7th-century Merovingian cardweaving from Chelles

The Albert Bono Museum in Chelles, France has several examples of extant card weaving.


This band is a composite of three individually woven pieces. The central portion is two colors of wool, with embroidered Trees of Life between the animal motifs. The smaller two-color edge pieces are of silk. I am not convinced that the central portion is card woven, as there doesn’t appear to be the twining that you get with card weaving.The warp and weft appear to be at right angles to each other.

You can clearly see that the edge pieces are twined. There is an interpretation and graphed pattern here and a different one here.


These bands were found with the bones of Bathilde.

These two bands are in wool, both with three colors. It is commonly considered to be similar to the Snartemo Grave V weavings. You can clearly see the long floats in these bands. You can find patterns here, here, here, here, and here. Oh, and here, here, here, and here.


Card weaving decorates the tunic attributed to Bertille.

This silk band, in red, yellow and brown is 9mm wide. It has a design of twining bird forms. You can find patterns for this card weaving here, here, here, and here.





  1. Reply
    Liutgard March 26, 2011


    Wish I could find stuff like that @ 780-800. Pout.

  2. Reply
    thealater March 26, 2011

    Yes, burial customs changed and that makes it very difficult for us folks who rely on soft goods.

  3. Reply
    Fanny May 9, 2011

    Aaaaawwww! I just have to try weaving those… So pretty!

  4. Reply
    Kate Dudman December 4, 2012

    Thank you for posting a picture of the animal motif braid. You question whether the centre woolen piece of the this part braid is tablet woven.

    I have reproduced a small detail from this piece using tablets. Very time consuming but also very possible.

    • Reply
      thealater December 5, 2012

      That is great! Can you share the techniques (and any pictures! :D) with us?

  5. Reply
    Kate Dudman December 6, 2012

    It is a very rough sample. I used the tablets on their points to create two sheds. They were turned forwards, backwards, forwards etc. Two wefts were used. these were passed through the band to follow the blocks of colour. This fixed the two layers of the band together.

    Please see the following for a picture of the sample. Also, the threading and weaving position of the tablets:


    Do you have details of a published source for this band? Thank you.

    • Reply
      thealater December 7, 2012

      Look in Tresores de Chelles. I think there is a picture of the band there.

      • Reply
        thealater December 7, 2012

        Chelles card weaving

  6. Reply
    Kate Dudman December 9, 2012

    Thank you for that!

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