The information in this handout is primarily based on information from
10th century Hedeby (Denmark) and Birka (Sweden), unless otherwise noted.
- Linen or wool, trimmed with silk, brocade, embroidery, and tablet weaving. Set-in sleeves. Up to knee-length; longer ones sometimes slit at sides.
- Narrow legs, gusset in crotch, belt loops on waistband.
- Bloomer-style, gathered at knee.
- Leg wrappings
- Narrow woven bands wound from knee down to hold pants close to leg; end possibly tucked into shoe. Alternatively, stockings.
- Leather or woven.
- Buttoned neck to waist (spherical buttons), sometimes belted.
Trimmed with gold-brocaded tablet weaving, knotted trim of metal
- Like a kimono -- diagonal overlap in front, edges trimmed. Length
unknown, but probably at least hip length. Belted. Some lined.
- Thick wool, sleeveless, open in front, hip length. Large arm holes.
Usually brown wool.
- Rectangular, pinned over right (sword) arm, wool, could be lined.
- Some conical (trim on seam, sometimes tassle on end). Some round caps
with trim. Wool or silk, could be lined. Sometimes wore fillets.
- Little evidence; apparently short boots and slippers rather than
high boots. Hose in wool or linen.
- Strings of glass, stone, and metal beads, torques,
brooches, arm rings, etc. Ostentatious.
- Linen, smooth in 9th C, pleated in 10th, round or keyhole neck. Set-in sleeves used.
- Wool (usually) or linen (rarely), long-sleeved, construction as for underdress, sometimes with gores. Fancy embroidery, applique, silk trim, tablet weaving.
- Controversial. Could be wrap-around aprons with or without tucks or darts; could be peplos-style tube dress; could be tailored apron-dress. @i(No) evidence for "skinny panels".
- Long-sleeved coat, closed at chest but otherwise open. Usually wool (possibly lined with wool, linen, or silk), could be linen. Sometimes trimmed with fur, silk bands, metal knotwork, tablet weaving. Not found in graves with dress (only underdress). Possibly early style that started to fade in 10th century.
- Fillets (woven headbands), caps (silk or wool), veils (9th C. Oseberg); not kerchiefs as far as we know.
- When worn, probably woven rather than leather. Definite evidence of belts in Hedeby; Birka less clear. No evidence for pouches.
- Tortiose brooches, strings of glass, stone, and metal beads, torques, brooches, arm rings, etc. Ostentatious.
- Little evidence; apparently short boots and slippers rather than high boots.
- Bertil Almgren, @i(The Viking), New York: Crescent Books, 1975, 1991. (Warning: This is a good source for jewelry and accessories, but a poor source for garb.
- Anonymous, "Knotted Trim from Birka", in @i(Early Period), Issue VII, May AS XXIII.
- Anonymous, "Braids and Interlaced Trim from Birka", in @i(Early Period), Issue VIII, August AS XXIII.
- Marieke van de Dal, "New Sources for Viking Men's Garb", in @i(Pikestaff Arts and Sciences Issue) AS XXVII.
- Agnes Geiger, "The Textile Finds from Birka", in @i(Cloth and Clothing in Medieval Europe), ed. N.B. Harte & K.G. Ponting, London: Heinemann, 1983.
- Inga H@aum gg, "Viking Women's Dess at Birka: A Reconstruction by Archaeological Methods", in @i(Cloth and Clothing in Medieval Europe).
- Christina Krupp & Carolyn A. Priest-Dorman, @i(Women's Garb in Northern Europe, 450-1000 C.E.: Frisians, Angles, Franks, Balts, Vikings, and Finns), aka @i(Compleat Anachronist) #59.
- Thora Sharptooth, "'But That's How They Look in the Book!': Viking Women's Garb in Picture Books", in @i(Pikestaff Arts and Sciences Issue) AS XXVI.
- David M. Wilson, ed., @i(The Northern World: The History and Heritage of Northern Europe, A.D. 400-1100), New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1980.