10th C. Viking Shoes

January 5, 2010 - Often times, I will barter for clothing, embroidery, or both in return for shoes. In this case, these lovely Viking shoes were made in exchange for a fantastic embroidered wool Viking tunic! Although I'd made turn shoes in the past, I was excited to get the chance to try and do some ornamentation. Note that many Viking shoes have a "triangular" sole back which continues up the quarters, but I chose to leave it normal in this instance since time was of the essence.

This image, from Goubitz' Stepping Through Time, shoes a detail of a 10th Century Viking shoe from Schleswig, Denmark (not Gdansk, Poland, as I previously had thought - thanks Mel! =). There is evidence for a variety of ornamentation types on Viking shoes like embroidery, vamp stripes, and the like. Additionally, Goubitz also shows several other shoes of this type with varying embroidery patterns.

A close up of the embroidered vamp. A paper pattern was made and the design was drawn on the paper pattern. Then, the pattern was laid on top of the vamp and awl holes were made to indicate where the thread would emerge and then go back into the vamp. The paper pattern was then flipped over and done for the other vamp. Note that the vamps were dyed before the embroidery was carried out.

You will also note that a thin leather strip was whip stitched to the top of the quarters as an additional visual point of interest.

A close up of the embroidery on the vamp of the shoe. Pretty sweet, hm? =)

The finished shoes! If you look at Goubitz for shoes of this style, you will notice that the overlapping piece is actually inserted into the vertical seam of the shoe, so you need to get your fit just right. This is much harder to explain in text, so I suggest you go back to Goubitz where it better detailed.

Shortcut Bar

Shoe Source.
The embroidered vamp.
The finished shoes.
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