Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cynnabar Viking Weave

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Viking woven trim was often made of geometric patterns that changed on a whim.  A love of symmetry and solid, repeating patterns did not much emerge until later Saxon times.  Most (if not all) of these patterns were made through tablet weaving (also called card weaving) brocade, which is a time-intensive process that involves weaving a second weft (the short back-and-forth thread) on top of some of the threads, to hide and expose the weave in a pattern.  

The same effect can be mimicked by pick-up inkle weaving, which, while slower than regular inkle weaving, is much faster than brocade.  I've done a little inkle brocade - it takes forever.  The results are gorgeous, though.

This post shows one of my recent inkle pick-up weaves, that, like many Viking weaves, follows not a pattern but whatever whim struck my fancy at the moment of weaving.

All of my knowledge of Viking history comes from the extensive research done by my friend Sunnifa.  She reads this blog, so I'll ask her: have I absorbed your information correctly? Please feel free to correct me!  :)

In this weave, I drop occasional black warp (long) threads in order to expose the white weft (short) thread.  I am careful to not drop the same black thread too many times in a row, because that would leave a long float on the other side (the black thread hanging loose).

For more information on how to do inkle pick-up weaving, check out my weaving tag to see other posts, or check out the PDFs I have linked on the SCA Stuff page.

This weave will be my first pick-up weave given away as largesse in the Pentamere Dirty Dozen Donation Derby at Twelfth Night on January 3rd.  There's still time to make largesse and get in the tourney!  Make cool things for your local group or Kingdom and also have a chance to win prizes!

Enjoy the pretty weaving pictures.  :)



  1. You definitely got the feeling of it--the changing patterns moving from one to another. There was something that didn't match up, and I finally figured it out--brocaded tablet weaving has the lines running perpendicular to the band, while the lines on inkle pick-up run parallel. There's a 2-hole tablet-weaving technique (pre-Viking, but also northern Europe) that does resemble this. Let's see if I can post a pic:

  2. No pic, but that's the FB link.

  3. This is *all* uber-geeky weaving-speak, though. So show off your gorgeous weavings and don't worry about the details!



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