Tablets- Generally square tablets of wood or card with a hole in each corner. A minimum of 8 are needed for an average yarn, eg double knitting. For a thinner yarn more will be needed. To increase the width of the braid increase the number of tablets.
Yarn- Smooth yarn is easier to work at first than a very 'woolly yarn'. Two colours is the minimum needed for a pattern, more often three or more are used .
Loom or other tensioning device-
The cheapest method of tensioning the work is by tying one each to a stable object eg a door and the other to the weavers belt. However you may find this restrictive is you want to answer the phone, go to the loo etc. Therefore any device such as warping points, clamps or a basic loom can be used to secure the two ends, in order that you can pick up or leave the work as required.
My personal preference is for two broom handles secured between two pieces or drain pipe or circular wood and braced centrally, this give me a finished braid length of just over two metres, which is fine for most purposes.
The boom handles were 59p each, the drain pipe and wooden braces I had lying around and I use brass curtain rings to tie the yarn to(49p per 10).
Each of the 4 holes of the tablets must be threaded with yarn, the way in which these yarns are positioned determines the pattern of the braid.
To prevent the finished braid twisting it is best to thread half S and half Z. This can be alternate S and Z or 4S and 4Z or whatever you want these combinations can also affect the pattern.
You should label your tablets (A-D)as shown, then thread for S or Z as illustrated.
Each tablet is then turned in the direction of the arrows until all the A, B , C and D holes match up and the tablets resemble a pack of playing cards.
Next all the yarns ends must be secured on the fixed points you have chosen. Tie the front of the yarns together for ease of weaving.
To start weaving a yarn , usually wound around a bobbin must be threaded through the shed of the weave you have just threaded. The shed is the gap between the AB and CD position in the above illustration. Thread the yarn through beat it down with your hand are turn the pack of tablets one quarter turn, a new shed will appear in the horizontal position, weave again and turn. After a while you will notice that the pack is difficult to turn and the yarn behind the pack is twisted this is the time to reverse the turn direction, if you were going forward now go back. In time the turning sequence can also be used to contribute to the pattern. You will soon see your weaving grow.
Patterns are best learnt with experience however alternate tablets threaded with all one colour then another will give vertical stripes. Each tablet threaded with top one colour bottom a second will give horizontal stripes if a S Z alternate thread is used.
Fibrecrafts, Style Cottage, Lower Easying, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 2QD
Tel: 01483 565800 Fax: 01483 565807
10 x 4 hole square £6.50
12 x 7 hole square £4.00
The Handweavers Studio, 29 Haroldstone Road, London, E17 7NA
Tel: 0181 521 2281
10 x 4 hold square £2.10
25 x 4 hole square £4.50
10 x 6 hole hexagonal £2.10
25 x 6 hole hexagonal £4.50
Warping points with clamps £4.40 each
Bone, Horn and Leather tablets
firstname.lastname@example.org $22 or £15 per 6