bog-klänning, eller kanske använda principskisserna på fynden ifrån Herjolfsnes för att komma så nära vi kan komma även om vi inte väver tyger eller köper handvävt. Men när man kan gå runt på ett evenemang och peka ut att ”där går en Moy Bog”, och ”ah en Herjolfsnes *fyndnummer*” så börjar man fundera på om det verkligen var så det såg ut?
Var alla stöpta i samma form? Var alla kläder skurna efter just precis dom här modellerna? Och var går gränsen mellan ”HK” och ”Återskapat efter fynd”?
Kan man vara ”HK” utan att kopiera fyndens former och modeller?

Jag vill hävda att man kan det!
Det finns en hel del gemensamma nämnare i fynden. Bland annat vad gäller modeller på ärmar och ärmhål. Hur kilarna är placerade och hur man sydde ihop plaggen. Så om man nu använder rätt material till rätt plagg, rätt typ av tråd och rätt typ av stygn och skär till sitt plagg med ett getöga på avbildningar så att man får rätt siluett så anser jag att man är ”Tillräckligt HK”.

Min måttstock när jag började sy mer källbaserat har alltid varit deltagande på Battle of Wisby som sker vart tredje år på Gotland, och det är lite det som den här bloggen och de tutorials jag gjort går ut på också.
Jag återskapar inte direkt efter fynd. Eller tja jag har gjort det två gånger bara för att känna på, och för mig är det inte lika roligt när jag inte får tänka ut lösningar på problem som kan dyka upp – svaren finns ju liksom där redan…
Det är inte heller lika kul när man riskerar att gå runt och se ut som att man har shoppat på samma butik när det dyker upp flera andra med samma modell och kanske till och med samma tyg och färg. Därför har jag börjat titta på flera olika fynd, och medvetet inte grävt ner mig jättemycket i detaljer. Jag vill inte bli programmerad att tänka att allt måste vara precis på ett visst sätt.

Det är däremot rätt intressant om man börjar med en enkel kjortel – fram och bakstycke liksom… Sen tittar man om tyget räcker till ärmar med kulle eller om man ska göra en rak isättning som på en särk. Kanske man ska ha en rakt skuren ärm men ringa ur ärmhålet lite som det är på Bockstensmannens kjortel.  Behöver man skarva någonstans?
Min senaste kjortel har i princip skarvade skarvar på ärmarna. Jag fick pussla, men det verkar dom ha gjort under medeltiden också om man ser lite generellt till fynden.

Och det är väl här min tanke landar – generaliseringar.
I vissa fall är det himla dumt att generalisera, man kan missa så mycket då eller få en felaktig bild om vad som är sant och inte.
Men att generalisera själv – när man har en aning om vad som är vanligt och inte, och på så sätt hålla sig på den smala stigen men ändå inte direkt rekonstruera fynd. Tja det känns som att jag kommer närmare sanningen då.

Jag baserar alltså mina kläder på fynd. Men löst. Jag blandar delar från olika fynd.
Blev en kjortel för trång runt bröstkorgen?
Jamen sätt i en kil som går hela vägen upp i armhålan, det vet vi ju att dom har gjort i Herjolfsnesfynden.
Behöver jag extra rörlighet men vet att modellen ropar efter en trång ärm? Moy Bog har lösningen, men jag behöver ju inte kopiera rakt av.

Det enda jag tittar lite extra noga på är om jag behöver kunna öppna och stänga plagget. Hur gör jag det bäst? Och vad finns det för fynd på att den stängningen såg ut just så?

Kan vi kanske freestyla lite mer?
Kan vi försöka mynta begreppet ”Tillräckligt Historiskt” eller kan vi kanske komma överens om att ”HK” inte behöver vara jämställt med ”kopia av…”

Sewing buttons / Sy knappar

This video will be uppdated some day. But for now this will have to do. Sorry for only speaking Swedish, but I think that the images speaks for itself.
I maked this video with my phone tucked under my chin and taped to a measuringtape. So I know that the image isn’t centered and well… not that good either.
But I hope that you will get some help from it if you want to make buttons 🙂


Den här videon kommer att uppdateras någon dag. Men den får duga så länge.
Jag låter lite tillknäppt (pun intended 😉 ) och videon är inte centrerad. Det beror på att jag har klämt fast telefonen under hakan när jag filmade och stöttat den med ett måttband som sitter fasttejpat på telefonen 😉
Slit den med hälsan så länge i alla fall.

Sleeves – theoretical / Ärmar – teoretiskt

This is a simple picture that I made to try to adress the differences between a straight square and triangle-based kirtle (straight pieces with gussets). And a kirtle with a set in sleeve with a S curve.

To describe the picture…
1/ The top part is the simple straight pieces with gussets. This is praktically speaking the base for all kirtles.

2/ The middle drawing is to describe the difference between the S-sleeve and a straight one and the difference between the armhole.
The red dotted lines is the difference.

3/ The lowest drawing + the green line in the middle one is where the S-sleeeve must have the exact same shape to fit properly.


Den här enkla bilden gjorde jag för att förklara skillnaden mellan en vanlig rak isättning av ärm och en S-ärm.

1/ Det översta är raka stycken och kilar-principen, du behöver inte sy särken (linneunderkläderna) på något annat sätt än så här.  Det här är i princip grundkonstruktionen för alla överdelar. Man kan utgå ifrån detta när man ska bygga en annan typ av mönster.

2/ Den mittersta ska illustrera skillnaden mellan S-ärm med format ärmhål (alla röda streckade delar är ändringar)

3/ Den nedersta bilden, samt den gröna markeringen på både den och mellersta bilden ska visa vilka delar på ärm och ärmhål som måste ha precis samma form.

Learning by doing / Att lära sig praktiskt

During Medieval week / Medeltidsveckan in Visby (Gotland – Sweden) I will give a free course in how to sew a simple medieval tunic or dress.
The participants will learn by measuring and cutting out tunics that matches their measurements and then help sewing them.
The clothes will then be given to the volounteers closet to be used at the next event.

You can sign up for the event by going to ”courses/ kurser” and follow the instructions 🙂


Under Medeltidsveckan på Gotland kommer jag att hålla en gratis kurs i hur man syr enklare kjortlar.
Deltagarna får lära sig genom att mäta och klippa ut delarna enligt sina mått (troligtvis mäter man en i sin sy-grupp och använder denne som modell sedan) samt att sy ihop delarna till ett funktionellt plagg.
Kläderna kommer sedan Medeltidsveckans volontärer till nytta på nästa event.

Du kan anmäla dig genom att gå till ”courses/ kurser” och följa instruktionerna där 🙂

Only in Swedish – Bara på Svenska, kursinformation

Nu är det snart dags för kurs i att sy läderskor. Kursen håller vi i Stockholm.
Vilka är då vi?
Det är ju bara en person presenterad här på sidan.
Min partner in crime när det gäller skokurserna heter Karin och är barnmorska till yrket. Vi håller dessa kurser för att vi vill ära vår sko-mästers minne, och föra hans kunskapsarv vidare.
Detta blir vår fjärde kurs.  Och den första på bortaplan 🙂

Ni som har anmält er till kursen ska få lite information här.
Fredag – vi träffas i lokalen kl 19:00 och ger lite information om vad som kommer att hända under helgen, ni kommer också få mäta ut storlekar, välja modell och kika på läder till skorna.
Om vi hinner så kommer vi börja gå igenom bas-stygnen genom att ni får sy ett par fingertutor som kommer skydda era fingrar när ni drar åt stygnen längre fram.
Lördag – Vi börjar 09:30 med en snabbgenomgång så att alla är med på banan. Om vi inte han göra fingertutorna dagen innan så gör vi dom nu.
Sedan är det dags att skära till läder och börja sy.
Vi kommer se till att det finns någon form av fikabröd, men har man allergier och liknande så kan det vara bra att ta med eget för säkerhets skull.
Alla ordnar lunch på egen hand. Det finns micro, men ingen ugn. Det finns restauranger och caféer i närheten också om man hellre går ifrån lite.
Vi kör på så länge vi orkar, och om vi känner att vi vill avsluta tidigt men inte hunnit så långt som vi borde så kan man ta med ”hemläxa”
Söndag – Vi startar även i dag 09:30.  Alla ska nu ha en sko som är klar för vändning om ni inte vänt en sko redan på lördag kväll.
Vi vänder skorna och fortsätter med de avslutande delarna (dekorativa kanter och snörning bland annat).
Vi kommer avsluta på eftermiddagen då vi har lång väg hem.
Men är det någon som inte hinner klart så löser vi fortsatta instruktioner på något sätt 🙂 

Historically correct – Only in English



Various ‘historical festivals’ are spreading across Europe like wildfire. They seem to be spreading from the north to the south with the medieval festival/market/experience being the most common culprit in Central Europe. While some of these events have standing traditions, a lot of them sprung up in the last few years.

I have attended one of these events last summer, just before I left Slovenia behind. Until that point, I have largely abstained from partaking in reenactment in that part of the continent, because I was aware that the standards were certainly underdeveloped, but this time I somehow got talked into it. The event was promoted as a most ‘authentic medieval camp’, filled with knights, representing Slovenia in the mid-15th century. The organizers were also proudly promoting their ‘authentic medieval market’, where one could observe historical craft in action. Generally, the word ‘authentic’ was thrown around a lot. But how did it look in practice?

It was a sunny Saturday morning and I found myself standing in a section of freshly cut cornfield, with the still standing corn stalks still visible on the edges of the perimeter, forming a fence around the camp area. I walked through something meant to resemble a palisade gate, quickly banged together from some planks. I already heard the blaring sound system of an open-air stage set up one the other side of the camp. On one side of the camp by the cornstalks, there was a clearly visible line of portable toilets. The reenactors gathered around the various tents represented grades form people wearing flip-flops, to some actually trying to look medieval. Where allegiance to some time period could be determined, this spanned at least 500 years of Medieval history, with people dressed up as Vikings and early crusaders on one end and veering into the renaissance on the other. The so called historical market was, with the exception of an armourer, mostly occupied by sellers of tourist souvenirs, local arts & crafts, and just plain garbage. On the other end of the camp was a fenced-off area, prepared for a mock battle and riding games, a prominent feature of which was some kind of agricultural vehicle, disguised as some kind cart, which at best evoked an aesthetic half-way between the Wild West and Mad Max. As part of the entertainment, the organizers had a bunch of guys parading around dressed up as Franciscan monks while playing saxophones. To top it of, there was a guy ambulating around the premises – presumably a visitor – disguised as a the Witch-King of Angmar. A bad medieval event joining forces with a 3rd rate LARP. An entity far worse than the mere sum of its parts – a sight as painfully captivating as a train crash played in slow motion.

Level of Historic Authenticity: Abysmal

Level of Immersion into a Historic Setting: ZERO.

My Reaction as a Reenactor & Archaeologist: Daydreaming about carpet bombing the place with napalm.

The Visitors’ Experience: They seemed to be at least somewhat enjoying themselves. They were here to eat and drink while looking in marvel at a bunch of adults who like to play dress-up. It seemed that for them this was just another carnival.

Witch-King of Angmar
NOT a medieval knight. (Still image from the LOTR Trilogy)

In my introduction to living history, I have already urged my readership to pursue the highest level of quality and authenticity. But why do I so sternly insist on establishing and maintaining standards, when the visitors do not seem to care? Why should living history enthusiasts are about authenticity? Why should we bother?

Because we have the power to change the public opinion.

The public finds living history extremely fascinating, after all, this is why all of these events get organized. This makes living history a very powerful tool for the promotion of cultural heritage, and with great power there also comes responsibility. This power power turns actors in living history into something akin to museum workers.

Living Shame
Being a reenactor does carry with it some responsibilities.

Even if we care enough, why don’t our visitors share this fervour? The people do not actually know what is authentic, the average visitor has an interest in history, but does not devote time to the meticulous study of details such as clothing. Thus the visitor tends to believe everything that he sees to be authentic. In his mind, if you see something at a Roman/Viking/Medieval event, then it evidently must be Roman/Viking/Medieval. After all, these people were selected by an organizer, who promised the visitors an ‘authentic experience’. Therefore, the average visitor sees little reason to question what they see and does not differentiate between fact, fiction, or even blatant sloth and stupidity on the performer’s part.

So, if this lack of public criticism is caused by a lack of knowledge, why would anyone with at least a general interest in the past and heritage be uninformed in this age of public education, libraries and the internet?

1. Their preconceptions are already twisted by popular media. Just because there is a lot of easily available information out there, it does not mean that most of it is correct. The Horned Vikings of classic Hollywood, Vikings in Leather Biker gear, 16th century armour in a 9th century setting, invented clothing patterns which rely on modern elements, people in all kinds periods wearing huge leather bracers which do not seem to serve any function, etc., etc. We have decades of really misguided representations of the past to fight against, and big ‘historical productions’ are popular again, with a range of series and films coming out each year. The entertainment industry is in the business of selling entertainment, not providing education.

2. Even a lot of museum displays often offer questionable reconstructions, which show a very outdated state of knowledge about how the past looked like. Often these were put up with a very limited budget, by somebody who just barely knew what they were doing and wanted to simply slap something on a mannequin, in order to make the exhibition ‘more engaging’. Do not completely trust archaeologists in these fields, unless they have specialised in reconstructing costume. Just because they can go on for hours about jewellery typologies, that does not mean that they actually know how their object of study fits into the outfit as whole, or what is the whole meant to be. There is a certain correlation between a region or country having a well developed reenactment scene, and the amount of research being done on things such as ancient costume.

3. The public might not be primarily interested historical accuracy. Being entertained and being able to relate to what is presented is given priority. This a lesson which museology had to accept in trying to open up to a wider audience, and it applies to living history as well.

This presents some challenge to the participants, and especially to the organizers who should be enforcing these ideals. First, we have to do our homework to create an image of the past which is as accurate as possible. Secondly, we have to make this image entertaining by making it engaging and relatable. There might be various ways of achieving this, and we will have to keep innovating and refining our method. A bit less sitting around drinking, and more displaying craft in a didactic manner, and even offering engaging hands-on experiences to the participants might be a good start for many.

Historic Pottery Production
Less sitting around and more authentic (dirty) hands-on experiences leads to better engagement of visitors and participants. (Photo: Heidi Blix Madsen)

Also keep in mind that, if we as living history enthusiasts do not adhere to a strict ethos of authenticity, then we are actively lying to the audience, therefore making things even tougher for those who are actually trying to inform and educate the public.

If all the participants and visitors were well informed on historical fact, then authenticity would be less important – at least as far as the message is concerned. Since everybody would know what is what, history and fantasy could coexist in the same space in the name of good fun and creativity. Instead, we are give the task of educating the visitors at our evens. Therefore we should at least make the effort to educate them right.

But striving to creating an authentic, captivating, environment also has beneficial experiential aspect both for the visitor and the performer. It increases the level of immersion, the magic quality of theatre, present at the event. One should not underestimate the theatrical qualities of a historical market. An immersive environment allows the participants fall into character, thus increasing their enjoyment. Since the participant is immersed in the role, they do not need to ‘put up an act’ for the visitor, therefore presenting to the outsider a more gripping experience. Not only is the whole experience all of a sudden more believable it is also a lot more enjoyable to both parties involved. Are we not in this because we are deeply interested in the past and want to have fun with it?

In Summary – If you wish to engage in reenactment, uphold the highest standards of historical accuracy. Otherwise you are actively deceiving those who visiting these events, you ruining the fun for the other participants, and even potentially sabotaging your enjoyment. Striving towards authenticity might be more challenging if you are just starting, but it will pay off in large dividends further down the line. It will make you more knowledgeable, deepen your enjoyment of living history and open the gates to some amazing events in future.

Have some examples of best practice or some horror stories from events, which you have visited? Do write in the comments bellow.

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So – just to be clear. This is not MY wrighting. It is Harald the Smith who wrote this. But I really agree // Marie @ Simply Medieval

Fabrics, fabrics and more fabrics / Tyger, tyger och mer tyger.

To choose the right fabric can be a bit like entering the djungle.
But if you break it down it makes more sense.

First – what material do you want?
Cotton, wool, flax, polyester, silk or any other material.

Second – do you want a knitted fabric like jersey or an interlock, rib or any other kind of knit.
Or do you want a woven fabric like a plain weave, a tweed or perhaps a diamond twill?

Third – How thick do you want it?
Here you have to remember that not everyone will measure equally.
Most wenders use weight as a measurement for thickness, the more a fabric weighs – the thicker it is. But…
Some measure one meter of the full width of the fabric and weighs that.
Others measure one meter x one meter (or one foot x one foot) and use that weight as a measurement. So the same fabric at two different venders can have a different weight.
You also have to remember that a fabric that is tighter will weigh more than a sparser made fabric even if it is made up of exactly the same threads.
So this is the bit that is the hardest to learn.
But as long as you have the two first down, you will have a much easier time choosing a fabric.

So… just because a fabric is for example, wool – it doesn’t mean that it is woven, and it doesn’t mean that it will be fulled and thick, it can be knitted and light.

Remember – always ask for samples if you order online.

Att välja tyg kan vara en hel djungel.
Men genom att dela upp det så kan det bli lite lättare.

Först – vilket material vill du ha?
Bomull, ull, polyester, lin eller något annat?

För det andra – vilket tillverkningssätt?
Stickat eller vävt?
Stickade tyger använder samlingsnamnet trikå. Där finns bland annat jersey, interlock, mudd, ribbstickat mm
När det gäller vävda tyger så har du ju exempelvis tuskaft, kypert, diamantkypert, panamaväv mm.

För det tredje – tjocklek.
De flesta återförsäljare anger tjockleken i vikt per enhet.
Alla mäter inte likadant dock, så samma tyg kan se ut att väga olika mycket hos olika återförsäljare. Några mäter i löpmeter, dvs 1 meter av tygets fulla bredd. Andra i kvadratmeter, några i kvadratfot. Så det gäller att vara uppmärksam på det.
Hur tätt tyget är påverkar också vikten. Ett glesvävt tyg kommer vara mycket lättare än ett tättvävt tyg även om det är samma tråd som används i båda fallen.

Så – bara för att ett tyg är i exempelvis ull, så betyder det inte att det måste vara vävt och valkat. Det kan lika gärna vara stickat och tunt.

Är du osäker och beställer på internet så be alltid om tygprover,


Perhaps this can be to some use.  // Kanske det här kan vara till nytta.

Kulturnav – textile words

Embroided intarsia / Intarsiabroderi

Last weekend i attended a course by Historical textiles in Stockholm.
They finished an amazing project last year (read more about it here) and now they are offering their knowledge in what they learned during the process.

As a New Year’s resolution I promised myself to both attend and give courses this year, so this was a good start.
I really recommend and encourages you all to do the same. If you have any knowledge to give out – just do it. And if you don’t, take a course or several. You will not only learn a lot (yes you learn by teaching as well) but you will also grow as a person and make new friends and acquaintances 

This course was well prepared, and we got to learn a lot of history of these kind of work. And also se a lot of pictures of embroided intarsia coverlets and cushions that have survived through the years.

As a final treat, we got to look at the finished coverlets that started this whole thing.

I guess that I would have been able to figure the technique out for myself if I really wanted to. But I probably never would have started anything as it is outside my comfort zone. And I probably would have made several mistakes that I didn’t have to do now (some one else already have made those and learned from it and could teach me not to do the same).
And – most important. I never would have been able to get my hands on the guilded leather (real goldleaf).

I will just post a couple of pictures here. I rather see that you sign up for the course.
And yes… they can come to you if you want to   you just have to ask.

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Förra helgen gick jag en kurs i intarsiabroderi i Stockholm för Historical textiles.
Dom avslutade ett helt otroligt projekt förra året (läs mer här) och nu erbjuder dom kurser där dom för vidare vad dom lärt sig själva under processen.

Jag gav ett nyårslöfte i år, jag ska både gå fler kurser och även ge fler kurser så det här var en bra början.
Jag vill verkligen uppmuntra er att göra samma sak. Har ni något ni är duktiga på så erbjud er kunskap till andra, och är ni inte så duktiga så gå kurser för dom som är. Ni kommer inte bara att växa kunskapsmässigt (ja man lär sig saker på att lära ut också) utan även som människor. Ni kommer också att utöka er vänskapskrets.

Kursen var väl underbyggd och vi fick se många bra bilder på historiska fynd av liknande textilier, samt lära oss mer om deras historia.

Och som en sista liten guldklimp så fick vi även se dom återskapade guldskinnstäckena som startade det hela.

Jag skulle säkert ha kunnat klura ut tekniken själv, men jag skulle nog aldrig kommit mig för att göra det.
Dessutom slapp jag ju göra alla nybörjarmisstag själv, någon hade redan gjort dom och kunde berätta om det och visa hur man skulle göra istället.
Och – jag skulle ju inte kunnat få tag i gyllenlädret på egen hand (ja äkta guld applicerat på läder, ingen guldfärg här inte  )

Jag kommer bara posta några få bilder här för inspiration, jag ser hellre att ni går kursen faktiskt.
Och ja – dom kan komma till dig om inte du kan komma till dom, det är bara att fråga 


Starting with some Swedish fika and a test embroidery / Fika och provlapp.

Finished testsewing / Färdig med testet





The original / Originalet



The whole coverlet (the original) / Hela guldskinnstäcket (originalet)