Tablet weaving is a very old craft. Maybe it was already used in the early bronze age (finding of a typical square bone tablet with holes on the corners at Göttingen, Germany). The oldest tablet woven findings are from the middle bronze age. In the iron age there were found some beautiful tablet woven textile fragments (e.g. thomb of Hochdorf, Germany or thomb 200 at El Cigarralejo, Spain). In Austria some findings were made at the salt mines of Hallstatt and Hallein. It is unknown in which culture this technique was first used.
in time, there were found beautiful tablet woven bands of the Vikings
(Birka, Sweden and Snartemo, Norway). The Vikings used different
materials, like pure silk or linen in combination with silk. Some of
the bands were brocaded with silver or gold threads. A spectacular
finding was made at Oseberg in Norway, where the ship thomb of the
"viking queen" Asa was excavated. They found a partially woven band
with 52 tablets (Textiles from the Oseberg ship).
In the middle age this technique was also performed from ladies of noble birth and at monasteries. The material was silk in combination with gold or silver threads. The woven bands were used for braids on ecclasiastical garments or seals for precious documents.
At the end of the middle age only few findings werde made and tablet weaving disappeared in Europe. Maybe it was replaced through other textile techniques which were easier to control. To begin of the twenteenths century tablet weaving was "rediscovered" by Margarete Lehmann-Filhés during her studies at Iceland and she published her book "Über Brettchenweberei".
At the time tablet woven bands were still woven in some parts of Asia, the middle East and northern Africa. Maybe this happened in this countries all through their history.
At the time tablet weaving is getting again more popular in America and Europe for larps and reenactment.
last update 27.12.2013