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What's in a 9th-century textiles workbox?


What's in a Carolingian (9th century) sewing box, and in my work basket during my two weeks at Campus Galli, in southern Germany?





My project basket was filled with a few balls of hand-spun wool yarn that are going towards nalbinding and sprang projects, my spindles, my nalbinding pieces (an Oslo-stitched cap and a York/Coppergate cup), a sprang hairnet that needs finishing, and a clay jar to keep my lime-bast cordage from going all over the place. I've also kept a few handsful of combed white fleece to spin. My iron sewing needle and nalbinding needles were close by in a small linen bag attached to my belt -- they are very precious tools, so I kept them close. My pair of mini-shears, hand-forged on the site, hung from my belt on a leather cord.


We all shared a common sewing basket, too. Our shared sewing tools, kept in a woven-grass basket, include bone, wood, and iron needles for sewing and nalbinding, here on a piece of wool to keep the iron needles, which are forged onsite, from rusting. Inside the basket is a pin cushion with pins made from various sizes of thorns, sharp iron-forged scissors, spools (made from wood or from small scraps of linen) with linen thread, and some sewing wool for repairs on clothes.





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