The Hangeroc (hangerok, hangerock) is a distinctively Viking style of overdress. There are a number of different interpretations of just how this "pinafore arrangement" should be made and worn. Please note that "hangeroc" is a modern term coined by Agnes Geijer in the 1930s.
There are a number of (fragmentary) dress finds, and finds of the brooches needed to wear the dress, both from Scandinavia and in an insular context. There are also possible artistic depictions of hangerocs in valkyrie figurines and on picture stones from Gotland.
Hangerocs can be worn through to the mid to late tenth century. There’s usually an announcement to say whether or not they are suitable for an event or you can check with your group leader.
Worn over a linen or lightweight woollen kyrtle, essentially the hangeroc is one of two basic shapes: one roughly kirtle-shaped with gored panels either side OR a tube-shape open the full length at the front. Shoulder straps are attached at the back of the garment and have small linen loops at the other ends. There are two small linen loops attached to the front of the hangeroc above the breasts. The shoulder straps should not quite meet up with the front loops, allowing the tortoise brooches to make the “missing link”, and should be short enough that the brooches overlap the fabric of the dress. The hangeroc should be shorter than the under dress. It may be worn with an apron and/or backcloth; the apron should be the same width as the tortoise brooches are apart on the breast, no longer than the hangeroc and attached to the tortoise brooches with small linen loops.
The backcloth may be pleated or plain and act as a lightweight cloak or to produce the pleated “train” effect seen on the valkyrie figurines. The backcloth is thought to be a long rectangle of silk or linen. As with the apron, it is attached to the tortoise brooches with small linen loops and hangs down to ankle length.
While there's a little flexibility for Eastern Vikings, for "normal vikings" only tortoise brooches can be used.
There are hangerocs with pleats over the front, under the arms, at the back or right around. The top of the hangeroc should be fitted neatly to the body no matter what the style. The top and hem of the hangeroc should have tablet weave around it and strings of glass and metal beads are worn suspended between the two brooches. You may wear a fabric belt with the hangeroc although they should not be needed.
How to make a Hangarok
A downloadable version of this document is available here.
“Apron” Style Hangaroc
Use the whole width of the fabric to construct this - larger ladies may need to cut the “apron” from another length across the width if there’s no obvious pattern in the weave. The hangarok needs to fit snugly above your boobs and under your arms. Use pins or ties to secure closed. The apron and dress elements are secured using the straps over your shoulders and pinned to the front loops.
“Dress” Style Hangaroc This is cut from a single width of fabric. The garment opens on one side and is secured with brooches. The gores are inverted and sewn in to create flare and allow movement.
The hangeroc has been seen in the past by the Society as a higher status item of dress, but this is no longer the case. However, it should be made from materials and finished to a standard suitable to the wearer's status, with brooches that reflect this.
Credits: with thanks to Alix Cooper