Method of Construction

Constructed by: Kathryn Gerry

My reproduction is based on both the Egtved skirt and these more modern versions. I have made a fringed belt, which circles all the way around my waist, as the Egtved model did. The designs on the belt are based on those of the modern folk costumes, which usually employ red and black colors, and a repeating diamond, lozenge or triangle pattern, which are all symbolic references to female genitalia. I have used card weaving, a very ancient and simple weaving technique which was very likely the method used on the Egtved skirt. I have done some card weaving before, but only with mercerized cotton. I thought wool would be a more authentic material to use, and this ended up causing lots of problems. Wool tends to stick to itself, and when I first started to set up the weaving, I ended up sitting in a big pile of tangled knots. The weaving itself generally went smoothly, though the wool strings broke more often than the cotton I had used before. I made the fringe by letting all of the weft threads on one side of the band drop down in long loops, which I later cut so that they would hang loosely. This method worked well, though it made the weaving much more time consuming. I still have to figure out what to do with the strings to keep them from tangling. I braided every three together for about an inch and a half down from the belt, but I'm not satisfied with this resolution. Braiding them all the way down to the end might work and weighting the strings with a bead or a metal band might also be a good idea.

I would also like to express my undying gratitude to John Billingsley, who stayed up all night with me untangling strings.

Sources, Resources and Links

Barber, Elizabeth. Women's Work: The First Twenty Thousand Years.

New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1994.


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