To have a wider picture upon the Viking era, it is necessary to take a look at Viking clothes. But what did the Vikings wear in their Viking daily life? This blog post is going to discuss this question.
Fashion has never been an old topic. Because no matter what era, people always pay attention to the way they dress. What’s difference is the level of attention meaning ancient people might pay less attention to fashion than now. But that doesn’t mean they chose carefree wear. Viking men would wear many layers of clothes to keep themselves extremely warm as most of the time they worked outside their houses. Women also wore thick clothes and they usually wear long dress.
The Viking spent an amount of time and money on their clothes. Because as far as we know, the Vikings did care about their hygiene and appearance. Neat and tidy. Always. The Vikings cared much about their clothes because of both practical and religious purposes. For example, the Vikings wear thick and raw clothes to keep themselves warm through harsh weather. Or many Viking women dressed with a view to showing their social status and wealth. Regarding religious purpose, the Vikings might have worn their clothes with powerful symbols of Norse sagas.
Viking clothes were very colorful
What pops up in our mind might be the Vikings always wearing boring clothes in a dull background. But that is a misunderstanding of the Viking age. The Vikings wore clothes of many colors, in fact. They had many choices of colors when it came to making clothes.The most expensive color in the Viking time was red which the Vikings made from the madder root plan. But the Scandinavian land could not grow this type of plant so probably the Vikings might have traded for it from other places. Other available colors were black, purple, yellow, blue, white, etc.
Patterns on Viking clothes
Patterns on clothes of the Viking times were not like what we see in the modern construction. With the modern fabrication, there might be a lot of Viking patterns inspired by weapons or Viking symbols. But in the ancient times, such patterns were not common. The Viking made their most complicated patterns by cutting out cloth and sewing them together.
The Vikings did have silk clothes but that was not a common case. Silk was the most expensive and premium kind of fabric in the Viking age. Only the wealthy and the noble could afford silk clothes. Clothes of silk were also to present the high social status.
Viking Winter Clothes
Viking women sitting around the fire in a snowy evening and knitting socks for their men? No, they didn’t knit socks. Instead, they applied the technique of needle-binding to create socks. They used a very large needle to tie the yarn to each other. It might take a certain amount of time but socks would be indestructible with this producing method. That’s not to mention socks would last for many years.
The Vikings also applied this needle-binding method to make their hoods, scarf, and gloves. When the weather got worse with snow and wind, the Vikings would put on their hood to cover their shoulders and heads.The materials to make a pair of gloves might be sheepskin or fur so that it would secure perfect warmth for the wearers. Many people of the lowest rung on the Viking social ladder might not afford socks or mittens to keep themselves warm. At this point, they would use leaves or hay to keep their fingers and toes warm.
Viking Shoes and Belts
Of course, the Viking age developed enough for the people of that time to wear shoes. But the styles of Viking shoes varied from regions to regions. Commonly, the Viking wore practical shoes which helped them with the farming or fishing task. However, Viking shoes easily wore out which resulted them in purchasing shoes many times in a year. The primary material to make Viking shoes was leather.
Viking belts were a very useful thing for the Vikings. Because they could carry their axe and handbags in their belts. However, the belts turned out to be a vulnerable part in battles as their opponents might use axe to hold their belts. Or the foes even cut the belts, leaving the Vikings in a hard time of both fighting and pulling their trousers.