Weaving Relics

Medieval Tablet


Tablet weaving is an age-old art-form. According to the book Ecclesiastical Pomp and Aristocratic Circumstance by Nancy Spies, archaeologists have found evidence of weaving tablets made from wood and bone (like the tablet pictured below), as well as tablet-woven bands, dating as far back as the Early Iron Age. Ancient pieces of tablet weaving have been found in Italy, Austria, Germany, and Egypt.


Around the year 600 CE, weavers began incorporating supplemental brocaded wefts of precious metals into their finely woven silk bands. These lovely bands were a popular trim amongst the aristocracy and church leaders for centuries. One such sumptuous band, found in the tomb of St. Cuthbert as part of his vestments, was woven using 69 tablets, yet the silk was so fine it only measured 2 centimeters wide. 


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