Decorative textile belts
Tablet weaving - technology of tablet weaving is exceptional for its patterning possibilities; from simple lines and motifs to letters and complex animal or plant patterns. „Tablet“ (or „card“ in the US) is a plate, through which individual warp threads are threaded. Most often we encounter square tablets with four holes in all corners but there are also tablet with two holes, three-sided, six-sided, octagonal, etc. The most common way of weaving is rotating each tablet by 90° forwards or backwards in various combinations according to particular pattern.
Origins of tablet weaving are not clear; the debate about the method of making the so-called „Rameses girdle“, that was crafted in approximately 1185 BC, is still going on. The reason for small number of archaeological findings is the organic origin of yarn, but also of tablets themselves (wood, leather); however, tablets made of bones, ivory or bronze were preserved. The easiest item to use today for a tablet is a piece of sturdy paper, such as a playing card.
More findings were preserved from an area of the Roman Empire, the Celtic civilization (patterns from Hochdorf), the Vikings (patterns from Birka) and Slavic civilization. The oldest tablets (the 9th century) in the Czech Republic were found in Staré Město near Uherské Hradiště.
Outside of Europe, this technique was used in Africa and primarily throughout Asia. Tablet woven belts served mainly as decoration of garments, however, these items possess great strength and resistance and were also used as straps, belts, etc. The card could also be hung on sides of a standard loom for production of textiles that came out already decorated (cloak found in Thorsbjerg). Weavers in history used easily colored wool, sometimes with silk, gold or silver threads; less often linen threads; while cotton was added later in history.