The “brudekant,” or bride’s edge, on the edge of sheepskin coverlets, can vary in width and look very different depending on the type of fleece used. My notes from the class I took at on making skinnfell said that the fleece edging should be from 3 to 3-1/2″ wide. However, my notes must be wrong. I measured the pieces I cut for the border of my skinfell, and they are an inch and a half wide. Maybe Britt was talking in centimeters… I think there should be no hard rules about this, just whatever works best for the type of fleece and scale of the piece.
On the June, 2011, Vesterheim Textile tour to Norway we saw beautiful skinnfell coverlets covered with textiles at Nedrebergtunet, a set of preserved farm buildings and homes. The sheepskins behind the weavings had long, lustrous fleece. I don’t think the brudekant edges on these pieces were very wide at all – nor do they need to be, because the length of the fleece itself makes a deep, rich frame.
I am very sorry that my notes from that day do not include the name of the talented weaver who made these skinnfell coverlets. I’m trying to find out and will pass on the name when I discover it.
To illustrate the difference the type of fleece makes in the appearance of a skinnfell, here is Jan Mostrom’s skinnfell made at Britt Solheim’s class in Norway. The curly Gotland sheep fleece makes a more defined and less shaggy border.
Finally, here is a pillow made by Wendy Sundquist at the skinnfell class taught by Britt Solheim at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. Proportionally, the border is wide. The allure of the puffy, fleecy pillow made you want to pick it up and run away with it.
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