NORDIC BRONZE AGE TRADITIONS – A TEXTILE STUDY (I 1)

T E X T I L I S

[My Chamber of Textile Thoughts. No: XLIV | By Viveka Hansen]

A number of years ago I published three articles in the year book Elbogen about textile trades and material culture of the Malmö area in southernmost Sweden – stretching from the earliest settlements up to the 20th century. My aim with this new series of “Textile Thoughts” is to translate parts of these texts into English, and put its local historical events into a wider European perspective with additional discussions and images. This first part introducing the Stone Age period and continuing into the Nordic Bronze Age (1800 to 500BC) – a time when skin garments went through refinement simultaneously with the early development of woven woollen fabrics and plaiting techniques.

An impression of a tiny textile fragment’s technique found just south of present day Malmö (Petersborg), during an excavation of a settlement. The minuscule piece is believed to have been either plaited or made using a knotless netting technique called “sprang”. The find has its origin in the younger Stone Age period and was examined by the Danish textile historian Lise Bender Jørgensen. She emphasised that the nature of the raw material has not been possible to verify, as the carbonised find weighs one gram only. But after C14 analysis it could be established that it once originated from 3970-3630BC and is therefore one of the oldest textile remnants from northern Europe. Illustration: Helen Hodgson (2001). Notice: Place names in italic are geographical areas, today within or very closely situated to the city of Malmö. An impression of a tiny textile fragment’s technique found just south of present day Malmö (Petersborg), during an excavation of a settlement. The minuscule piece is believed to…

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