Insight Into the Anglo Saxon Clothing Culture

Insight Into the Anglo Saxon Clothing CultureClothing of the early Anglo Saxons were largely fashioned…

Insight Into the Anglo Saxon Clothing Culture

Clothing of the early Anglo Saxons were largely fashioned out of wool which also formed the foundation of their economy. Linen was mostly used in undergarments, silk, then was rare and expensive and was limited to the extremely wealthy and as burial cloth for saints.

Ancient paintings provide a deep insight into the clothing culture of the Anglo Saxons, with the royalties, clergy, and saints depicted wearing garments appropriate and representative of their particular classes. Please note that my assumptions are thus based on the rich tastes of the affluent. Wood, ivory, and bone carvings, wall paintings, stone crosses offer a good insight into the popular fashion of the time. Merchants, Lords, and ladies describe and name specific types of clothing in their wills and leave them to their favorite heirs. Cesspit remnants and grave findings of clothing offer additional and more comprehensive sources for research and study.


All through the Early English period ranging between 460 to 1200 years, the females don a rather trim undergarment, narrow sleeves. Findings such as colored illustrations depict this in white which indicate linen, though a poor woman had little choice but wear wool undergarments. The duration of the shift is not clearly stated, but it seems to have varied in length. Shifts made of linen seem to have been valuable because they are mentioned in a number of wills left behind by testatrixes. Underpants were not worn. (Of all garments regarded must-haves today, underpants seems to have been the most recently adopted, and they seem to have com e into wide use in the late 18th century.

Wool fleece was the dominant material used in the manufacture of sanitary napkins used by the Anglo-Saxon fore mothers, there is also possibility that these were made by sewing several layers of linen together. These were most likely set-inside closely fitting pair of drawers and worn for the same purpose. Mass-produced disposable napkins appeared in the scene in the third decade of the 20 Th century while commercially available reusable napkins emerged a decade earlier.

Stockings, woven, cut and sewn to fit and sometimes fashioned using the technique known as nail binding today, these were held up using knee garters made of wool strips.


The evolution of the shift saw the emergence of the gowns made of wool. This dress varied depending of the social status of the wearer. The prominent penchant of the Early English for vibrant colors suggests that the dyers illustrations was thoroughly used in the design of blue tints ” based on leaves of the herb woad, green from greenweed and club moss, yellow from the weld plant and violet from lichen.

During the fifth and sixth century, early English women wore dresses that were composed of simple fabrics, usually fastened together at the shoulder by a brooch pair ” this style persisted up to the 11 century and was adopted by the Danish women. Girdle or fabric sash was worn around the waist and used for suspending keys, toiletries such as ear scoops, nail scissors, tweezers and cute and often mysterious items like spoon like sieves used as decorative ” like ones found in the female grave at the isle of Wight and also crystal balls.Anglo-Saxon women’s grave yards often contain clutches of numerous metals such as ones used for securing the sleeves.