What a difference appropriate materials can make!

I spent a lot of time weaving my bicep bands based on the chasuble of St Wolfgang a few years ago, but the end result was very underwhelming.  I used 120 denier loose-spun silk and it really wasn't up to the abrasion it got from the cards.

This year I've re-woven it using 240 denier tight-spun silk and the thread came through it without any problems. I also used a better red. The result is so much better!

The cards themselves took quite a beating just like they did last time. I think I'll try painting the edges of the cards with nail polish again next time I weave with this type of thread.  Getting enough "real" cards, like wood or bone, for a project with 400+ warp ends would be pretty expensive. I also think that tensioning would be challenging with cards that much thicker since the warp threads on the outside would need to be significantly longer than the ones in the middle.


  1. Thanks for being willing to show the comparison between the different threads!

    Can you make your own cards to avoid the expense? Or perhaps have a wood-worker drill the holes into a block and use a band-saw to cut the block into cards for you, and let you do the finishing. The sanding is, by far, the largest chunk of time in making wooden cards, an so the greatest part of the expense. If you do that part yourself then you would save money and get to decide for yourself how smooth is "good enough".

    Sure, it takes lots of time, but the cards last for a far longer time, and if you have the patience for weaving you probably also have it for sanding.

  2. I have a very nice set of 30 wooden cards, and yep, part of the reason they are very nice is because after I bought them I spent several hours sanding them in front of the TV :-) They are about 1.9mm in thickness. I guess my concern is not really with the expense itself but with the idea that I would spend time and money on the cards and then be driven crazy actually trying to work with a stack of them 20cm wide. But... I guess in that case I would still learn to respect the medieval weaver from a new angle. And the cards could be broken down into smaller sets and given to others if I never wanted to do that ever again. Hmmmmmmmm....


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