Tablet Weaving

The secret language of tablet weaving: how to read pattern drafts

Have you come across a tablet weaving pattern that seems too confusing to work from? This article is here to help you both read different versions of tablet weaving pattern drafts and create your own. Recommended reading before using the patterns published on these pages.

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Notes on the margins: band edges

The usual way to weave the edges vs an alternative. Originally a blog post.

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Embroidery reconstruction after a painting: embroidered bib

Is it possible to recreate a textile object after a painting? The article follows the experiment step by step and includes a link to an exclusive pattern.

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Estonian Belts
by Eevi Astel

Who could have known that this book would immediately become a bestseller? It was written and published, like many similar publications, with the financial support of several cultural funds, and was intended for those interested in the history of Estonian national costume, as well as for collectors – to be added to the bookshelf with other colourful albums.

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The Techniques of Tablet Weaving
by Peter Collingwood

It wasn’t too long ago when any request for recommended advanced literature on tablet weaving would produce this book as the first suggestion in 9 cases out of 10. Until now, it is still among the first three suggestions. It’s been published more than 40 years ago, and remains the source to go to if you’d like to understand how weaving works.

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Card Weaving
by Candace Crockett

Many tablet weaving related publications are rather specific and include only basic instructions for weaving itself. For years, online instructions were also rather general, saying something like “pick up the yarn and tablets and start weaving, everything will be great!” If you need much more clear and simple instructions, Crockett’s book is for you. 

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Ecclesiastical Pomp & Aristocratic Circumstance
by Nancy Spies

To research a historical period of 1000 years is not an easy task, even limiting the scope to one specific type of textile art. Nancy Spies devoted five years of her life to researching the history of brocaded tablet weaving. Five years filled with gathering information, vast correspondence, frequent trips, drawings, diagrams, creating samples… The book produced as a result was described by Peter Collingwood in his preface as formidable and astonishing.

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Anna Neuper’s Modelbuch: Early Sixteenth-Century Patterns for Weaving Brocaded Bands
by Nancy Spies with Ute Bargmann

The original of this book is bound in leather, measures 17.5 by 14 centimeters, and is located in the German town of Wolfenbüttel, in Herzog August Library. The book arrived there already in 1525 from the Nuremberg monastery of St. Clare. Handwritten in 1517, this book is one of the earliest surviving collections of textile patterns, and is 6 years older than the first printed pattern collection.

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Tablet Woven Belts
by Helmi Kurrik

This unique text, published in 1931 in the annual journal of the Estonian National Museum, still remains the only detailed overview of tablet weaving traditions in Estonia (a few more focused research papers have been published since). The article, reprinted a year after the original journal, survives in a small number copies in libraries, reprints and scans of the article are passed from person to person.

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