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viking/dark ages wool thread

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:13 am
by Emrock
I am currently in the process of making a viking apron dress out of tabby wool, however I am unsure where to source wool thread from. I made the under dress from linen, with linen thread, however 100% wool thread is proving harder to find. Any suggestions?

Re: viking/dark ages wool thread

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:01 pm
by Alice the Huswyf
You can unravel the edge of the fabric you are using and use the threads to sew the garment. A friend did this with a lower status C15th gown made from recycled blanket which had been washed a couple of times. The only problems she had were surmounted by practice by the end of the process

1) that the tread was soft-spun (for loft) so needed an extra twist before use in the needle to stop breakages. In hindsight an additional rub with beeswax would also have helped.
2) Because the recycled fabric was soft spun and pre-washed so slightly matted, sometimes the thread she was unravelling broke into shorter, less convenient lengths than she would have liked. It was still free,still sewed up well, was an exact match thread and an interesting exercise in itself. Don't pull all the threads, they can be levered out using a pick, which saves breakages at sticking points.

Tabby cloth will have been harder spun, so will be easier to unravel, and tighter spun,. You will still have to identify which end sews in best without tangling: if you hand-ew sew 'with the twist' (ie the original cut end that you unwind from the spool to cut another length) even on modern poly threads, or the thread tangles. It is worth taking time to check your ravellings and wind them onto a keeper all in one direction. Don't forget to use beeswax, and be prepared to add a little replacement twist if your ravellings loosen before winding onto storage.

In the unlikely event that this doesn't work for you PM me as we're setting up a joint Etsy destash shop and we may have fallback thread. But you won't need to.

Re: viking/dark ages wool thread

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:07 pm
by Emrock
thanks for the reply!

I'm also wondering about thread to use for embroidery? As this would have to be in contrasting colours so threads from the fabric won't work.

Re: viking/dark ages wool thread

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:08 pm
by Alice the Huswyf
You can either split wool tapestry lengths down from 4 to 2 filaments, choosing "off" (ie grayed for blues, earthy for reds, yellowed for greens or muted) or plant colours if you know the colours achievable.

Often you see bundles of leftover skeins coming up on ebay which is a cheap way to start a stash, ( but you can't guarantee matches as although numbered, not all colours were continued, nor are dye batches utterly constant, which can be taken advantage of in yer chat if you know about natural dying). If you are prepared to buy odd lots, you can build a large selection quickly, bearing in mind one new 8 -10m skein would cost you 65p each. ... sacat=3104

Pre-cut leftover lengths from tapestry kits are also a good buy.

OR if you have access to the right colours in pure knitting wool leftovers, bag those and split down - split threads will need a slight twist and a bit of beeswax, like the blanket ravellings.

Or you can PM me, as I said

Re: viking/dark ages wool thread

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:17 pm
by sally
the worsted wool thread from Texere is nice to sew with and there are some sensible shades ... exere.html

Re: viking/dark ages wool thread

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:38 pm
by Colin Middleton
I've been advised to use Appleton's Crewel thread for sewing wools togeather.

I normally order mine from Wye Needlecraft in Bakewell.

Unravelling isn't always an option for me as I'm using filled cloths.