Monday, March 16, 2009

Viking Apron Dresses--Tube-Shapes

Today, I'd like to show you two more recent Viking apron dress experiments.

The one on the left is conjectural; it is a simple tube of cloth with straps. It is based on the assumption that the apron dress evolved from the peplos, a tubular dress fastened at the top with brooches. The dress found in the Huldremose bog is believed to have been one of those.

The one on the right is based upon a Danish find. It is also believed to have been a tube, but has a number of pleats held down with a small strip of tablet woven cloth.

Both of these have straps that are made of a single piece of wool twill tape; they are not long loops, as is suggested by textile finds on brooch pins. My most recent recreations use loops for straps, as you will see later. Both dresses are made from 100% wool and are machine sewn but hand hemmed and hand finished.


  1. After reading Thor Ewing's book on viking clothing and while playing around in my head with the idea of making a new suspended dress. I was lucky enough to find your weblog.
    It's nice to see the different styles and theories worked out. But I still don't know which one I want to make.

  2. Glad you like it.

    Since you've read Ewing's book, you know that there's no firm evidence for any particular apron dress design. So long as your dress is held up by narrow loops like the ones found in the brooches, it is consistent with what we have from *most* of the extant finds.

    I made all these apron dresses to try to get an idea which possible designs seemed wearable and comfortable, and absent better evidence, I would base a decision about which design to make on what looks best and is most comfortable on you. I've found that the fitted "Hedeby" style is the most comfortable, with the wraparound one-sheet dresses a close second. You may have other considerations to think about too (e.g., if you will need to breast-feed a baby while wearing it).