15 Century Herjolfsnes Dress #39


The short green woollen overdress is completly hand sewn by my husband. The longer underdress is made out of undeyed, unbleached linen, all visible seams are handsewn.



The original of this dress (Museum No. D 10581) (l) is carbon dated to c.1434 and is excavated in Herjolfnes, Greenland. It is on display in the Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Patterns used

The pattern of this dress bought in the museum shop of the National Museum in Copenhagen,Denmark.

More information

The green overdress is made in the size of the excavated original. The woman who wore this dress was estimaded to be 1.48 cm in size, although I am small, I am not that small. This could explain the shortness of the dress. Most dresses found at the same site had long sleeves, sometimes even with slits, so that the sleeves of the dress had to be sewn together, each time a lady would wear it. Maybe the sleeves of this dress have been cut short after the sleeves had been worn out.

More information on this dress and the garments found at the same site, can be found at on the website Clothing of the Middle Ages from Marc Carlson
and in; Woven into the earth, textiles from the Norse Greenland a book written by Else Østergård. In the back of this book you can find a diagram for dress #45 (museum No.D10587) which has short sleeves and is quite similar in construction.




(r) For summer wear I've made a red linnen version with a round neckline, which I wear over a white linnen underdress. The sleeves of the underdress are wide enough to be rolled up. Which is really practical when I am dyeing or cooking.

Costume made in 2004.