Pattern drawing based on Nörlund
A large man's garment with short sleeves, found with a hood. It is made of front and back pieces in which double gores, 87 cm (34.3") long, have been inserted, although the back gore is just double sized with a false seam down the center. There is a large double gore on the right side with a false seam and a second gore; on the right side there is a single large gore with three false seams, showing the original material to have been at least 82 cm (32.2") wide.
The waist diamerter of the garment is 124 cm (48.8"), and the hem diameter is 325 cm (127.9"). The neck diameter is 87 cm (34.3") around. The arm hole is 68 cm (26.8") in diameter and narrows towards the end. The front of the outfit is 117 cm (46") long. It is 58 cm (22.8") from the hem to the bottom of the pocket slit.
The material is a heavy and course four-shaft twill (i.e. 2/2 twill)
Maggie Forest made a separate examination of the materials of H33, H38, H39, H43, H45, H61, H65 and had the following to say:
The fabric is invariably 2/2 twill. The threads are less than a mm thick, the fabric wasn't fulled. The result is a slightly open weave, which would have held warmth like a modern knitted sweater. The gap between each thread would be about 1/3-1/2 mm - noticeable. The warp is spun with kemp hairs included for strength, the weft is just the soft under coat, and so the fabrics have a distinctive almost tweed-like appearance. The open weave and the twill weave would have made these fabrics drape like dreams. Despite the fact that they weren't terribly tight-fitted (although I have a thought on that too) they would have looked it, because the fabric would have clung quite closely.
The seams are just amazingly fine. They're done from the same thread as the fabric is woven from, and stitches are frequently only about 1mm long. There are places where Nörlund states that there is no hem, only a fold-over, but in fact there is a seam there, it's just so fine you need to look under the microscope. Leaning back, you can just see a shadow line from the seams, but the stitches are minute.
[The Greenlanders] used a stitch now known as priksom for a top stitch. It is a running stitch, but it goes through the fabric diagonally and ends up looking totally like a modern machine seam, with each stitch butting close to the next..
The tablet woven edge that is extant in the London material also appears in the Greenland material. A couple of the hoods have a quite wide edge, about 1.5 cm wide, done in this way, which gives a really distinctive looking edge with wide stitches on the back. Very tidy.
[Forest agrees with Robin Netherton's assertion that the Nörlund's pattern diagrams are flawed.] They really look nothing like it. This may be because he drew the diagrams before the first conservation, but for example, there really aren't those curves in the 39 gown.
The false seams were not used to add additional fit - they are even all the way through the garment.
This page was last modified 11 June 2003
Nörlund, Poul. "Buried Norsemen at Herjolfsnes: an archaeological and historical study." Meddelelser om Gronland: Udgivne af Kommissionen for ledelsen af de geologiske og geogrfiske undersogelser i Gronland. Bind LXVII. Kobenhavn: C.A. Reitzel, 1924.
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Some Clothing of the Middle Ages -- Kyrtles/Cotes/Tunics/Gowns -- Herjolfsnes 45, by I. Marc Carlson, Copyright 1997 This code is given for the free exchange of information, provided the Author's Name is included in all future revisions, and no money change hands-