Patterned Silk Weaving in Ancient Times

A Study of Some Silks from Central-Asia Found in the Viking Area.


  • Åse Eriksen University of Bergen


Emneord (Nøkkelord):

Samitum, Vertical loom, Patterned Silk, Silk, Viking Age


Patterned silks came to Scandinavia as small pieces of reused material, but they were still valuable for the Vikings to have been used as trimmings on their garments. In over a millennium, the weave structure of samitum in these fragments was used in all patterned silk. In the medieval it was displaced in favor for other structures. It has lapsed into obscurity for weavers today.
For several reasons the study of these silks has been difficult. The fragments are fragile. They were not made in Norway. Few have mastered this weaving technique. 
Is it possible to reconstruct these ancient silks, based on the knowledge gained from studying historical silks and experience acquired from using the structure in modern textiles? This article is about my attempt to do so, and also my reflections of the possible longtime impact on these silks on the weaving tradition in Norway.


Åse Eriksen, University of Bergen

Textile artist, and guest lecturer at Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design


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Hvordan referere

Eriksen, Åse. (2021). Patterned Silk Weaving in Ancient Times : A Study of Some Silks from Central-Asia Found in the Viking Area . FormAkademisk, 14(2).

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