Posts Tagged With: white linen norse underdress

Norse Garb – Documentation

So, the Norse garb went over well.  I forgot to take a picture, so I’ll have to get one later.  But for those who are interested, here’s a link to my documentation.

Categories: Research, Sewing, Weaving | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Linen Underdress Finished

I know I haven’t posted in quite a while, but I have been busily sewing.  And now, the linen underdress is finished!

This gives me just under two weeks to finish the aprondress, coif, and fine tune my documentation.  Good grief!


Finished underdress

Categories: Sewing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Sewing the Linen Underdress

I realized that I haven’t updated about my Norse garb in a while.

I was almost out of my usual linen sewing thread.  Rather than wait for more I’ve decided to sew the dress in the same linen thread I used to weave it, waxed with beeswax.  The neck opening is finished, the sleeves are ready to go on, and I am in the process of adding the gores. So far, so good.

A friend has offered to pick up brooches to go with the dress while at Pennsic, so that’s taken care of.   I’m debating buying some beads to hang off the front as well as well but I’m not sure if that’s necessary.

I’m still trying to decide what to sew the apron dress with.  I read somewhere that for Norse, linen should be sewn with linen and wool with wool.  I don’t have any wool sewing thread, and I don’t want to use knitting yarn.  I have some perfect yellow linen sewing thread.  Another option is to buy silk thread – but would silk thread have been used on wool, or would the linen be okay.

Back to the books!

Categories: Sewing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Underdress Fabric

The underdress fabric is cut and ready to sew. It softened up a bit more with my poor attempt at mangling.
I’ll be sewing the dress with the same linen thread I used to weave it, waxed with beeswax.

Categories: Sewing, Weaving | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Weaving With Linen: What I’ve Learned

The linen is off the loom and finished.  Final measurements, 9 yards at 25 inches wide.


Before finishing


After finishing (but not ironed)

This project is the first time I had done any weaving with linen.  For those of you that warned me it would be a different experience, boy were you right!

  • Sizing really helps.  I haven’t had the fraying issues I expected.  In fact, so far my only broken warp threads have been caused by teeth (see photo below).
  • Linen is inelastic.  Once stretched it will not go back to its original shape.  This made keeping tension difficult, especially due to my unusual, but not unexpected, stretching issues.  I found that leaving the lease sticks in helped even out the tension.  If I do another long linen yardage, I will order a second set of lease sticks and use all four instead of just the two I have.  I also ended up dangling weights on individual  threads that stretched.
Kitty Terror

No matter how hard you plan, something unexpected will occur.

Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Linen Warped

The linen is warped!

So far, I’ve found the sizing made a tremendous difference. The string was much more manageable that it was unsized.

I have high hopes.

Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sizing the Linen Warp

Because of the troubles I had with the wool fraying more than expected I am very sure that I am going to have problems with the linen, which is notorious for it.  To help combat this, I am sizing the warp to increase it’s strength.

I haven’t been able to find any hard evidence of what sizing would have been used in period, I’ve opted to go with linseed.  My assumption is that if they had access to the flax fibre, they would probably also have access to the seeds.

After searching around on the internet it seems a common formula is eight parts water to one part seeds, heated until the mixture has a consistency between coffee cream and egg white.  After 30 minutes, I had what was closer to a very runny hair gel, and stopped there.


The sizing mixture. The dark colour is from the brown flaxseeds in the bottom.

After straining I dipped my warp chains in the mixture.  Boy oh boy what a goopy mess!  I wrung them out as best I could and hung them up to dry.


The warp chains hanging to dry.

Once dry I will warp up the loom as usual, and weave using a temple to help even out the draw in.

Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resampling the Linen

After mostly winding my linen warp, I’m rethinking my plans to do a 2/2 twill.  I’m thinking this yarn might look better as plain weave.  Also, with the twill overdress, another twill might be a bit much.

I wound a smaller sample warp, and have been weaving up new samples to test the look of the tabby.

This sample uses the same #10 Belgian linen yarn at 25 epi.  I also did a sample at 30 epi, but it was too heavy – more like canvas

I really do prefer it, so my plans have changed again.

Linen (Finished)

Linen (Finished)

Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Norse Garb – Running Tally

Time spent working on project:

– Warping the wool: 17 hours
– Winding wool bobbins: 10 hours
– Weaving wool: 39.5 hours
– Finishing the wool: 1.5 hours
– Sewing the aprondress: 24 hours

– Warping the linen: 18 hours
– Winding linen bobbins: 4 hours (I got a new bobbin winder – it’s much faster)
– Weaving linen: 22 hours
– Finishing the linen: 6.5 hours
– Sewing the underdress: 31 hours

– Sewing the cap:4  hours

Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Underdress Calculations

Calculating the Warp

First, the calculations for take-up and shrinkage:

Width Length
On the loom 8″ 8.75″
Off the loom 7.5″ 8″
Take-up 6.25% 8.6%
After finishing 7″ 7.75″
Shrinkage 6.67% 3.125%

Next, determining how many warp ends I need:

Final planned width (“) 22″
+ Take-up (6.25%) + 1.375″
+ Shrinkage (6.67%) + 1.467″
= Width on the Loom = 25″
x epi (ends per inch) x 30
= Warp Ends =  750 ends
+/- Adjustment for pattern +3 (finish pattern repeat, add balance thread)
= Total Ends to Wind = 753

Then I need to determine the length of each end:

Final length (9 yards) 324″
+ Shrinkage (8.6%) 27.86″
+ Take-up (3.125%) 10.125″
+ Loom waste 36″
= Total warp length (rounded up) 399″

This gives us the amount of yarn needed for the warp:

Total Ends To Wind 753
x Length of each warp thread x 399″
= Total warp needed (rounded up) = 8346 yards

Calculating the Weft

This is a much simpler calculation.

Width on the Loom (“) 25″
x Beat (shots/inch) x 30 shots/inch
x Warp length for weaving (“) x 399″
= Total weft needed in yards (rounded up) = 8313 yards

The Final Totals

I need 16659 yards of linen, which rounds up to 6 cones of yarn.

At $16.75 a cone, my total cost for the yarn will be $100.50 CDN plus tax/shipping.  That boils down to $11.17 a yard (after finishing).

Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at