Triangular shawl as seen in Valkyrie figure from Tuna Sweden 12/20/16

I was asked to weave a shawl for an SCA “scroll”. Sometimes useful items are preferred to something that can hang on a wall.

Several of the Valkyrie figures depict shawls in different configurations.
I believe that the one on the Tuna figure (i) and the figure on the Gotland rune stone (e), shows a triangular one. The way shawl comes to a point in the center rear, sweeping upward in a straight line toward the center front of the body would not be likely with a square or rectangular shawl without folding or bunching it up in the back, neither of which is indicated here. Versus the depiction of a shawls on the figure from Grodinge Opp  (h) and the several from the Osberg tapestry (b) which appear to show a square or rectangle shawl with the point nearly straight down at her side. Also several shawls appears to depict fringe on the edges of the garments.

Illustration: Bau, F. 1981. Seler og slæb i vikingetid, Birka’s kvindedragt i nyt lys. KUML, Årbok for Jysk arkæologisk selskap pg15


Of course I couldn’t weave this easily on a modern horizontal loom in a triangular fashion. So I wove a length just a bit longer than I wanted the final piece out of alpaca sport weight wool. I used black and grey for my warp wanting a black border and then used black as my weft, woven in broken diamond twill pattern. I then cut the fabric 6 inches bigger than I needed. I now had two perfect pieces to fit together and make a child’s sized shawl later. I laid the shawl out on a table and began to carefully separate the edge warp and weft to create the fringe.

Since it was a scroll it needed words. Lois Hale wrote the words and I tablet wove them into a band of black and white wool and attached it in rows to the long edge of the shawl. I can no longer find a copy of what they say.  Here is a very good article on the use of runes in the Viking age.shawlshawl 2

The final shawl was presented as the scroll for Countess Shaya when she stepped down as Queen, Jan 2017. (Note: she is also modeling tablet woven trim from me on her dress)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: