Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Middle Eastern" band

Warp: Dark green and yellow silk
Pattern: Egyptian diagonals, based on middle-eastern emboridery
Cards: 56
Width: 4.5cm
Length: 65cm

Lacking any actual tabletwoven bands to base the pattern I was weaving for my friend Maheshti on, we ended up deciding on a pattern from a medieval middle-eastern embroidery sampler. Unfortunately I forgot to note down the name of the book or any more specific information- I will ask Maheshti and see if she remembers!

The pattern is very diagonal-centric, so I decided to use Egyptian diagonals for it. As mentioned in my previous post, this is even less documentable than other techniques such as doubleface and brocade, but it fits the pattern well, Maheshti didn't seem bothered, and I'll be honest, it's not like I have much excuse to make Egyptian diagonal bands for my own uses so I may as well take what chances I get.

This is the first band where I have created the pattern myself. Luckily it's pretty easy to do with this technique.

I decided to weave this band on my flatemate's inkle loom. Although I love my Oseberg loom (which I will blog about soon, promise!) a six foot loom isn't really practical for using in front of the TV in the living room, which is where I like to do most of my weaving. The inkle loom is not period, but it is very portable and doesn't dominate the room.

The reversals in this pattern are not too frequent so the weaving went quite quickly. As with the Finnish S-motif band I did earlier in the year, I flipped the cards rather than dividing them into forward- and backward-turning packs. And as with that band, this was really hard on the cards! As the band progressed, the cards began to fall apart (mostly by having the holes rip out) and I kept having to sellotape them back together. By the end, almost all the corners (except for the border cards, which were never flipped) were taped up, and the tape was catching on things, and the whole thing was a bit of a nightmare. You might think this was an argument against using playing cards with this technique, but I think actually it would have been a lot harder to flip more rigid cards. I think if I was doing it again I would stop halfway through and re-thread with a new set of cards.


  1. Hello! My name is Miriam. The above pattern was charted for pattern darning by Rosemary Stecher (aka Mathilde Eschenbach) on this site- She also covers "blackwork" and cross stitch. I have also done the above design but in embroidery, not weaving. My attempts can be viewed here-

  2. Thanks very much for pointing that out! It must have been Islamic Textiles that was the book I took the pattern from- I see I didn't get it quite right, but I suppose it doesn't matter when the idea of weaving it is so conjectural anyway. Lovely to see it executed in the medium it was intended for!