Brocade Tablet Weaving 101

If you have seen the video on Brocade Tablet Weaving, you will (hopefully) have a good idea how this technique is done. If you haven’t seen the video, you can go to it from this link:

If you would like to use the fragment of the Birka 2f pattern that I was using, you can print out my pattern here:

I probably should have colored the border cards blue, just to be clear…

The two outside cards are border cards and will be skipped. The inside cards are blue=background and white=silver foreground.

The blue yarn I used for the ground fabric is the Maurice Brassard 8/2 cotton. You can use two strings of 8/2 for the brocade, or use Maysville 8/4 cotton, or use all 6 strands of embroidery floss, whether a color or metal (or synthetic).

This pattern requires 13 cards–4 border cards and 9 pattern cards–and all cards are threaded alternating S and Z. It doesn’t matter if you start with S or Z, just as long as they alternate all the way across.

You also don’t need to have numbered cards or have them labeled clockwise or counterclockwise, or indeed labeled ABCD at all! You also don’t need to have AD at the top when you start the pattern. All threads are the same color!

This pattern is, therefore, one of the most forgiving in terms of set up.

Following along with the pattern, go OVER both of the threads in the white boxes and UNDER the threads (through the shed) where there are blue boxes. Drop the silver shuttle down at the border cards–the shuttle will not go through that shed. It will come up between the border cards and pattern cards, go over and under through the pattern cards, and back down before the border cards on the other side. This will create a sort of silver stitching on both sides of the back of the band, but not have the silver on the selvedge edge.

I had chosen to do just a small portion of the 2f pattern, but if you would like to chart out the entire pattern, you can do so yourself on grid paper (or an Excel spreadsheet, if you’re so inclined).

Good luck! And happy weaving!