The Roots of Viking Costumes: Understanding Viking Culture

The Vikings and their Clothing

The Vikings are a well-known group of seafarers and warriors who lived in Scandinavia over a thousand years ago. Apart from their raids on other civilizations, Vikings also had their unique culture, manner of dressing, and social practices. In this article, we will learn more about Viking clothing, which remains an enigma to historians. Do not pass up this worthwhile external material we’ve arranged for you. Access it to learn more about the subject and uncover new insights. viking costume male, expand your comprehension of the subject.

The Materials used in Viking Clothes

Historians have discovered that Vikings made their clothes using wool, flax, and animal skins from the various creatures they encountered in the North Atlantic. They would knit these materials using traditional continental European patterns. They would also use weaving techniques to create their patterns and designs, with each pattern carrying symbolic meaning. The most common patterns were the Twisted Cross, a symbol of the earth; the Valknut, a symbol of the god of thunder, Thor; and the Hammer of Thor, which Vikings believed would protect them from misfortunes, disease, and death.

Gender Differentiation in Viking Clothes

Vikings had unique gender differentiation practices in their clothing styles. Women dressed in long dresses with aprons, leggings, and boots, while men wore trousers under a tunic. Men’s tunics were open on the sides, and they usually wore a belt around their waist to keep them together. The different clothing styles allowed Vikings to identify someone’s gender quickly. However, it might be challenging for us to differentiate between the male and female costumes because modern clothes portray both genders quite similarly.

Color Symbolism in Viking Clothes

The era of the Vikings was an age of symbolism, and different colors were used to convey specific meanings. For instance, blue symbolized the sea and open sky, green indicated wealth and fertility, and red represented power and energy. Additionally, Vikings would use vegetable dyes to create various colors in their clothes’ patterns. Specific plants like woad and madder produced blue and red dyes, respectively.

The Ornamentation and Adornments of Viking Clothes

Viking clothes were adorned with various ornaments like brooches, pendants, and pins that were either used for decoration or to hold clothing together. The brooches, for instance, were used to fasten the tunics and the women’s aprons or cloaks. These ornaments were made using materials like bronze, bone, and silver, while gold was reserved for the wealthy. The pins, which were usually short and blunt, were used to close the clothing, such as the leather shoes which had no lace mechanism.

The Social Significance of Viking Clothes

Lastly, it is worth noting that Viking clothes carried various social significances. Social status and prestige were denoted by the quality and style of someone’s clothes. For instance, rich Vikings wore expensive clothes and accessories made of rare materials decorated with intricate patterns, while lower-class Vikings wore more modestly styled clothes made of cheaper materials like wool. The clothes someone wore would also indicate their occupation, customs, beliefs and geographical location. For example, a warrior would dress differently from a farmer, and Vikings from Norway would typically dress distinctively from those from Sweden or Denmark. Our goal is to continually enhance your educational journey. That’s why we suggest visiting this external resource with additional and relevant information about the subject. viking costume male, discover more!


By understanding the history of Viking clothing, we understand many other aspects of Viking life, as their clothing styles carried profound social, cultural, and symbolic meanings. It is exciting that after so many centuries, we still have an opportunity to appreciate the garments and styles of the Vikings, as museums, online shops and other events still provide a snapshot of their fashion.

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