Viking textiles

The Oseberg mound contained the richest find of textiles and textile tools from the Viking Age ever discovered. There were looms and weaving tools, scissors and other objects, some still used by weavers today.

Remnants of a picture tapestry were among the finds, too. It shows women and men in procession, with horses, ships and even wagons. We know that story-telling carpets were very much in style during the Viking Age, with the Bayeux tapestry as the foremost example.

A most unusual aspect of the Oseberg find was the many preserved pieces of textiles, demonstrating great skills and connections to places all over Europe and beyond. The Oseberg Viking Heritage has started the work to recreate some of the textiles.
Above: Ribbons for decorational purposes from Oseberg, reconstructed by Bente Skogsaas/Oseberg Viking Heritage.
Bottom: Woolen tapestry from Oseberghaugen. Detail of fragment no. 2. Fragments no. 1 and 2 constitute a depiction of a wagon procession.
(Top photo: Elisabeth Bekkevard, Bottom photo: Kulturhistorisk Museum, UiO).

Decorative silk

There was also a large collection of silk ribbons, probably used for dress decorations. Included in the find were also more than 900 fragments of woollen cloths, most in bright colours. The Viking women would use a standing loom for weaving.

Most of the textiles from Oseberg are of very high quality. Even with today´s knowledge we would be hard pressed to recreate some of them.