The Skjoldehamn hood 🌲 27


The Skjoldehamn hood is probably one of the most commonly observed garments at Viking markets—which is not surprising as it is practical in the Scandinavian climate, and very easy to make (it only consists of three pieces).


About the original finding

Dated to the late Viking to early Medieval period, the Skjoldehamn bog finding was a unique discovery of a complete outfit consisting of a hood, kirtle, inner shirt/tunic, breeches, belt, tablet woven ankle bands, ankle wraps, socks and shoes. The body had been wrapped in a carpet with bands and leather straps, laid on a reindeer skin over birch rods, and the grave had been covered with bark.

Photo from Løvlid 2009, showing the left (and best preserved) side of the hood.

The original was in brown wool, and sewn with dark brown/grey thread. In addition to this it had a few seams in red and golden colors, and several rows of seams that created a "mohawk effect" on top of the head.

There were also braids with olive green tassels attached to each side, which may have been used to tighten the hood.

You can read more about the finding in the links provided at the end of the post, including a great master's thesis by D. H. Løvlid whose analyses contributed to the current dating of the finding, which was previously believed to be much younger.


My version of the hood

I decided to make myself a new hood based on this finding, using leftover fabric from previous projects.



Flowers, "Jonsokblom", that grow outside our house... ^^



All seams are handsewn with brown/grey 100% wool thread. The braids and tassels are made with brown/grey and olive wool threads, and should have approximately the same thickness, length, and location as the original.



Although the bottom/hem on the original was not folded, I chose to fold in and stich down all edges. I also chose to line my hood with leftover linen, as the Shetland wool I used has a quite coarse structure.

Supposedly, the word lining comes from the common use of a linen layer worn underneath wool, in order to protect the outer layer as well as to avoid wearing wool directly the skin. (I suppose not even our tough ancestors liked itching!)



In addition to minimizing waste, the extra advantage in using leftover materials for little projects like these is that the different items in my wardrobe match each other pretty well, such as this Heiðabý-bag that I made a while ago.

In a few days we will be off to our first market this season, and it looks like the hood may come to good use according to the weather forecast... At least that means we can light fires this year (last year was too dry to allow any open flames)! I look forward to set camp with my Folkvangr-friends and enjoy the market life again, and I'll make sure to take lots of photos to share here.


Music: Danheim - Holmgang

Sources and further reading:

Hügel, V. 2005. Paa en Stang Struden efter hannem bære. Forskning på hetter og struthetter fra Nordens middelalder. Master's thesis in archeology (Norwegian). The Arctic University of Norway.

Løvlid, D. H. 2009. Nye tanker om Skjoldehamnfunnet. Master's thesis in archeology (Norwegian), University of Bergen.

Løvlid, D. H. 2010. The Skjoldehamn find in the light of new knowledge. A discussion of the burial, the ethnic affiliation of the outfit, and the person's gender and social status. English Translation of article published at http://lofotr.no (translation by by Carol Lynn, 2011).
A couple of tutorials:

Risberg, K. 2016. Skjoldehamn Hood Tutorial.

Carletti, F. 2016. Skjolehamn Hood Handout.


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