May 06, 2011

Old Believers' Belt Tool

A blog can get to be a series of disjointed and drawn-out story installments, yes?

This past December, I saw a film called Old Believers and worked on paper to reverse engineer a fibre arts tool I saw used in the film.  Here's the update: Mike King of the Spanish Peacock worked from my drawing and produced a replica of the tool.

I have no idea what to call it, so I say belt tool for want of a better name.  In the film, weaver Feodora Seledkova uses hers to secure the near end of a warp as she weaves a card-woven (tablet-woven) belt.  She tucks the tool into the sash at her waist.  The tool acts as a tiny cloth beam.

I thought I'd need a sash like Seledkova's to hold the tool in place at my waist.  However, I find I can secure the ends by slotting them through the front belt loops on my jeans, so there's no need to make a sash.  I can go straight to weaving.

Bookmarks.  I think I just wove some skinny bookmarks.

At first I turned the cards in one direction but that caused the fabric to corkscrew.  Reversing the direction of the cards every four turns creates a flat woven band.  It's too bad, because the selvedge is not nearly as firm or even with that method.

ETA: I have posted directions on how to make a belt tool here.


  1. I am impressed. I don't know if that helps any, but I am. I've seen those cards but haven't seen anyone using them.

  2. thanks, Linda, yes, I have seen one person using cards to weave and one other person's loom set up with card weaving on it, so it's rare in my experience too.


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