This page started its life as a spreadsheet uploaded to the Viking Clothing group on Facebook to provide a visual guide to how common certain textiles are in Viking Age archaeology. The data seemed to be useful for a number of enthusiasts and so was updated to bake in detailed sources and catalogue data. Alan 'Kael' Ball is a re-enactor and enthusiastic amateur historian with a particular interest in Viking Age textiles, material culture and socio-economic heritage. He's also a professional e-learning developer and sometimes gets carried away with collecting data. Thus, this.


Currently the data only pertains to excavations made in the UK. Things to note are:

  • Only woven textile frgaments are included. There is no cordage, fibres, or unidentified samples in the data set.
  • Only complete entries are included. Catalogue entries that don't include spin or weave type are ommitted.
  • Wool fleece type is included where possible.
  • When sett is variable, the lowest value is used.
  • Some items are defined by their finished product (eg. sock) rather than 'textile fragment' so viewers can see their known purpose where possible.

The reports used span a large timeframe so the recording methodology is often inconsistant. Because of this, the catalogue is somewhat incomplete (eg. there are many more fabric samples in the Mayer/Faussett Collection, but most of the entries have incomplete data, so have been ommitted).

Interpeting the data

  • Data is skewed by the York finds which account for more than half of the catalogue. This means, geographically, the data mainly points to an urban production and trading envronment, rather than the rural norm of Viking Age Britain.
  • The charts are generalised, which means that it can help determine the average production values of textiles. However, the charts alone will not describe a complete outfit, which recreations depend - instead, consult the catalogue for specific fabrics, and where possible use the source list to read the details. For copyright reasons, I can not reproduce the descriptions of the textiles, but many of the volumes are available online.

Adding to the data

Please feel free to email me - kael@vikingsof.me - with suggestions for new data. As stated previously, data should be complete (warp, weft, twist, sett, weave minimum) and come from an academically reviewed paper.