The clothing of the Viking men was modeled after the Russian fashion and was also worn on trades on the Silk Road. Picture: Annika Larsson
Reading The Vikings dressed themselves before the advent of Christianity colorful and provocative than previously thought: Lively colors, silk ribbons and sewn-on Spiegelstückchen often decorated the robes. Especially the men were vain in their clothes, said textile researcher Annika Larsson from Uppsala University. The women on the other hand emphasized their breasts with round buckles and let the underdress appear provocatively under the overcoat. "The Vikings combined oriental elements with Nordic fashion. The clothes were designed to be demonstrated inside the fire, "says Larsson. The textile researcher studied numerous finds from the area around Uppsala and around Lake Mälaren near Stockholm for her doctoral thesis and found out that the conservative image of the Viking clothing was far from right. Researchers believed that women wore long two-piece gowns that were tied around the waist with a belt and fastened to the clavicle with buckles. Under the robe was a linen shirt, over it a scarf or pullover.

According to Larsson's findings, the skirts of the women were in one piece, behind with train and front open, so that the linen underdress peeked out. The buckles for attachment sat on the breasts, not on the clavicle, which was also seen in tombs. "It was just a prudish interpretation that the buckles slipped down during the corpse's decomposition, " says Larsson.

However, with the arrival of Christianity around 900 AD, this provocative custom came to a standstill. Trade relations with the East became worse, and new ones with the Christian Byzantine Empire and Western Europe. The medieval fashion moved into Scandinavian, the clothes were chaste and approached the traditional image of the Viking fashion. The textile researcher has thus revealed a break in the Viking period (750 to 1050 AD), considered so far uniform. "Textile research says more about the state of a society than traditional research, " says the scientist. "Old rituals often last a long time beyond social change, but when trade routes are cut off, fashion is immediately affected."

Communication from Uppsala University ddp / Livia Rasche advertisement


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