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Viking era bags and pouches, pattern help?


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#1 Raven

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 07:11 AM

Hi all, I'm interested in the Viking era (600-1100CE) and was wondering if anyone had any references or patterns for pouches or bags used during that era? I'm mainly interested in Anglo-Saxon or Scandanavian designs rather than the Rús designsif possible.

Many thanks :)
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#2 RuehlLeatherWorks

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 07:58 AM

It you are looking to avoid the Rus bags, you'll probably want to avoid the Birka style bags as well since those are a derivation of the same. After you eliminate those, the on;y other pouches and bags I've seen or heard about are simply drawstring pouches tied to the belt of tucked into the tunic.

#3 Raven

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 08:21 AM

Ah, that may be why I'm not finding much! I think I'll have to have a look at the Birka and Rús styles as well :)
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#4 Daggrim

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 10:19 AM

A great resource for patterns and authenticity research is
http://armourarchive.org
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#5 Tracker

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 12:20 AM

I posted an Eastern style bag that you might like here:

http://leatherworker...?showtopic=4666

Some Viking bag disscusion:

http://leatherworker...?showtopic=4666

I like this recreation:

http://forums.armour...highlight=purse

#6 fishguy

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 02:05 PM

http://www.regia.org/leatwork.htm
http://www.vikingson...basickit14.html

#7 Aulus

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 08:54 PM

Notice: The Viking Era starts at 793. About 600 - 793 in Skandinavia its called Vendel-Period. In the rest of Europe ist 600 - 750 merovinigan Period, later karolingian Period, and then Ottonic and Salier. Viking Period is only in Skandinavia and in UK.

Now about 600, this is exactly the time I do reenactment, so I may help you. We´ve diskussed a lot about bags and pouches but there is no really archeological found. When you look at pictures from this time you can see some half-round bags. They where worn at the Belt or as Shoulder bags and in many sizes. This is for Viking-Era too.

About carving: We all in Europe hope that a Bag will be found with carving on. At this time it doesn´t exist any carved bag. The only thing is a bag with a "braiding" on, found in Krefeld-Gellep not in Scandinavia. Sorry. My own oppinion is that if they´ve doing any carving, it will be invertet. Just like the ones on the Dog Collar I´ve shown here (Sutton Hoo)

If you would only do nice bags witch are not authentic, you should look for Books about Urne- Mammen- and Jellinge-Style.

If you need some attachments for Rus-Bags, so look for the Birka-Trader form Australia. They make very fine things. If this is not yours, tell me I can watch out.


If you would only do nice bags witch are not authentic, you should look for Books about Urne- Mammen- and Jellinge-Style. If you need some attachments for Rus-Bags, so look for the Birka-Trader form Australia. They make very fine things. If this is not yours, tell me I can watch out.

Edited by Aulus, 10 March 2009 - 08:54 PM.


#8 Peter Ellis

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:15 PM

You will want to have a look at a book titled "Purses in Pieces". It examines leather bags, pouches, purses, wallets, etc. found in Denmark (primarily) and provides patterns and construction tips. The author did reproduction work for archaeologists and had the opportunity to examine many of the originals discussed in the book.

It covers a broad time frame, including your period of interest.
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#9 tashabear

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 01:35 AM

You will want to have a look at a book titled "Purses in Pieces". It examines leather bags, pouches, purses, wallets, etc. found in Denmark (primarily) and provides patterns and construction tips. The author did reproduction work for archaeologists and had the opportunity to examine many of the originals discussed in the book.

It covers a broad time frame, including your period of interest.


I thought those bags were Dutch? The Preface clearly states that "the basis of this book is provided by material excavated in the Netherlands." (pg 9) It does reference finds from neighboring countries, but I don't think they're Viking Age. I mean, the subtitle of the book is "Archaeological finds of late medieval and 16th-century leather purses, pouches, bags and cases in the Netherlands".

If I've missed something in my reading, though, please let me know where you've found Viking Age examples in this book, because that's my area of interest, too. While the late period Dutch pieces are fabulous (especially the recreations), and I want to make them, they're just not appropriate for my personal use.

#10 Peter Ellis

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 09:36 PM

I thought those bags were Dutch? The Preface clearly states that "the basis of this book is provided by material excavated in the Netherlands." (pg 9) It does reference finds from neighboring countries, but I don't think they're Viking Age. I mean, the subtitle of the book is "Archaeological finds of late medieval and 16th-century leather purses, pouches, bags and cases in the Netherlands".

If I've missed something in my reading, though, please let me know where you've found Viking Age examples in this book, because that's my area of interest, too. While the late period Dutch pieces are fabulous (especially the recreations), and I want to make them, they're just not appropriate for my personal use.


While the majority of pieces that Goubitz reconstructs are late middle ages into 16th century, he discusses patterns that are found over a very broad span of both time and geography. He also gives valuable information regarding construction techniques. I thought his work was the source for a Norse wallet pattern I've built a couple of, but in looking through just now I didn't see it (which could easily mean that I'm just not seeing, or that I've misremembered my source).

Purses in pieces is a unique resource, in that it is the product of a fellow who spent many years handling surviving leather items and piecing together construction methods. He shares insights that others who only look at the surviving fragments simply cannot provide. Even though his focus is on finds in the Netherlands, his observations are valuable over a much broader scope.

Have you looked at the Hedeby purses ? Some interesting stuff there, including questions like, which side is the fur on ? ;)

And you are absolutely right, I switched Netherlands with Denmark.. :oops:

Edited by Peter Ellis, 07 April 2009 - 09:39 PM.

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#11 tashabear

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 01:32 AM

{snip}

Even though his focus is on finds in the Netherlands, his observations are valuable over a much broader scope.

Have you looked at the Hedeby purses ? Some interesting stuff there, including questions like, which side is the fur on ? ;)

And you are absolutely right, I switched Netherlands with Denmark.. :oops:


I figured that there wasn't *that* much new under the sun as far as purses, but sizes and shapes would change according to fashion, and since I'm new to leatherwork in general, I'm still figuring out what's appropriate for where and when, and where to find the reference works. (If you're looking for clothing or textile references, I'm your girl, though.)

I still want to make a moneychanger's purse from Goubitz, though -- it's just NEAT.

That being said, where would I look for references on the Hedeby bags? I'm looking for info on Hedeby or Birka, as well as Anglo-Scandinavian York and Viking Dublin.

#12 Sparks

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 12:28 AM

As more of a 'casual' Viking interested person, I found the Viking Answer Ladies web page http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/ a great source of links to scholarly research, images, etc.
Lots of info and pics, but likely no patterns per se.

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#13 BobHur

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 06:52 PM

http://www.vikingson...basickit14.html


I have one of these, and it seemed to be a nuisance of a major order. Put something of weight like coinage in it and walk, and it swings back and forth as you walk eventually banging into something you deem important, and painfully so. But this weekend I lucked upon the answer.

It isn't a simple bag pouch at all, if we consider a bag pouch as being something you tie upon your belt and let swing. This discovery is a bit difficult to describe in text, so please bear with me.

Instead of putting on your belt and then tying on the pouch, do this - open the tie strings, and thread your belt through each loop. Now, put whatever you wish in the pouch, grab the knots of the two strings, pull up and tie a simple overhand knot (maybe a more substantial knot like a square knot if your pouch is heavy). When you do the round pouch turns into a flat-mouthed pouch that nestles against your belt, and no more swinging and banging the naughty bits, and with the "opening ears" of the pattern, you need only loosen the knot a bit (easy when it's a simple overhand) to access your treasures. I should mention that I made mine from braintanned deerskin, so the ties/laces/cords have a lot of inherent friction, and a simple overhand as I tried to describe is all you need. I also have a 14thC "kidney" pouch with strap and buckle, and the Viking pouch is easier to use once I finally figured out how to wear it.

Hope this helps, I can't state that it's historically accurate, but experiential paleontology finds an occasional gem.

#14 douglais

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:27 PM

Bobhur, I made the pouch you described, and it's as advertised. Hangs nice, is easily accesible, and it's secure. I've been frustrated for years, trying to make pouches like this easy to use, and you hit it perfect, Dude.

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#15 Han som vandret

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:56 AM

Notice: The Viking Era starts at 793. About 600 - 793 in Skandinavia its called Vendel-Period. In the rest of Europe ist 600 - 750 merovinigan Period, later karolingian Period, and then Ottonic and Salier. Viking Period is only in Skandinavia and in UK.


Actually, the first recorded viking attack happened in Portland, 789. Not Lindisfarne, 793.





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