A hood from 1335 Northern Norway

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Jahanara 1 year, 6 months ago.

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  • #147

    Golden Egg Proposal
    I propose the following challenge in my quest for a Golden Egg: To research and create a hood that would plausibly represent one of three hoods from a 1335 marriage contract from Vaagen in Northern Norway. (http://www.dokpro.uio.no/perl/middelalder/diplom_vise_tekst_2016.prl?b=3687&s=n&str=) “jtem æit kapprun meðr huitum skinnum, ok annat meðr graam skinnum, ok þriðia meðr silki firir tyttughu aura.” The particular line of text describes three hoods, two lined with fur and one lined with silk. This challenge is expected to take approximately one year to complete.

    Processes involved in this challenge:
    -Research a variety of sources (archaeological finds, manuscripts, other sources) to create justification for color, cut and embellishment for the hood.
    -Create the cloth for sewing the hood (weave, possibly dye, and process as needed)
    -Cut and sew hood. This may also require working with fur.
    -Documentation via blog posts and a final summary document.

    Skills I bring to this challenge:
    I have already worked with a few hoods that relate to this challenge. The Skjoldehamn hood is relatively local, but from an earlier timeframe. The Greenlandic finds are Norse, and a slightly later timeframe. I own and use a counterbalance floor loom and have done a little experimenting with cloth production. I have done some work in natural dyeing and worked with sheep fells. My website (morethancod.net) shares some of the work I have done.

    How this challenge will help me grow
    I am currently a bit of a generalist. I have some experience in research, weaving, dyeing, etc. and have done two projects (blanket and hood) from the Skjoldehamn find. I want now to use a broader research base, including manuscript image searching. I also want the research to define the next steps (type/grist of fiber for weaving, choice of dyestuff, etc.), being strict about a ‘research first’ approach. I am also interested in improving my ability to share my work, both on-line and in analog settings (displays, classes, etc.).

    Risk factors and motivation
    This document from Vaagen is a core persona inspiration for me. I think the idea of working through the full arc of a research-first project is a positive challenge I wish to ‘conquer’.
    The greatest risk factor is time. This challenge will require systematically working through a wide range of resources, getting off track is a real danger, and I will have to decide when there is enough information to move forward with the project. Documentation-in-process I believe I have sufficient skills in some areas (weaving, dyeing, etc.), but I am not very experienced with tailoring. Sourcing materials can also be a challenge, but I’m confident that this too can be solved.
    I am geographically remote (Northern Norway), and can’t be physically present for most points of contact with the Governing Body. I hope that we can find an alternate forum for discussion of the project proposal. I plan to complete the project and present the final project in conjunction with attending an event, as per the Golden Egg Challenge Charter.

    I look forward to your questions and input.

    Þora Sumarliðadóttir

  • #152

    Lia de Thornegge

    Yes! I really like the idea of a persona specific challenge like this.

    There is always the risk of getting lost in the research, and that may take time. Depending on the amounts you end up dyeing and weaving this part of the project is also a variable. The sewing itself you say you are not very experienced with, but the seams are not long, and not many, so should not realistically be more than a maximum of 20 hours. However, decorating, edging treatments and trials of patterning might take much more.

    Your source mentioned three hoods. I think this is one area where the challenge is going to work for you in terms of flexibility. If you find that your research is finished and you know how much time is left, you might choose to make one, two or three hoods depending. That’s a detail that can be finally hashed out during the year’s challenge as well, making sure to keep the charter members updated.

  • #159

    Thank you for your feedback.
    Yes, I’m already working on organizing the research portion. I’m putting together a reading list to work through, as well as considering which key areas need priority.

    I am also thinking forward about sourcing materials, particularly the fur, as I want to do that as ethical a fashion as possible.


  • #166

    This fits very well with your persona and sounds like a good challenge for you. Thank you for relating it so well to your current skill level in the different areas you will be needing to do. I like that you have tried a bit of each of them earlier as this gives you a better idea of what will be involved and how much time you need. When you write about dying and weaving I am assuming you are referring primarily to wool. What about the silk lining if you do decide to make that one? Do you plan to weave that aswell? If so then my guess is you will need much more time to do that and also sourcing raw materials depending on what you want may be more of a challenge than is doable in one year.
    As for people to talk to (if you haven’t already) I know there are several ladies in Aarnimetsä who have done a lot of dying, so they can probably be of help for you to discuss ideas with beforehand. Also it may be helpful to find someone who has experience working in fur. I hope that there will be others reading this who can offer insight here or specific names/contact details to people who might be able to advise.

    • #182

      Yes, I’m primarily thinking of the wool when weaving. I haven’t worked with silk before, so that’ll possibly be a time issue, and also depend on what I find out about weights/weave structures.
      Another question I plan to explore is the idea of where the materials were sorced and processed, and where the final product may have been produced. In there is a question of if the cloth was dyed at place of manufacture or locally here, which might reveal something of which dyestuffs might have been accessable. And that will lead to technical dyeing questions…. 😀
      Loving this Challenge!

  • #168


    I have done a lot of research on the Fur trade, as well as working with fur. I have a hand out from a class I did a few years ago on working with fur.
    If you want to be as ethical as well as cost effective may I suggest using a vintage fur coat? I personally prefer to use old furs instead of new for ethical reasons. They are also MUCH more cost effective. The times I purchased new furs for a project the cost was high and some of the nicer pets like mink or ermine are VERY VERY expensive and at times hard to find. But I find that second hand shops have very nice furs for a fraction of the price. They are not difficult to deconstruct either.
    If you have never worked with fur before, I have a few pieces of advice. DO NOT use scissors to cut fur. Use a sharp knife or scalpel. Cut from the skin side in short cuts using just enough pressure to cut the skin and not the hairs. Cut OUTSIDE!!!! Even doing all of that you may still end up with tiny hairs everywhere, I sometimes wear a surgical mask when cutting just to avoid tasting the hairs that float around in the air.
    When sewing fur use clothes line pins or some sort of clamp to hold the fur together instead of pins. Remember that every hole put in the skin weakens the fur so try to not add unneeded holes.
    I have many more tips if you would like. I really love working with furs.

    I found a very cool ‘recipe’ for refreshing musty or stiff furs. It states to liven up stiff our foul smelling furs you should fine your best wine (white wine) and put some in your mouth then spit it onto the fur until thoroughly damp. (the wine and enzymes in your mouth work together to soften stiff furs) Let hang outside until dry, Then take your best flour and work into the fur, then beat with a stick until no flour remains. This is a recipe given in the 16th century in London from a man to his young bride upon their marriage. It was included in a series of household instructions to her. I have tried this and it does work 🙂

    • #183

      Exactly! I was also thinking of going the route of re-purposing extant furs if I can find what I need, though I may have to put some feelers out for those with access to better used markets than we have up here. Thank you also for your generous offer, perhaps we can chat when I’ve gotten that bit of research done?

      The process you describe for working with fur sounds like how I was taught to work sheepskin. But fine loose hairs weren’t a problem, so a mask sounds like a good idea!
      Also, the method of freshening furs sounds interesting- do you have a citation or link to that?

      Again, thanks!


      • #186


        I packed all of my research books in prep for a move (that isn’t happening now). I will pull the books out of their box in storage sometime in the next week or so. The reference came from a book on the fur trade but I will get you the exact info soon as well as a direct quote of the recipe. I need to find my research books for my own project soon.

  • #169


    I have been collecting various kinds of vintage fur coats for a few years now. I have many many large scraps of Beaver, Grey fox, lamb, red fox, and others. When you decide what kind of fur you want and how much you need, I would be happy to give you some of the large scraps that I have if I have what you need. The only cost would be shipping from Germany to you.

  • #187

    I have some general questions about the structure of the challenge, if I may:
    If I’ve understood the charter correctly, the first step is using this forum to discuss proposed challenges. After a month (minimum), the challenge can be presented to the Governing Body for discussion/acceptance.
    1) How does this work for challengers who unfortunately can’t discuss their proposal in person? Should we initiate contact with the Governing Body to find a work-around, or will they do this?
    2) For challengers working at distance, is it desirable to have the challenge presented at court via proxy, or are there other thoughts on this?
    3) The challenge item must not be started before the challenge is formally accepted, if I understand correctly. Is it acceptable to work on reading sources/research during the proposal period?

    Looking forward to more feedback and hopefully moving forward with this challenge! 🙂


    • #188

      Lia de Thornegge

      So, yeah, ideally the Challenger should be at an event, present their idea to the Governing Body and upon acceptance stand up in court to be recognized. However, for you, with so far to travel I think we’d have to discuss a compromise and hopefully get it started as soon as possible via a proxy.

      Since the Governing Body can’t know who might travel where I think this may be on the Challenger to initiate. I believe this post is you doing that.

      As for reading and research – that depends on how much and what you would want to include in your challenge.

      The earliest your Challenge can get started, as far as I see, would be at Cudgel, where the Queen will be in attendance as well as myself and Tece. I believe Isabetta will have the final word on this though, and we might need to discuss it.

  • #189

    Yes, I am eager to get started, but also want to honor the rules and intentions as best possible, which is why I’m asking here. 🙂
    I do not anticipate participating at another event this year. If it please the Governing Body, I feel it is more important (for me at least) to present and defend my finished work in person in 2018.
    I’d be happy to do a video conference or some other on-line discussion/defense of my proposal if that works best. I look forward to hearing from the GB here or via IM.

    Thank you 🙂


  • #190

    I agree with Lia that it is up to the challenger to propose at what event they want to challenge by writing it here on the forum. The queens royal progress is always announced on the kingdom calendar so if one aims for those events we then need members of the governing body present as well. The charter says 3 members but I am currently thinking this may need to be revised to at least one but the more the better.

    And I agree with Þora that in your case we will figure out an alternate to in person and hopefully you can present the finished project in person. A multi-person conference call sounds like a good way of doing it. The exact time and media for this can be discussed off-forum.

    Feel free to start your research while still in the proposal phase of the challenge.

  • #198

    Golden Egg Challenge the First: A Hood from 1335 Vaagen
    After discussion with the Governing Body, I share my first formal Golden Egg Challenge.
    A Hood from 1335 Vaagen, Northern Norway
    I will undertake to research and create a hood that would plausibly represent one of three hoods from a 1335 marriage contract from Vaagen in Northern Norway. (http://www.dokpro.uio.no/perl/middelalder/diplom_vise_tekst_2016.prl?b=3687&s=n&str=) “jtem æit kapprun meðr huitum skinnum, ok annat meðr graam skinnum, ok þriðia meðr silki firir tyttughu aura.” The particular line of text describes three hoods, two lined with fur and one lined with silk.

    I will pursue a variety of resources seeking to answer the following:
    -What is the context for these hoods– looking at general context for textiles in the first half of the 14th century in Norway
    -What extant hoods can inform this project and why are these relevant
    -What other sources can be used to inform this project (for example manuscripts) and why are these relevant
    -What are the defining qualities of the cloth, such as fiber qualities, weave structure, post-weaving processing, dyeing, imported vs domestic production
    -What are the qualities of the linings mentioned in the diploma and where were these sourced
    The following criteria will allow for concrete measurement of success for this challenge:
    -Production of at least one hood (design, weaving of meterwares, work with fur and/or silk lining)
    -Production of display materials presenting the research, trials and production of the hood(s)
    -Publication of posts on my blog sharing the research and trials as the challenge progresses. Summary page featuring posts for this challenge can be found here (http://www.morethancod.net/golden-egg-summary-page)
    The phases of this project will have some overlapping, and the practical portion be defined by the research. The guiding timeline is: research (July-November 2018), weave sampling and hood prototyping (December 2017-January 2018), Weaving and finishing of cloth (January-February 2018), Sewing of hood and fur/silk lining (February-March 2018), Remaining finishing work and completion of presentation materials (April-May 2018), Presentation of completed challenge (June 2018)
    Completion and Presentation
    I plan to complete and present this challenge at Drachenwald 25 year celebration (June 2018)

    • #199

      Lia de Thornegge

      Excellent! I will be presenting it in Court at Raglan to officially launch it, and hopefully spread the word and entice more challengers to step up and enter.

  • #200

    Thank you, looking forward to reports from Raglan!

    I’ve started an analog journal to help me plan and track as this project progresses. I also created an online Reading and Resource page which I will expand as the project progresses (http://www.morethancod.net/golden-egg-reading-and-resource-list). Documentation is an important part of this project, so I am trying to incorporate this from the very start.

  • #211


    Congratulations on your challenge! I look forward to following your progress!
    Thank you for paving the way,

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