Iron Age Finnish dress project

I can’t remember time, when I would not have liked historical costumes or jewellery. History books were my favourite books already before I could read. Now 30 years later I am finally making my own ancient dress.

Modern Finnish culture does not contain much traces of culture that was here nearly thousand years ago. To my eyes old designs and styles looked unfamiliar and not at all Finnish. Partly this is true since many designs were borrowed from neighbouring countries. I have made myself familiar with ancient styles by reading lots of books, visiting our national museum and searching images from internet. Now when I am more familiar to subject it has started to look Finnish!

If someone is interested in making Finnish Iron Age clothing from Karelia, he or she should find lots of information. Unfortunately the area from where Karelian archaeological finds were made, is nowadays part of Russia. Scientists are not doing research anymore and general interest has diminished. There is costume reproduction after these Karelian finds, but it is old and full of mistakes.
Best source is Tietoja Karjalan Rautakaudesta book by Theodor Scwindt. He was arceologist who was doing archaeological excavations in Karelia late 1800. Book is in Finnish, but there is some text in German and good drawings of the finds.


Iron Age jewellery is well described in Die Eisenzeit Finnlands by Ella Kivikoski. This book is written in German and has lots of pictures. Best source for information about oval brooches was Soikeat karjalaiset kupurasoljet written by Julius Ailio (1922).

I decided to make my Iron Age dress after grave six in Kaukola Kekomäki. For aesthetic reasons I also borrowed some details from graves one and five. I did not like brooch from grave six so brooch style is from Hiitola hoard.