Small Tablet Woven Bands from Egypt: Part 2

The Border from Antinoé Grave C 333

The narrow border, which comes from grave C 333 in Antinoé, was woven using two-hole technique. It is sewn onto a fragment of a turquoise wool men’s coat. The border is 0.8 cm wide in the original and was made from red wool and white linen yarn. As I didn’t have linen in the required thickness, I used 8/2 wool for both.

The Tablet Woven Band from a Baby Tunic, stored in Cluny

A baby tunic is currently located at the museum in Cluny, France (Inv. D. 2001.2.1)


The tunic was sewn from remnants of linen and has a simple wool border on the neckline for decoration. This was probably woven as a double face (the image quality in the book is not the best). I worked with 28/2 wool and have a width of 1.0 cm (which may be correct as the tunic is described with a height of 51 cm, so the band would be approximately 1 cm wide).

The Tablet Woven Band from a Child’s Garment in Trier (VII. 97)

Not much is known about the origin of this tunic, currently located in Trier, Germany. It looks to be made for a 4-5-year-old child and is believed to be dated from the 7th century, possibly even from the later Islamic period.TWIST Journal 22 Summer 2020 The tunic body was sewn from remnants of linen, with red wool used for the arms and gussets. Both the wrists and the neckline have been decorated with the tablet woven band. The band runs twice under the neckline. It is the same threading, but different patterns were woven to the right and left of the neck. It is one of
the bands where the turning direction of the continuous turned tablets changes in the other direction. The pattern is simple and woven with a one-sided double face.

In the publication Die koptischen Textilien der Sammlung Wilhelm Rautenstrauch im Städtischen Museum Simeonstift Trier, they mention a width of approx. 1 cm. As I had a chance to visit the museum and to take a look at the tunic and the band, I estimate the width to be approximately 1.2 – 1.3 cm. I have woven the one motif with NM22 silk, and it is 1.8 cm wide. The other motif is woven with NM20/2 wool, and the band is 2.7 cm wide

Many thanks to the Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunst, Berlin for being so generous to let me visit the archives, taking pictures of the bands and to have these great discussions. Also to the Städtische Museum Simeonstift, Trier for being so generous to let me visit the archives and taking pictures of the bands. Thanks for everyone helping me, especially my husband, Marled, who listened and provided me with missing yarn, Magali, Meike, Sara, and Heather.

*Collingwood, Peter. The Techniques of Tablet Weaving. Brattleboro, VT: Echo Point Books & Media, 2015.
Durand, Maximilien and Calament, Florence. Antinoé, à la vie, à la mode: Visions d’élégance dans les solitudes. Lyon, France: Fage, 2013.
Durand, Maximilien, and Saragoza, Florence. Egypte, la trame de l’Histoire : Textiles pharaoniques, coptes et islamiques. Paris, France: Somogy 2002.
Fluck, Cäcilia, and Finneiser, Klaus. Kindheit am Nil: Spielzeug – Kleidung – Kinderbilder aus Ägypten in den Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin. Berlin, Germany: State Museums of Prussian Cultural Heritage, 2009.
Fluck, Cäcilia; Linscheid, Petra, and Merz, Susanne. Textilien aus Agypten: Textilien aus dem Vorbesitz Theodor Graf, Carl Schmidt und dem Agyptischen Museum Berlin. Berlin, Germany: Reichert Verlag, 2000.
Gustav-Lübcke-Museum Hamm, Museum für Spätantike und Byzantinische Kunst. Ägypten, Schätze aus dem Wüstensand: Kunst und Kultur der Christen am Nil. Wiesbaden, Germany: Ludwig Reichert, 1996.
Musée Dobrée. Au fil du Nil: Couleurs de l’Egypte Chrétienne. Paris, France: Somogy 2001.
Rautenstrauch, Sammlung Wilhelm, and Nauerth, Claudia. Die koptischen Textilien der Sammlung Wilhelm Rautenstrauch im Städtischen Museum Simeonstift Trier. Trier, Germany: Städtischen Museums Simeonstift, 1989.
Stand, Micky Scholz. “Deux galons tissés d’Antinoupolis – Two tablet-woven bands from Antinoupolis.”
*Wollny, Claudia. Tablets at Work. Germany: Claudia Wollny Edition, 2017.
Wulff, Oskar, and Volbach, Wolfgang Fritz. Spätantike und koptische Stoffe aus ägyptischen Grabfunden. Berlin, Germany: Wasmuth, 1989

* All books marked with an asterisk are available at the TWIST library. If you are interested in borrowing a book, please contact our librarian John Mullarkey

Copyright © Silvia Aisling Ungerechts

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