Saturday, May 5, 2018

Repairing a tablet woven band

A friend of mine had a tablet woven belt which was partially eaten by her cat, and this band has a lot of meaning for her, so I offered to repair it.  I've done this a few times before, though this is more extreme than some of the others.  However, the pattern was simple, and I was provided with the original material.  Unfortunately, I rushed a bit, and made a few mistakes, so the repair is not as clean as I would have preferred.

I decided to tackle the big chunk out of the side first, as it was the largest, as well as being the most complicated since the threads would need to be rewoven into the band at both sides of the gap.

 First I trimmed the excess threads, so I could see the intact weave.

 Then using a needle, I anchored replacement threads into the band, by running them along the warp, through the weft channel, or a combination of both.  I staggered them so they would not increase the bulk of the band as much.  Once a thread has been run through the weft, it is pressure locked into place and can be trimmed, especially if it is a sticky fiber like wool.

As I placed enough strings, I threaded them onto cards.  On this part, I screwed up when placing the initial threads, because I should have placed half on the front of the band, and half on the back of the band, but I placed all of the threads on the front.  This meant that I had to unpick and draw the original weave into the band, or it would just hang out the back of the band.

The purple dots in the middle of the band are places that I did not pull taut before trimming, so I fixed them by pulling them tight using tweezers, then re-trimming.

I folded the band around a peg, and attached it to itself using pins, then tied the replacement threads to another peg, with the original band secured next to them on the peg.

Once I finished reweaving the damaged part, I used a needle to run the thread ends into the weft channels to anchor them.

I used pins to hold the thread bits from the original weaving where I wanted them, so the replacement strings would pin them in place, since they were not long enough to draw into the weft with a needle.

A little wonky in places, but functional.

The remaining damage.

On this part the damage was minimal, so I just used a needle and thread to replace the broken parts, anchoring my thread ends through the weft to "tie" them off.

The last repair was at the end of the band, and the damage was extensive, but the threads from the replacement weave would not require being drawn back into the band.

I added new threads in the same way that I did before, and threaded them onto cards.

Attached the band to the loom, and added some extra strings to hold up the rest of the band.

I should have added more threads to hold the rest of the band in place, and pulled them tighter, because the thread ends from the original belt obscured that the band was slightly twisted, not flush with the replacement section.  That would have made this a much cleaner repair, and it would not have been as squirrelly to weave.

Repairing a broken warp thread

Broken warp strings happen to everyone, and there are multiple ways to repair them.  This is my preferred method.

In this instance, I broke two threads at the same time.

First, I shift the broken section attached to the weaving into the weft channel, so it can be trimmed later.  Then I remove the other section of string from the warp, but leave it tied, so if needed, it can be used to replace another broken string, if it is long enough.  I add a pin to use as an anchor for the replacement thread.

I tie a new string to the beginning of the warp, then run it around the pegs, and through the empty hole in the card where the broken thread was.  Then I wrap it around the pin to hold it in place.

After a few passes, I remove the pin, and use a needle to run the thread end into the weft channel and out the side, where it can be trimmed off.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Charting a brocade pattern

This is a Knight's belt I am charting for my apprentice, based on his device.  I'm going to do the red in brocade at the ends, because I want the majority of the belt to be white.  If I used double face, the back of the belt would be red.

When I started charting designs, I used a window as a lightbox to block the general design on graph paper.  I started using excel, because it is more flexible when tweaking the design, though for some designs I still start with graph paper.  This design is very simple, so I won't be doing any of it on paper.

First, I insert a picture, then for brocade, I format the cells to make roughly even blocks (double face has a different ratio, and needs to be taller than it is wide).  At the top, I add a fill color to every 5th or 10th cell, so I have a ruler.

Device added, ruler at the top, and since I don't want this design to go over 30 cards, I have added the red border from the device.

The white bull's head will be not be brocaded, but it is easiest for me to build a positive image, then change it to a negative image later.  I've started with a suggestion of the horns and the chin.  (I should have used a different color, because I will need to change the color before I do the red circle.)

Roughly filled in the bull's head, and I contemplated adding ears, but with how small this is going to be, it is a detail that doesn't work, so I'm going to get rid of it.

The horns need to be wider, and more slanted, so I play with it on one side.  I can erase as many times as I like, because I can just refer to the other side to start over.


Updated the other side.

Shifted what will be white to grey, so I can build a circle around it in red.

Circles are basically diamonds with the points cut off, but they look better if they are taller than they are wide,  The top and bottom need to be the same, and each side should match, but circles look wrong if all four sides match.

The bull's head is changed back to white, and is too low in the circle, but the placement of the horns looks right.

Added an extra line of red in the circle.  Yes, you can cut and paste filled cells.  I think I may need to add another line of red, and shift the bull head down again, but I'm not going to do it until I adjust the border.

Removed some of the spaces between the border and the circle, which works, but that bottom looks weird.

Left side looks better, but still wonky.  I need to start the curve higher on the side.

Mostly done, but the circle still looks short at the bottom.  I've also added grid lines.

Added an extra line of red in the circle, and shifted the head down again.  I think this should work.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Double face Younger Futhark Alphabet

Several people have asked me if I can chart Futhark for them.  Although there are examples of runes on many items in the Viking Age, I don't know of any tablet woven ones, so this is not based on an extant band.  Also, this chart may require some modification depending on the diameter of your string.  If you use it, and run into problems, please don't hesitate to ask me for help.