A Dorset based group were given a glimpse of fashion past.

At the recent Blandford Evening Women’s Institute (WI) monthly meeting the ladies were given a glimpse of the fashions of the past highlighting the many hours of labour required to produce the simplest of garments and basic items of dress.

The talk was delivered by Jennifer Heath who is a tutor at the Ancient Technology Centre in Cranborne, accompanied by her husband Dwayne, who is a member of the Poole Viking Re-enactment Group.

The pair both make items for fellow reenactors.

During the talk, Mrs Heath showed a comprehensive display of the plants used to dye the most commonly used fabrics of wool and linen, the tools, spindles and utensils used to make the fabric and the simple tablets used to weave the decorated braids beautifying the garments.

She explained the status of her dress and how the glass beads were used as ready cash for barter.  

Mr Heath displayed and spoke about his items of clothing and weaponry including the very heavy chain mail shirt, the short domestic blade, the hand axe, sword and finally the Viking battle axe which was ‘as tall as some of the ladies.’