Sunday, September 11, 2011

A&S 50 Eight: Learn Tubular Tablet Weaving

For my second-ever tablet weaving project I decided to be ambitious (as usual) and challenge myself a bit by weaving tubular cords for small book bag. Such cords can be seen on a brick stitch pouch housed in the V&S and studied extensively by Master Richard Wymarc and several have been found used as seal tags and as strings for rosary beads (see Crowfoot and Myers).

The basic technique is quite simple - a few cards are threaded, usually all Z or all S, and all the weaving in carried out by always working from right to left (or left to right), carrying the weft thread under (or over) the work to create a tube. The band will spiral, or not, depending on which direction the weft is passed through the shed and whether you pass the weft over or under the band. Learning which combinations will produce the desired effect takes some experimentation, but a handy reference can be found in Cindy’s Myers article on the purse strings, at

My purse strings suffer from some unwanted spiraling, which due to my lack of technical understanding at the time, I was not readily able to control. I now realize that the areas free of spiral alternating with spiral were likely due to changes in the direction the cards turned. Had I turned the cards consistently in one direction, or changed the way I passed the weft when I changed my turning direction, I would have had a more consistent cord. I am looking forward to experimenting more with this technique as the cords produced are quite attractive and could be useful for many purposes. Unlike fingerlooped cords, there is no restriction on the length of cord that may be worked so this would be an excellent way to produce miles and miles of lacing cords.

Crowfoot, Elizabeth. Textiles and Clothing, c.1150-1450 (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London). Boydell Press, 2001.

Myers, Cindy. Tubular Tablet-Weaving; Identifying and reconstructing the hanging cord from a 14th century embroidered purse. ( Last accessed Sept. 11, 2011. Originally published in Spring 2008 issue of TWIST.

Bag 8313-1863. 14th cen. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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