Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Blue Iron Age Skirt--In Living Color!

Fortunately, I did not have a second misadventure with my February project; the Iron Age skirt I made fits just fine.  I persuaded my wonderful husband, Eric, to take some photographs of me wearing it with the bog blouse I made for an HSF challenge last year; this is the photograph that worked best with this post.  Unfortunately, the weather here is far too cold for me to want to wear such thin garments outdoors, so the backgrounds are not even remotely authentic. 

It occurred to me after I wrote my previous post about this skirt that I *do* have a source of suitable blue wool for my peplos.  I bought 5 yards of blue wool flannel some years ago, to make a copy of the tunic shown in the Historiska Museet's Viking woman's costume reconstruction. As I wrote here a while ago, I ultimately decided not to imitate the Historiska Museet's tunic, but I did not find a different use for the fabric. Last summer, I cut an approximately two-yard-long piece of the flannel to use as an impromptu cloak for an improvised costume, and that piece should be long enough for my purposes. Even if it's not, I can get more than enough fabric from the remaining three yards.  March's HSM challenge is "Stashbusting", so such a use of my blue flannel should be ideal for March's project. Perhaps as the year wears on I'll have time to work on a project that requires more challenge to my skills. 

NOTE:  In my last post on the Huldremose skirt, I cited the Science Nordic article about Professor Mannering's recent work, which states that the lady's costume included "a petticoat of nettle."  Somehow, I missed that detail when I read the article the first time!  


  1. It is a very beautiful blue (and a very good rescue!). I'd probably wear that just for everyday clothing...

  2. Thanks, Panth! I wish I could wear it for everyday clothing, but because it has no pockets (among other things) it wouldn't work as daily clothing for me.

  3. It looks so cute on you. Well done.

  4. It looks really nice in blue. For some reason I always imagine these garments in shades of brown, so I was interested to read the article you linked to.

  5. Thanks, Stella. You should look up the article I discuss here, also:
    The authors of that article noted that fabrics where the dye contained indigotin (the active substance in woad and indigo) turned pale, even yellow-beige; they theorized that burial tended to reverse the chemical process that turns the fabric blue (an indigo/woad vat looks yellowish--the fabric immersed in it turns blue only after exposure to air).

    1. Thanks for that link, it's really fascinating! I can understand why textiles from bogs would come out brown, no matter what colour they were to begin with, and it's interesting to see just how much change can occur.

  6. That's why research on what happens to vegetable dyed fabric after burial can teach us so much about what colors were really worn; "common sense" can be really misleading with regard to the appearance of long-buried fabric.