ANST - Sifters and Sieve

Mark Harris mark_harris at
Wed Aug 20 08:41:09 PDT 1997

Gunnora Hallakarva said:

The discussion on baking, ovens and bread asked about period
sifters/sieves.  I don't know what anyone else was using, but Ican tell you
what the Vikings used (and in fact, Swedes in the countryside still use
even today)... they used a round, cup-shaped sieve made by naalbinding,
utilizing horsehair fiber.  Such sieves were used for sifting flour, and
for straining milk.  Milk straining is how most seem to be used in the
present day, but archaeological examples have been found with ground grain
trapped in the fibers.

What is naalbinding? 

For those interested in such things, the subject of sifters/strainers has
recently come up on the SCA-Cooks maillist. This is an excellant maillist
for anyone interested in medieval foods or cooking, and is not just for
those thinking of being headcooks for SCA events. It can sometimes be
quite active with a digest or two a day, although it was very quiet during
Pennsic. The easiest way to subscribe is on the Ansteorra Web page.

Stefan li Rous
markh at


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