Birka 2

Warp: Silk
Weft: Linen
Brocade: Spun silver
Pattern: Birka 2
Cards: 17
Width: 10mm
Length: 114cm
What's new: Doubled-up spun silver brocade, linen weft

This project is for my friend Iarnulfr, in return for a chest he made at Canterbury Faire. Originally it was for the cuffs and collar of his brown Russ coat, but when coat and trim were finally in the same place it was determined that the colours clashed so its final purpose is now unknown.

The pattern is Birka 2 (chosen by Iarnulfr). I got it out of "Tablet Weaving" by Egon Hansen. Iarnulf wanted the ground to be red, so I dyed some of my white silk red with Dylon- unsurprisingly it turned out sort of orange. The brocade weft is two strands of Anchor lame silver thread, which is basically a very fine jap. The original Birka bands used drawn silver, but I don't have any, so the jap will have to do.

The weaving went very smoothly although again there was a fair bit of variation in the band width.


  1. Still better than I could do! I'm bad enough at ordinary tablet weaving; haven't had the nerve to try brocaded tablet weaving. Yet.

    So I will be reading about your experiments with eager curiosity! Best of luck to you.

  2. Depending on how your brain works, you may find brocaded easier than threaded in. Following a grid pattern is (for me) easier than following a turning sequence.


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