Showing posts from June, 2009

Neuper #29

Warp: Purple silk
Weft: Purple silk
Brocade: White silk
Pattern: Anna Neuper #29
Cards: 29
Length: Approx. 1.2 metres
What's new: Tiedowns under 1 thread

I just got a copy of Anna Neuper's Modelbuch (as published by Nancy Spies and Ute Bargmann). This is a book of brocaded tablet weaving patterns as recorded by Anna Neuper, a nun from Nuremberg, in 1517, at the time when tablet weaving was dying out in favour of other decorative fibre techqiques such as lacemaking. The patterns are all pretty obvious and geometrical. They're all pretty similar to the pattern I used on my garters back in my first brocaded tablet weaving experiment.

I was going to start the Mammen bands next but it's taking a while to get the silk. So I thought I'd make one of the patterns from this book. I don't have an immediate use for it so I may donate it as a prize for the Fighter Auction Tourney at Crescent Fence in August.
For this band I am using a double thickness of white silk …

Birka 22

Warp: White wool
Weft: DMC linen
Brocade: Wool
Pattern: Birka 22
Cards: 21
Length: Approx. 0.4 metres
What's new: Wool

Birka 22 is the only pattern from Birka found with both silver and gold brocade (the rest are all silver). Next to the simple 8-card threaded in chevron pattern, it seems to be the most common tablet weaving pattern for re-enactors to follow (at least in this corner of the world). However most people don't seem to do it as a brocade pattern. Þora Sharptooth has created a "recipe" for Birka 22 that uses Egyptian diagonals to create the pattern and it seems to have taken on a life of its own. I doubt all the people that have woven it are aware the original Birka bands were brocaded. No slight intended to Þora Sharptooth, whose website is an excellent resource and who is quite clear on the fact that this isn't actually the original form of the pattern.

The wool I used for the warp is from Anna Gratton Ltd. The brocade is wool from Strand New…

"Dogs and Flowers" Cingulum

Warp: Red silk
Weft: DMC Cotton
Brocade: Spun gold
Pattern: "Dogs and flowers", 13th/14th century cingulum, Halberstadt
Cards: 46
Length: Approx. 1.4 metres
What's new: higher number of cards. Intermittent brocade.The warp runs left to right in the pattern above. Also, I have stretched it out so it appears about in proportion to the real thing. This pattern is on page 138 of EPAC. I modified it slightly. I removed 4 picks from the flower, so that it turned out circular when I wove it (as usual I can't get my weft density up as high as the original band). The original had the dog's collar in a contrasting thread, which I couldn't be bothered with, so I also altered it to be gold brocade right through.

I used gold Kreinik jap #7 for the brocade. For the brocaded regions I used polyester thread for the ground weft so I could make the brocade as dense as possible. Between each dog/flower is a region of 20 picks with no brocade. For these regions I use…

Beanie Cap Trim

Warp: Blue silk
Weft: DMC Cotton
Brocade: Spun gold
Pattern: "Scrolling vine", 13th century cingulum
Cards: 17
Length: Approx. 1.2 metres
What's new: Twill

Beanie caps are one of the distinctive clothing articles of the Germanic region in the 12th century. They can be small and dishlike (kinda like Jewish skullcaps) or more hemispherical. The pictures on the left are from Katherine Barich's picture gallery which has some really awesome pictures, but they aren't well referenced so I'm not sure of their exact source.

I made a beanie cap a while ago but it fit my head pretty poorly so I decided the make another one that was stiff enough to retain its shape when it is worn. This is the first item of clothing I have made specifically to have tablet weaving on it. There are no extant women's beanie caps that I know of but EPAC lists a French 11th/12th century ecclesiastical skullcap with thin tablet-woven bands down the middle of wider bands, which is wh…