Do you enjoy watching movies based on the Vikings? If yes, you probably find their clothes quite fascinating. Fashion was relevant even during the Viking era. The women used to wear different clothes and items to express their social status, keep warm, defend themselves during wars and appeal to men.
Though the types of clothing that Vikings females sometimes varied across different regions, some of them were constant. Today, we will look at what the female Vikings wore at home, during battle, and even during winter. Enjoy!
What did the female Vikings wear?
Every community has a particular dress code, and the Vikings were famous for having a unique one. Since the female Vikings had a lot of responsibilities, they wore flexible clothes that reflected their lifestyle. The main clothes that women wore were dresses. They used different fabrics to make their dresses. Female Vikings were skilled weavers, and they engaged their children when making their clothes.
Apart from the dresses, the female Vikings also wore undergarments or smocks underneath. Most female Vikings preferred wearing linen undergarments. While some chose plain undergarments, others liked pleated ones.
Women also wore jewelry during the Viking age. Depending on their social status, they put on jewelry made from gold, silver, copper, or iron. Some of the jewelry that the female Vikings wore includes amber and beads. While some jewelry was ornamental, some had symbolic value.
The female Vikings also wore leather shoes that came up to the ankles. They stitched most of their shoes by hand through the turn-shoe method. One toggle was used to fasten the shoes to make them easy to adjust. Due to the busy lifestyle of female Vikings, they had to keep on replacing their shoes due to fast wear despite using quality materials to make them.
Some female Vikings were also fond of wearing head coverings that came in the form of knotted kerchiefs. This helped them express their sense of style and prevent hair from falling into food during meal preparation.
What did the female Vikings wear in battle?
Contrary to popular belief, the female’s place was not in the kitchen during the Viking era. Some females fought alongside men during battles. The Vikings treated their women as equals and gave them a high level of freedom. During battles, female Vikings wore cloaks just like their male counterparts.
They made cloaks from sheep’s skin and wore them over the shoulder. The female Vikings used a trilobite brooch to fasten the clock. Besides that, female Vikings also wore belts that they could use to hang essential items during wars, such as swords and axes.
Some Viking women also wore brooches that carried knives during wars. Archaeologists discovered concave brooches in Russia and Iceland, suggesting female Vikings were present during wars. During battles, female Vikings wore boots to protect their feet from harm and body armor to keep them safe from sword strikes.
Did female Vikings wear dresses?
We mentioned that female Vikings wore dresses. The most popular type of dress that they wore was a strap dress called an apron dress. This dress did not come with any pockets, and it was slightly shorter. It was mainly created from wool and was a close-fitting dress. After making wool into yarn, the female Vikings used natural dyes to make the clothes colorful.
Besides wool, some Viking women also made their dresses from flax, a softer material. Only a few Viking dresses came from silk since it was expensive. Only the wealthy female Vikings could afford silk clothes.
The strap dress extended from each shoulder down to the ankles. Beneath the dress, the female Vikings wore an underdress and used brooches to fasten them. They also used the brooches to hang some of the items they used to conduct different tasks, such as scissors, whetstone, needles, and keys. A string of beads was also used between the brooches of the strap dress.
Most people assume that the female Vikings only wore clothes in dull colors. On the contrary, they were fashionable and made their dresses in diverse colors such as blue, yellow, and red. Red clothes meant for female Vikings were a sign of prestige since they considered this an expensive color.
Female Vikings also liked accessorizing their dresses using belts. Archeologists discovered numerous buckles and belts in the graves of most female Vikings. According to other findings, some Viking women also included built-in sleeves in their dresses.
What did Vikings wear in winter?
The Scandinavian regions experienced harsh climatic conditions. The Vikings created clothes that could protect them from the cold during winter. Most Viking women wore cloaks that could keep them warm. The women also decorated their cloaks with embroidery or accents from animal skin to make their cloaks stand out.
During winter, the female Vikings wore double layered clothes. The outer layer of their clothes was made from durable materials like wool to keep them warm, while the inner layer featured a soft linen base. The linen base was either patterned or plain based on the Viking community that one came from.
The female Vikings also wore wool socks, hoods, mittens, and scarves to keep warm. Apart from wool, the women made their hoods from linen. Rather than knitting their socks in the usual way, the female Vikings used an ancient technique that was known as needle-binding. This method enabled them to create indestructible socks that would last them through many winters.
Archeologists rarely find Viking clothes since they decay fast. Despite this, written sources reveal that the female Vikings wore clothes for practical reasons. Since they had a busy lifestyle, they had to wear less restrictive clothes. The women also put on different accessories in their clothes and were also choosy about their shoes. The dress code that female Vikings maintained during battle and winter was slightly different from regular days. The fact that the female Vikings made most of the clothes and accessories proves that they were quite hard-working.