Traces of clothing

Traces of clothing

Length: 7.000 cm

Gift of T.E. Wells & Sons

P&EE 1978 12-2 37

While Iron Age Britons must have worn clothes of some sort, few garment remains have survived because wool, linen, skins and fur easily decay and rot in the ground.

These lumps were part of a small iron object which was lying on top of a piece of clothing when it was buried. As the cloth rotted away and the outside of the iron object turned to rust, a perfect impression of the cloth was left in the rusted iron. From the impression it is possible to see the diamond twill pattern woven at the end of the piece of cloth, which was perhaps a shawl or cloak. This border was also embroidered with small rectangular insets. It is the earliest evidence for embroidery in Britain.

On display: Room 50: Britain and Europe