Tuesday, 24 March 2009

All the Trimmings

One problem that comes up over, and over (and over) in costuming is the decoration. For later periods, sewing on pearl beads, making bands of brocade, or finding a braid trim can help; for earlier periods it always comes back to the bands of tablet-woven material that were so very popular then, but are so very difficult to find now.

Worse yet, a simple and plain early garment doesn't distract the eye from the details, and so the wrong choice of trimming becomes very noticeable.

First solution: tablet weaving is actually very quick and easy to learn, and doesn't require much to get started. This is one reason it was so popular! There are instruction and advice websites all over for doing your own tablet weaving, including free period patterns for it.

Second solution: if you have money but no time, there are a few places where you can commission tablet weaving.

Melanie Wilson's site has an email link to enquire about prices.
Linda Hendrickson sells supplies and commissions, but only within the USA.
Gina B 'creates trimmings, tassels, buttons and other small textile items for museums, costumiers, theatre, film, designers and private indivduals' and has some beautiful work displayed.

If you know of anywhere else that accepts tablet weaving commissions or sells tablet-woven material, please add it in the comments.


  1. Wow. Thanks so much. I've only ever seen beginners' tablet weaving and never knew it could be this beautiful!

  2. To some extent, pearls and other gems can count on early period, as well, but it largely depends on region (Byzantine nobility, for a large example).

    Sorry, one of my own pet peeves - being told that early period clothing isn't blingy at all. (So says the Byzantine-persona'd person, of course.)