Research: Wealthy Vikings Did Wear Blue Linen Underwear

Colorful Vikings: It is known that Vikings did wear colorful clothing of wool, hemp and nettle – but what kind of underwear did they use? (Photo: Tufte Photography /

It is hard to imagine Eric Bloodaxe and other feared Viking kings and chieftains wearing blue linen underwear. However, if the research carried out at the University of Bergen is correct, we should get used to the idea.

Textile fragments from Viking graves in the counties of Rogaland, Sogn og Fjordane and Hordaland in Western Norway have now been analyzed.

Research carried out by textile conservator Hana Lukešová and professor of nanophysics Bodil Holst at the University of Bergen has produced remarkable results: Vikings did use linen underwear, often dyed blue.

– The Vikings also used hemp to produce textiles. But in Western Norway, they mostly used linen for clothes, Professor Bodil Holst said to the University of Bergen Independent newspaper På Høyden.

Professor Holst and textile conservator Lukešová have identified plant fibers from textiles found in forty five Viking graves mainly dating back to the 900s.

The two researchers examined tiny fragments from over a hundred different objects with a polarization microscope, something that has provided new and surprising knowledge.

The fact that plant fibers easily dissolve has made the research work extremely challenging.

Clothing worn in direct contact with the skin is very rarely preserved. Outer clothing made of wool, hemp and nettle are more resistant to being buried underground for hundreds of years.

Blue Underwear

In the Viking Age, the flax plant (used to produce linen), hemp and nettle were used for production of clothes while other types of textiles not yet had been introduced in Scandinavia.

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The Vikings extracted colors from roots, plants and insects. In addition, there were imported some dyes from Constantinople and other trade hubs. (Photo:

Wealthy Vikings had access to imported silk, but silk fabric was so exclusive that it often was cut into ribbons and used for decoration.

In graves containing textile fragments, loom weights are often found. This is telling us that it is not unlikely that the linen underwear is produced by the Vikings themselves.

Some of the examined linen textiles were dyed blue. The color was obtained from woad plants containing a mixture of blue indigo dye (or indigotin) and smaller quantities of other dyes including the reddish dye indirubin.

According to textile conservator Lukešová, the fabrics may have been woven and dyed locally in Western Norway.

All the textile fragments were found in graves containing wealthy Vikings. What kind of underwear (if any) common people did use the researchers have no answer to. Nor can they tell if blue linen fabric was used for underwear for both men and women.

Lukešová and Holst’s research results have been published in the Journal of Archeological Science:

Identifying plant fiber textiles from Norwegian Merovingian Period and Viking Age graves: The Late Iron Age Collection of the University Museum of Bergen”.




Text by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews


Categories: Culture, History, Reading

2 replies

  1. Vikings wearing …blue lenon.
    Yes. I am fully agree. They know from Slavic Nation “Vandals” ( polish terrytory ). Lenon first was invented in Poland according to the old books I have ben learned. The oldest evidence is from Kazahstan : grave was found with Slavic man wearing lennon jacked. Estimated about 7000 years. He had also jewelery ( slavic ). In thet area they found much more graves with slavic people. They probably was traveling to Asia China and India to trade with them.

    Why vikings had lenon? Vikings come from Slavic Terytory. Even color blue is Ukraine national color. In that time the climat was much warm than it is now. Even they named Greenland because in that time the Vikings cultivated crops, plants and so on. The climat reason was that Slavic people moved to North and they become Vikings.
    Evidence to prove it:
    Jewelery style and design are slavic. Blue eye and blond hear are today Ukraine where was the Center of Slavic Nation ( before 2 World war was Polish terytory). Ukraine has the best soil in Europe ,which no other place have. Even Arabs are paying 2000 $ US per tone of that soil. Why I am mention that is that Slacic Nation was so highly advanced because of that. They had so much time for themself to develop techniques because they did not have to spend so much time TO PODUCE FOOD.

    The soil was so good that everything was grow so fast and good. That is the reason why Slavic Nation has history of thousand of years.

    Vikings – Swedish, Norwegian, Danish many words has sound typicly today Polish, Russian with the….rrrrrrrr,. wrrr,. kurrrr, wiatr ( polish) is wind and from that is window.
    See: Old Slavic manuscript at Aryan Blue YT or Slavicaryan at Gab or BNT (Brand New Tube)

    Another evidence that Vikings comes from Skavs is that….they never atack Slavic terytory, but they attacked England. Greenland, Iceland, Italy, Spain, Germany and even America.

    Whey never atack the Homeland. On the contrary….they said about Slavic…very advanced civilization and they trade with Slavs.

    Rurik was the Viking who come to today Russian terytory to establish RUSIA . More the capital of Russia was not the Moscow or something but KIEW the capital of…Ukraine. In that time that specific area was ” most important” place – Central Slavic Place.
    I was myself far North driving 300 km behind the Polar Circle and there was Laponic people like Eskimos people…they had narrow eye and darker skin, because of the snow and sun. Too bright for Slavic people with blue eye and blond hair, but today all scandinavian mostly blue eye and blond. Because of Vikings genotype DNA.

    Sorry for my English ( not my home language)


  1. Wealthy Vikings Wore Blue Linen Underwear - What's Hempening

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