A new sheath for Iron Age knife and testing primitive winter boots

Knife sheath

I was in a hurry when I made sheath for my Iron Age knife. I had to make it in couple of hours. Of course it looked quite horrible. Now I finally had time to make more proper one. I tested a new technique where you decorate leather with flatted bronze wire. I found out that wire must be very flat and soft. Flattened 0,4mm wire would be good. 0,5mm wire will be too wide when flattened. Leather I used was nearly 70 years old and a bit too fragile for this project. A good leather would be very strong and ripping resistant.

Primitive winter boots

Finally it was cold enough for testing my newly made winter shoes. You can read about tanning process from earlier posts. It was -12°C and nice powdery snow covered older snow layers. I added extra layer of insulation inside the shoe. Inner soles were made of fur on tanned elk feet hide and wool fabric. Shocks were nalbindet shocks that I made last summer. Shoes were laced around my ankle with leather straps.

Shoes were very comfortable and warm. They do not provide much support for feet, but that is a situation with most primitive shoes. Walking is easy and fur soles grip very well to snow. Soles feel very soft like walking on thigh fur mat. In knee area reindeer fur was slightly shorter haired and knees felt some cold time to time. This can be fixed easily with small piece of fur inside. Size difference you can see in the images is only illusion made by the length of the hair.
I will add fur collar trim to boots. Other vice show could get in.

Winter boots for my Iron Age costume

Winter boots are nearly ready. I still have to sew reindeer leather round the raw edge. I will also make insulating inner soles from hair on elk feet hide. Insulation has to be good. These reindeer skins I used were slightly too small for optimal shoe pattern. Our ancestors had probably similar problems. I took rough pattern from Viking era and Late Iron age shoes found from Russia. Sole is made of 3 parts sewn together hair facing each other. This makes boots less slippery. Boots were sewn with turn shoe technique. Seams are reinforced with 5mm trim cut from very stiff reindeer hide.


I still need some kind of bands for tying boots around my feet.
Hopefully there would soon be proper cold days. I want to test these shoes in snow!

Nalbinding in Kaukola style

I tested Kaukola Kekomäki stich to this small pouch. It is ment for bank cards and coins. This textile is quite rigid so simple draw string closure would not work.

New jewelry

I had a change to participate jewelry making course. All silver smithing tools were available, so I had collected works I could not make with tools I have.
Simple penannular brooch could be used as decorative brooch or as medieval shirt closure.

Ring with grey star corundum is made of 14k gold and oxidized silver. Setting has fleur de lis pattern and small gold balls.
Spiral rings are made in Viking style. So is agate pendant. Round stone turns freely and rolling it can be used for stress release.


Spirals and bells from shores of Baltic Sea

I had long waited last weekend’s event and seminar “Spirals and bells from shores of Baltic Sea” that was held in Lieto Vanhalinna. There were nearly a hundred participants.


img_6768On Saturday we listened several very interesting stories about reconstructing Iron Age gowns, bronze spiral decorations, dyeing methods, making tablet woven trims and grave finds. It was also very nice to see people whose books or blogs I have red or to whom I have called or emailed before. There were also familiar faces from medieval markets.
I bought yarns for mittens and for making trims. Sellers had also readymade trims, jewelry, fabrics, hand craft supplies and shawls.

img_6758Evening dinner was very interesting. Most wore their Iron Age gowns. I was probably the only one in Karelian gown. There were several Mikkeli, Kaarina and Eura costumes. Raseko students made for us special Iron Age meal. It was exelent.

On Sunday we had a change to try Iron Age techniques and study clothing closely. I participated bronze spiral workshop that was taught by Jaana Ratas from Estonia. I thought that making these spiral decorations would be much easier. It seems that Iron Age dress makers made these decoration nearly nuclear war proof! They are very strong and will last longer than the dress they are attached in.

On afternoon I looked around more and visited rest of the workshops. I did spent some time in Mervis nalbinding workshop trying to learn Kekomäki stich. It was so difficult and after an hour I had just several knotted yarns in my hands. I did not give up and Eureka moment was 23.45 in Helsinki bus terminal. Then I finally found out how the stich should be made. Now I can make purse or mittens for my Iron Age gown.

Upeita Jaana Rataksen mallikuvioita Mervi Pasanen neuvoo