Back to the Tablet Weaving Project!
The Basic Tablet Weaving Technique
Tablet Weaving uses a set of cards, strung on the weft, to produce a shed through which the warp can be run. In normal tablet weaving the cards are turned after each time that the weft in inserted into the shed. This creates a distinctive twisted warp fabric. The design is created by counting and turning the individual cards to place specific colors on the surface of the weaving. The regular weft is then inserted and the cards are turned again to lock the weft in place.
In double-faced tablet weaving the wefts are alternately of two colors so that turning the cards makes the colors switch places on the surface of the band. The tablets are not all turned in unison, rather the cards whose colors are supposed to be on the surface remain unturned while other cards are turned. There are practical considerations when designing with this technique – the “float” of color on the top of the piece should not be too long or it will tend to “catch” on things.
This band is a custom design made to the specifications of an individual. The design of this band is a hops vine (my husband is a brewer), with writing (in this case my husband’s name), in the center of the back of the band. I used crochet cotton as both the warp and the weft for this project. I would have preferred to use silk, but it was outside of my budget constraints and my husband wanted something “sturdy and washable”. I graphed the design myself, using a picture of a real hops vine to guide my design. I then experimented to make sure that the design would not be elongated or foreshortened. When I had the graph done correctly I simply wove the piece to the desired length.
My Thoughts On This Project
I enjoyed the challenge of making this belt. Next time I would prefer to use silk and do a tighter weave. For a first try, I think it came out pretty well. My husband did not want a loop on one end and fringe on the other, which is the form that we usually see on period belts and garters7, but I think I would prefer that method of finishing in the future. I had actually planned on the loop style of finishing the belt when I started the weft and because I had to change the finishing technique the belt is a little shorter than I would prefer it to be.
- Collingwood, p. 179, 186.
- Spies, p. 1.
- Collingwood, p. 179.
- Collingwood, p. 243.
- Spies, p. 190.
- Spies, p. 191.
- Crockett, p. 20.
Collingwood, Peter, The Techniques of Tablet Weaving, Faber & Faber Unlimited, 1982.
Crockett, Candace, Card Weaving, Interweave Press, 1973.
Spies, Nancy, Ecclesiastical Pomp and Aristocratic Circumstance: A Thousand Years of Brocaded Tabletwoven Bands, Arelate Studio, 2000.