Book Review: Tablets at Work by Claudia Wollny

Silvia Aisling Ungerechts (DE)

This 700-plus page book is dedicated to the exploring the basics of tablet weaving. This book will not only allow the reader to understand the step-by-step methods for different tablet weaving techniques but also describes the process behind creating one’s own pattern.

With more than 900 patterns included in the book there is a wide variety from which to choose. If you want to weave simple small bands with 8 tablets or a more complex one with up to 40 tablets, there just happens to be something for everyone. All patterns are new designs; they won’t be found in another book or on an exotic website.

The beauty of this book is that it includes 900 weaving patterns, which can be followed without having to understand in depth weaving techniques. 

The book, written in German and English, has one column of each language on every page. 

But what is tablet weaving? Wikipedia says "Tablet Weaving [...] is a weaving technique where tablets [...] are used to create the shed through which the weft is passed”.
More importantly, though, is how the tablets are threaded and how they are turned. This is the basis behind different weaving techniques.

‘Tablets at Work’ is a modern and colourful book. It might not be to everyone’s liking, but as the techniques are coded in rainbow colours, which are displayed on the upper borders of the pages, the colours serve as orientation in this big book. 

When you open the book, on the first page you will find a chart of presented techniques with important information like threading, the number of threads needed per tablet, colours, the position of the tablets and the starting position.

The first impression: It’s a well-organised book. 

The 22 techniques included in the book may seem like a lot of methods for tablet weaving, but these are only the most important ones you can do with square cards. You can find historic techniques like 3/1 Twill, Floatwork, 3-Hole, 2-Hole and Brocading along with newer ones such as, but not limited to, Double Face, Kivrim and Threaded-in patterns.

The book is structured in three sections: ‘Basics’, ‘Techniques’, and an ‘Appendix’. 

The ‘Basics’ section explains, right down to the smallest detail, the essentials of tablet weaving, terminology, how to thread the tablets (including continuous warp) and how to start weaving. It is perfect for someone who has no experience with weaving at all and I can’t imagine there’s a question this book won’t answer.

Each chapter is dedicated to a different technique. They are divided in ‘Quick Start’, ‘Intro’, ‘Prep Work’, ‘Weaving’, ‘Turning Rules’ and ‘Design Your Own Weaving Patterns’.
If you are interested in weaving the patterns and want to go back to the technique sections later, the chapters ‘Turning Rules’ and ‘Design Your Own Patterns’ can be ignored.

The ‘Quick Start’, ‘Intro’, ‘Prep Work’ and ‘Weaving’ sections are rather short so you can go on to the patterns quickly (for example for the technique ‘Double Cloth 4-Z‘ you only have to read 8 pages, including many graphics and pictures, before you can start weaving).

With more than 900 patterns included in the book there is a wide variety from which to choose. If you want to weave simple small bands with 8 tablets or a more complex one with up to 40 tablets, there just happens to be something for everyone. All patterns are new designs; they won’t be found in another book or on an exotic website. 

But if you want more; to learn and understand the different techniques and to write your own pattern, the best place to start would be the ‘Turning Rules’ chapter.

Claudia Wollny helps you with the new techniques and explains with many graphics why the technique works in exactly this way and not otherwise.

She explains just as extensively how to design weaving patterns of one’s own. She takes care of every small detail and it seems she has forgotten nothing (for example for the double cloth 4-Z technique there are 14 pages including many graphics and pictures to illustrate the technique in order to write your own pattern). 

The appendix completes the book and includes blank pattern sheets, a glossary, an extensive book list, websites, suppliers and a great deal of other useful information.

The inspiration she provides with the countless pictures of the finished bands should also be mentioned. 

‘Tablets at Work’ is a book you can use as a guide for your first steps in tablet weaving, but it will also help even when you are at an advanced level. I think it is one of the best books for this handicraft and will form, along with a few other books, the backbone of every tablet weaver's library.

Image copyright: Claudia Wollny

Book information:

Tablets at Work by Claudia Wollny
The Book of Basic Tablet Weaving Techniques. Published: Claudia Wollny Edition
To order: www.brettchenweben.com/shop Price: 49,90 Euro

ISBN: 978-3-00-057567-9 Pages: 704 / colour

Keywords
Country
Germany