Friday, August 24, 2012

Icelandic Fibercraft II

 More from the Icelandic National Museum.

This is a reconstruction of the types of homes used from the early modern period into the 20th century. The walls are lined with beds, and during cold days the whole family would sit inside. You can see there was spinning of course, but many other handicrafts were made. The bones and horns on the floor were likely used as toys, Icelandic children have a system of using different shaped bones to be different farm animals and buildings. (Yes, a little creepy. Yes, I will be giving my children a set of sheep bones for toys)
These elaborate ribbons are tablet weaving. After a very complex step of threading the cards one simply rotates the whole block of them, twining the threads and creating patterns. This is an art that makes me wonder - how did they come up with this?!
 Knitting was common of course, these are stocking forms used to create uniform sizes for export. On a small farm one would have to engage in a variety of industries, not only for subsistence but also for trade.
 This is bobbin lace. This set of tools belonged to a wealthier woman, likely in a city. Bobbin lace was very popular during the Edwardian and Victorian eras so it was likely made in smaller quantities by country folk as well.
 There were no artifacts related to embroidery, but we know that it must have been done, the "folk costume" has extensive embroidery. These colorful examples are all goldwork, and all made by the same women.

These styles of top is seen thruout Norse lands, with each region having distinctive motifs. All of the lovely clasp are silver wire work.
 Here's an older example with a cut lace apron on top. These are silk threads on wool.
 And here is some more modern examples of Icelandic "costume". An exhibit on local couture dating back to the twenties.

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