Tabletweaving

(an ancient craft)

 

Tablet (or card) weaving has been practiced since at least the 6th century, B.C. Evidence of tablet weaving can be found in all parts of Europe, the mideast, and Asia. The only place that it has not been historically found is in the Wester Hemisphere. It is believed that tabletweaving was invented in one of the Scandinavian areas, and spread southward and eastward. I became interested in tabletweaving because it was an inexpensive way to get into weaving and it could be self-taught. The animation at the bottom of the page shows how the weave is accomplished by turning cards.

The two kinds of tabletweaves that I know how to do are 1) warp-twined, and 2) double face weave. Warped-twined weaving is the easiest because you rotate all of the cards forwards 4 times, then backwards 4 times, and repeat the process. Double face weaving is more difficult because you are making a pattern in the band. When appropriate, some cards are rotated forwards and some are rotated backwards, depending on your design.

The following are samples of bands that I have woven.

This pattern is called the Rams Horn. I made it as a belt for Pam.
This is a warp-twined pattern that I made up. Another belt for Pam.
This is one of my camera straps. I saw a similar pattern from an Inkle loom on the web, and I stole the design.
A warp-twined design I made up. I haven't found a use for it yet.
Another warp-twined design I made up.
This is a double face weave. I use it as a camera strap.
More of the same camera strap.
This double face design was borrowed from the Huichol Indians of Mexico. I am showing the front and back of the band to show you that the image is reversed in double face weaving. This is my strap on my binoculars.

I did not weave this beautiful band. It was woven by Linda Hendrickson on commission. I drew my niece's name for our family Christmas exchange, so I decided to weave her a band with her name, her husband's name, and her children's names. Also, since she is a graduate of the University of Texas, I wanted the Texas Longhorn woven into the band and the colors to be the school's colors (burnt orange and white). After warping it up, I soon discovered that taking a 3 year break from tablet weaving is not a good idea if you have a limited time to get back into practice. In a panic, I called Linda, and she agreed to weave the band for me. Linda's prices are very reasonable for the unbelievable quality of work that she does. This picture does not do the band justice at all. I enjoyed designing the belt with Linda via e-mails and consider it a joint creation between her and me (mostly Linda). She even graphed out the longhorn picture that you see.

If you are looking for an incredible gift for a loved one, you could not go wrong commissioning Linda to weave a band for him or her.

The above animated gif was stolen from the Soper Lane web site

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