Wool and linen
Like most people in Europe at the time, the Vikings used wool more than anything else for making clothes. The Vikings brought sheep with them to the islands they settled in the North Atlantic for wool and meat. “The Faeroe Islands” even means “the Sheep islands”. Clothes were spun and woven by the women. They also dyed the cloth with mineral and vegetable dyes of red, green, brown, yellow or blue.
Linen was also used for clothes. Even today you can find Viking Age place names in Scandinavia like “Lin-åker” (lin= linen/flax, åker= field).
How they dressed
Viking men first put on a long woolen shirt and long cloth trousers which were held up by a sash or a drawstring. On top of this was worn a sleeved jerkin or a three-quarter coat with a belt. On his feet he would wear socks and soft leather shoes or long leather boots. In battle he would wear an iron helmet and a mail-chain to protect himself.
Viking women wore a long linen dress. It could be either plain or pleated. Over the dress they wore a long woolen tunic, a little like an apron. It was held up by a pair of brooches, sometimes joined by a chain or string of beads. Over the tunic she might wear a shawl. Her legs and feet were covered with thick woolly socks and soft leather shoes.
Both men and women wore fur or woolen hats and cloaks in cold weather. The cloaks were fastened at the shoulder with a brooch or a pin.
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