An Anglo-Saxon Belt

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There are few early period examples of tabletwoven belts, and fewer even of non-brocaded ones. Wool and linen generally do not last a thousand years or more, and of early period bands it is usually only the metallic thread that has survived.

The choices for an authentic recreation of an Anglo-Saxon belt are therefore somewhat limited; in fact the only detailed information I have seen so far is þóra Sharptooth's analysis of a piece of tabletweaving attached to a strap end. Consequently, I based the pattern for this belt directly on her article; my main deviation was in adding more tablets to get a wider band.

The belt is almost but not quite as authentic as I could make it. The Anglo-Saxon were magnificant goldsmiths, and would most likely have produced a far better buckle than this pewter one. However, it being my first attempt at casting a point and buckle I am not too displeased. The main difference though is that all the examples of period buckles I have seen have tongues of iron, which mine does not have.

Since this was my first buckle and there were quite a number of details I was experimenting with, such as integral rivets and hinges, I decided to simplify where I could and just cast a plain loop.

The GTT pattern for the belt can be found here.

Technical Data
# Tablets 37 4-hole tablets – note that there are no actual selvedge tablets
Warp pure wool, 2-ply, blue, red, yellow, white
Weft pure wool, 2-ply, blue
Pattern blue background, yellow on red diamonds and white spots
Method two packs of alternately idling tablets
Width 25 mm
Length 168 cm

Collingwood, P. The Techniques of Tabletweaving. London 1982.
Crowfoot, E., Pritchard, F., Staniland, K. Textiles and Clothing: 1150 - 1450. London 2001.
Egan, G; & Pritchard, F. Dress Accessories 1150 - 1450. Woodbridge 2002.
Hansen, E. Brikvævning. Højbjerg 1990.
Priest-Dorman, C. A Saxon Treaded-In Tablet Weave.

Occasionally maintained by Eckhard Gartz.
Last modified 5/5/2004.