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


I am again amazed how it it possible to dye this kind of shades with plant dyes.
Indigo dyed blue fabric will be my new veil. It is hand loomed by weaving master from Savo.