Many surviving medieval embroideries from Norway were in fact imported into the country. This was not an unusal occurance as many countries had international reputations for certain types of work.

Wool Intarsia Animal, 15th Century

Hoyland Tapestry, worked in double running stitch and pattern darning, wool and linen on wool, 11th Century

Materials Used

  • linen ground fabric (most common)
  • wool ground

Threads were usually homepsun woolen yarn (natural or dyed) with only occassionaly use of silks, linen or metal threads.

Stitches and Techniques

  • stem stitch
  • Surface Couching
  • pattern darning

Some pieces used a mixture of stitches and materials, others used only a limited number of techniques. Below are some of the cominations in surviving pieces:

  • wool ground fabric, white linen thread outlines using stem stitch filled with pattern darning
  • linen ground fabric with pattern darning using wool yarn.
  • laid and couched work in polychrome wool on linen or wool tabby ground


While there are not enough surviving works to talk about specific design influences, the surviving works tend to be done using a common palette of blue, yellow, green and red wool yarn and white linen thread to make the pattern darned designs.

Links To Further Information

Sources / Further Reading

  • Bridgeman, H and Drury, E. Needlework: An Illustrated History , (London: Paddington Press, 1977)