Since a few months, I have a new hobby and I’m pretty thrilled about it. It feels like a lot of things come together: my love of crafts and craft history, my fascination for how common people lived their lives in earlier times, and my desire of the last year or so to meet new people outside the university world. And where did I find all this? In re-enactment of the middle ages!
Always when I saw re-enactors in open air museums or at festivals, I thought how cool it would be to do such a thing, but it never crossed my mind that I could simply join a group. Over the past years I read books on local history, I dyed wool with plants that I found outside, I tried card weaving and learned needle binding (both methods going back to at least early medieval times). Now that I joined the re-enactors group I have not only found a purpose for those crafts, but even people to share my interests with.
The first thing I’m working on now is to create a viking age dress, as one of the subgroups I joined brings to live 9th century European tribes such as the Frisians, Francs and Vikings. A nice thing about the Vikings is that they seemed to have been quite fond of jewelry and other decoration, such as woven band. Therefore I started weaving band on an inkle loom, which is fun to do and goes very quick as well. On this website, I found a great pattern generator.
This is the inkle loom with the warp threads before I started weaving. In the following graphs, you can see the different colours of the warp threads, the resulting pattern (generated by the above-mentioned website) and the end result. Although this band is quite plain and simple, I will perhaps use it for my dress.