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7th-century Merovingian cardweaving from Chelles

Posted by on March 26, 2011

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.




10 Responses to 7th-century Merovingian cardweaving from Chelles

  1. Liutgard


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

  2. thealater

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

  3. Fanny

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

  4. Kate Dudman

    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.

    • thealater

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

  5. Kate Dudman

    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.

  6. Kate Dudman

    Thank you for that!

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