Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Eura Mitten Reconstruction

Former Finnish President
Tarja Halonen
As my fellow fanatics about early northern European costume can tell you, one of the more interesting early archaeological finds is the grave of a woman buried in Eura in Finland, around the year 1000 C.E.  For reasons I do not presume to understand, the recreation of this woman's costume became very popular in Finland, almost rising to the level of a folk costume; former Finnish president Tarja Halonen was photographed wearing a reproduction of the Eura woman's costume as reconstructed by Finnish archaeologists (see photograph).

What many people may not know is that a scrap of fabric, made with the nalbinding or "needle binding" technique, was found among the other jewelry and textile finds in the Eura grave, at a position suggesting it was part of a pair of mittens stuck into the woman's belt. Today, I found this web site, in Swedish, showing a picture of the writer's own reconstruction of the Eura woman's mittens in red, yellow, and blue--the original colors. A short English translation appears on the site, as does a link to a Finnish language site containing a copy of a thesis, in Finnish, about the mittens. I wanted to share this little discovery because it's so easy to think of grave finds as consisting of formal, sober clothing. It's good to know that a cheerful pair of mittens was part of one of those finds.

I'm going to contact the blogger who made those mittens and if she agrees, I'll show a picture of her mittens here.  If not; go to her site and look at the picture there; it's a sight worth seeing.


  1. Pretty mittens! The thesis on the Finnish page looks really useful, with lots of colour pictures. Unfortunately it doesn't have an English summary (but google translate will probably help in getting the basics).

    FYI, the website you're linking to is in Swedish.

    1. Lara: thanks for dropping by! and for the correction; I'm correcting the reference to the website now.

  2. Oh! It's my blog you are linking to.
    I follow your blog and saw that you wrote about the Eura find so I naturally clicked to read what you wrote about it. :D

    1. Hi, Petra! Thanks for stopping by, and for having such a wonderful blog! :-)

  3. Well, the same to you! :D
    And of course you can use my pictures. :)
    But I must tell you that the stitches I used for this pair of mittens is not the same as for the original find, there is a small difference between them. I should've had two loops on my thumb instead of just one. I have learned more since I made them, that's what I like about this, I keep on learning.