Tablet Weaving by Lise Ræder Knudsen


Tablet weaving is a textile technique for band weaving used from prehistoric times till this day. Archaeological finds show us, that the technique was highly developed in the Iron- and Viking Ages. Nowadays we often have  difficulties figuring out how certain finds were  produced originally.
Often the tiny fragments found in an archaeological context show patterns, which must have required a high level of abstraction and degree of mathematical ability to produce; and features like mistakes, omissions or irregularities often reveal to what degree the weaver mastered the technique.
In tablet weaving small square tablets with a hole in each corner are used to control the warp threads. The warp yarn is threaded through each of the four holes in the tablet. A set of tablets, depending on the desired width of the band, is then put together and placed on edge, forming the shed used in the weaving process. At one end all the warp threads are attached to a fixed point. At the other end the warp is attached to the weaver’s belt. Throughout times the most common purpose of this technique is for weaving decorative bands, but in prehistoric times different combinations of tablet weaving has also been used as integrated edges of woven fabrics.

This web site contains information about the research into this ancient technique.