So this is a technique that I have been wanting to try for some time. It is right for this era and by golly, I’m going to to do it! There are some lovely artisans out there who have done a wonderful job of blogging about their tablet woven edging adventures.
I’m sure there is more great web sites about how to do this perfectly period technique which we should all be using much much more often. So let us know what you find by posting links and descriptions of the sites in the comments section!
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.
The following piece has similarities to the Snartemo V finds with the interlaced lozenges.
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
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.
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.