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This rare combination of charring and waterlogging and natural burial under sediment has been responsible for the extraordinarily high levels of preservation.
Most of the artefacts have been found inside the settlement’s houses.
Originally, some of the textiles must have been of very substantial size – because they had been folded, in some cases in up to 10 layers.
What’s more, the presence on the site of unspun processed fibre, yarn and finished textiles all strongly suggests that the village was involved not only in using textiles but also in manufacturing them.
Timber fragments with delicate carpentry, found during the Historic-England-funded excavation may well be the remains of looms.
Hundreds – possibly thousands – of flax seeds have so far been found on the site (some of which had been stored in containers).
Flax is the crop which produces the fibres used in linen production.
But nettles may well have had additional benefits – at least in the eyes of the users of the fabrics.
In traditional ancient folklore, nettles of various types were often regarded as having magical powers.
Indeed one of Europe’s most famous folktales – the Wild Swans (written by Hans Christian Andersen, but thought to be based on traditional folk stories) – reveals how shirts, made of nettle yarn, enabled their wearers to break a witch’s spell.
So far no evidence of any extensive patterns or coloured dyes have been found on any of the linen and nettle yarn textile fragments – although the edge of one piece of fabric (perhaps part of a shawl or cape) seems to have been decorated with fringes, rows of knots, and strips featuring different styles of weave.
They were seen as being able to protect both humans and animals from sorcery and witchcraft.
What’s more, garments made of nettles were therefore sometimes seen as protecting their wearers from evil.
Basic bleaching of the fabric might well have been achieved with the use of a mixture of urine and milk or by simply laying out the fabrics on wet grass on a succession of sunny days.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating