Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Books of Interest to Early Period Costumers

Over the past day or so, I have learned of three books that are coming soon that are of great interest to me, and may interest other costumers intrigued by the Viking Era.

One of those books comes from Finland, and is written in both Finnish and English. It is about Finnish tablet weaving patterns during the Iron Age (which includes what many of us think of as the "Viking age") and is coming out on June 20, 2013. Here is the citation information (in English):
Karisto, Maikki & Pasanen, Mervi. Applesies and Fox Noses - Finnish Tabletwoven Bands. Salakirjat, 2013.
Annika Madejska wrote about this book, and about her experience in beta testing a tablet weaving pattern described in the book, in her blog, Textile Time Travels. The post includes a beautiful photograph of the band Annika wove using the directions from the book. You can read her post about the book here. The book will sell for 25 Euros, and can be pre-ordered here. (Note: they take Paypal.)

The second book, which is being published and sold through Oxbow/David Brown, is a book about textile experiments intended to help us learn more about ancient textiles. More specifically, it contains lectures and reports on experiments from the First and Second European Textile Forums in 2009 and 2010. An article by Katrin Kania of a stitch in time is one of the articles in the book, which is going to be published later this year. This page from Oxbow's website contains pricing information (Oxbow will, as the publisher, be offering the book for less than the price quoted by Amazon) as well as the table of contents for the book. The citation information is as follows:
Hopkins, Heather (ed.) Ancient Textiles, Modern Science. Oxbow Books (2013).
Finally, the third book, which is will also be an Oxbow Books publication, addresses "Viking" costume. Specifically, it's about the use of silk by the Vikings to decorate clothing. Here's the citation information:
Vedeler, Marianne. Silk for the Vikings. Oxbow Books (2014).
Judging from Oxbow's description, this book will cover everything from the actual silk finds in the graves, to how silk found its way to Viking age Scandinavia, to the social roles silk played in Viking society. Oxbow's page about the book may be found here.

I am immensely pleased to see more and more books being published about early period costume and textiles, though I'm also frustrated that so much good material is being published at a time when I cannot afford to purchase a lot of expensive books. Hopefully, my finances will improve before the tide of good publications abates.


  1. Thank you for spreading the word about our book! And don't fret too much about not being able to buy lots of them straightaway. The good thing about books is that they will keep on the market a while, after all...

    1. Katrin, you're quite welcome! I am eager to read about your experiment--though I admit that the articles about Stone Age textile techniques and the Pompeiian dyeing industry are even more fascinating to me. :-)

      The great thing about Oxbow publishing the book is that that means it will be around awhile. Nonetheless, it is possible to have a great book go out of print and thus to miss out on it. I still remember with regret that I had the opportunity to buy Ronald Lightbrown's book Medieval Jewellery` (a huge, comprehensive work) from a company that sells remaindered books for about $45 USD and passed it by, figuring that I would have a chance later. Now, copies can only be had for $1,200 USD or more. :-(

  2. Thank you for the information - I've pre-ordered the Finnish tabletweaving book, it looks like a real gem. The others sound good too but anything with historical tablet-weaving patterns really pushes my buttons :)

  3. You're welcome, ingaborg! Please let me know what you think of the Finnish tablet weaving book.

  4. Yes please :D
    If people like this part 1, we wish to publish part 2, with all the goodies... We have incredible bands waiting for it. Why not yet? Because Maikki wants to do a bit more research.
    But we hope that this book of ours will lead many people to weave Finnish bands and get hungry for more...like happened to us.
    Mervi, the Finnish band weaver :)

  5. Hi, Mervi, and thanks for stopping by!

    A Part 2 with more patterns would be even more wonderful. Good luck!