Reconstructing the Arnegunde Kaftan Card Woven Trim – some background

I have yet to find an image of the card weaving from the Arnegunde kaftan. I had hoped with the recent conservation work being completed, an image would surface. But no love there. So I will need to piece together the bits and pieces.

The most recent published mention of the card weaving is from Rast-Eicher’s article:

The tablet-woven band is made of at least 100 tablets and is about 6.5 cm wide. Nearly the entire width of one fragment was preserved – with just a few threads missing – but this one is otherwise hardly visible. The band is brocaded with a triple silk thread (z-spun) and displays a pattern of diagonals and lozenges (Fig. 33.3). (2010)

So color me rather intimidated by the “over 100 cards” thingy.  I will try a run at the design with fewer cards and make the piece in wool for a test run.

Sadly, Peter Collingwood did not talk about either the Arnegunde or the Bathilde/Bertille weavings in his book. He did describe the similar Snartemo V textiles from the 6th century. For a refresher here are the late 5th/early 6th century card weaving found at Chelles. Both of these were buried with high status women, so would probably be a good source for inspiration.

A wide piece of woolen cardweaving from Chelles





The following piece has similarities to the Snartemo V finds with the interlaced lozenges.

Woolen cardweaving from Chelles





Links to websites with similar styles of card weaving:



Rast-Eicher, A. (2010) Garments for a Queen. North European Symposium for Archaeological Textiles X. 208-210


Terms: , , Arnegonde




  1. Reply
    Eowyn July 23, 2012

    Do you have any references for the Bathilde/Bertille weavings?

    • Reply
      thealater July 23, 2012

      Here are a couple…. There are bits scattered through other sources….
      Laporte, J.P. (1991). Tresor de Chelles: Sepultures et reliques de la reine Bathilde et de l’abbesse Bertille. Ville de Chelles: Musee Alfred Bonno.
      Laporte, J.P. (1986). “Tissus médiévaux de Chelles et de Faremoutiers.” In Tissu et vêtement: 5,000 ans de savoir-faire. Guiry en Vexin, p.153-172.

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