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Kaðlín's Weaving Tools

Creator: Ragnarr
Materials: Maple (baton, pick), Pine (shuttle)
Artefacts used:
    whalebone beater
        Provenience: Ytre Elgsnes, Trondenes, Troms, Norway
        Museum: Tromso: Ts.3096c
        Details: 80.8 cm long, 4.5 cm wide

    pick from Osebergfundet
    modern shuttles

Other Links:


A simple project to provide the other tools Karen needed to get on with her weaving.  


The beater is maple as it is a proper wood and I had a nice length handy while I didn't seem to have much whalebone lying around.  73.5 cm long, 6 cm wide, and 1.75cm thick. The handle is 14cm long and has been reduced to 2.5cm wide. Given that it was adjusted four or five times so that it felt right for Karen I would suggest that you will need to customize this to suit your own weaver.  The "blade" has a roughly oval cross section and I took special care to sand it very smooth along the edges.  I used no finish on the wood figuring that it would wind up with a nice coat of lanolin.  I was right.  It gleams softly in the light now and the grain has a wonderful depth.

Again maple from another scrap I had lying around.  15 cm long, 4 cm wide, 3/4 cm thick and with 9 teeth.  The important step here was getting the teeth right.  These really need to be suited to the warp being used (I expect to have to make more of these).  Again a lot of time to make them smooth.  These were cut using a dremel tool with a cutoff disk, but I assume that a saw would do the job fine.  Not sure how the norse would have sanded inside the teeth - perhaps just a bit of thin leather would do.  Many artefacts of this sort of thing exist.  Birka has a couple of pretty ones including a nice composite antler one with ring-dot decoration.

Just for comparison here's another pick I tried based on an artefact. The goal was 1cm across and 11 teeth. I had a different source for this but I can't find it -- for now see "Functional Textiles from the Oseberg Ship" by Ingstad p. 132.

No more handy maple so this one was pine.  No artefacts to base this on so I did it from memory of modern shuttles.  Not sure what the norse would have used (if anything).  I'll leave that question to Karen. The shuttle is 32cm long, 6cm wide, and 1.5 cm thick. The notches at the ends are 2.5 cm wide and 5 cm deep.

      Updated: August 26 2017 15:02:50.
Text © Neil Peterson, 2017
Photographs © Individual artists, 2017
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