Fibers and Weaves

We make most of our clothing from 100% pure linen, wool and washable wool blends.

Linens are made of flax which is grown, woven and dyed in Romania and the Czech Republic. We use a medium heavyweight cloth for tunics, gowns, chausses, braies and other similar garments. We use a finer, lighter linen for shirts, smocks, veils and wimples.

With few exceptions, we use colors which have been carefully matched to colors produced with natural dyes. For more information on the colors, please see our Colors section.

Linen garments are prewashed and dried before being offered for sale. Residual shrinkage will be 1% or less. Consult the care label inside each garment for laundering instructions. Colored linens may be washed in cold water on a short/delicate cycle. White garments may be washed in warm or hot. Treat stains on white garments with a non-chlorine beach presoak or stain spray. Never use chlorine bleach on linen.

Our wool fabrics come from all over the world. Tunics, trousers, chausses, gowns, doublets and the like are made from light to medium garment weight material. We do not use heavy coating wools for these garments. Hats, hoods and other accessories are often made from heavier weight wools which have been fulled. Every effort is made to use the historically correct colour and weave for each garment according to period and social class.

Most wools are 80-100% pure and cannot be machine washed and dried. We recommend dry cleaning for wool garments, although some pieces may be carefully hand washed and dried flat.

Wool Blends
We offer wool blends as a service for those with serious wool allergies and/or a desire to machine wash their garments. Washable blends have been carefully chosen to have a natural wool look and colour. We screen these fabrics so carefully that many have passed Regia Anglorum authenticity standards. Washable blends are clearly marked as such and may be machine washed in cold water on a short/delicate cycle.

Other Fabrics
We use mixed fibre brocades and damasks for our sideless surcoats, doublets and coats. Most are cotton/rayon blends, although some are polyester or other fibres. We choose fabrics that have the most historical look at a reasonable cost. Most of our brocades are imported from Italy, where historical patterns and historically inspired patterns are still being woven.

Weave Patterns
Weave patterns are specifically chosen to conform to archaeological examples. We use herringbone, chevron and other patterned twills which copy cloth woven on a warp weighted loom for our early period clothing. Simple twills and tabby weaves are used for later period garments. We use brocade and damask with historically based designs for our sideless surcoats, doublets and coats.

A sampling of patterned twills in good quality wool and linen used for our early period garments. These are common weaves appropriate for any rank or status.

A sampling of complex weaves used for our early period garments. These are appropriate for someone of high rank or status. 

A sampling of tabby weaves. This selection shows fabrics woven with 2 or more colours. Using a warp and weft of different colours was a common medieval practice- More than 70% of the garments at Herjolfsnes utilize threads of different colours.

Please note: Our Dark Ages garments have been developed in consultation with the Authenticity Officers for Regia Anglorum in the US and UK and the Vikings NA and UK. Although it is policy for both groups to avoid giving blanket endorsements to vendors, we have made every effort possible to ensure that our fabrics, colours and garment patterns conform to current Regia Anglorum and Vikings kit standards.

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