The past couple months I have slowly been plugging away at another Viking hood. This one is made from linen fabric, hand sewn with linen thread pulled from the selvage of the fabric, and embroidered with linen thread using herringbone stitch, feather stitch, and Osberg rings. If you follow me on facebook, instagram, or twitter you may have already seen these photos as I took them.
I am finishing the seams in a manner very similar to the apron dress I made last year. The seam allowance is folded over and stitched down using a tiny herringbone stitch in linen thread, and then the center of the seam is reinforced with feather stitch.
The bottom hem is finished using a rough herringbone stitch using more of the fabric selvage thread.
As a finishing touch I am embroidering over the bottom hem stitches using Osberg rings. This embroidery is based on a small piece of wool applique embroidery found in the Osberg ship burial, and, according to Anne Stine Ingstad in The Textiles in the Osberg Ship, “This type of small embroidery is known from the graves in Birka, and there too it is placed along the edges of seams and applications.” If you go check out her article, the section on the ring embroidery is close to the bottom.
The inspiration embroidery is a wool core with wool thread wrapped around it and couching it to the fabric. I am using Londonderry linen thread for all my linen embroidery. For my version I am using 18/3 (large) for the core, and 30/3 (medium) for the wrap. In the photo above I am working right to left, but I have since tried working it left to right and found it much easier to accurately size the rings working in the new direction.
This stitch is far more time consuming than I had expected. Each foot of hem takes about five hours to embroider, and the first few rings were nowhere near as even as the ones in the photo above.