Keith Weaves

Band weaver and occasional dabbler in other fiber arts

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The tablet-woven belts of East Telemark, Norway—part 1: Inspiration

 

Each year the Scanweavers (the Scandanavian Weavers Interest Group of the Weavers Guild of Minnesota) select a project for the year. Each member  weaves their own interpretation of the project. This year we elected to weave something that is inspired by an artifact at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa.

In June we trekked the 150 miles to Decorah to be inspired. We were awed by the collection of costumes, coverlets and other textiles, many well over a century old, and many contributed by early Norwegian settlers. See this Smugmug gallery of photos of the pieces that we studied.

My inspiration: If you are familiar with Norwegian traditional costumes (bunads), you’ve seen the wide colorful belts  of the women’s costumes of the region of East Telemark. At the Vesterheim I was pleasantly surprised to learn that these belts are tablet-woven!

Women's costume of East Telemark, Norway

Women’s costume of East Telemark, Norway

I plan to weave a band in the style of these East-Telemark belts. I future posts I’ll describe the design and weaving process.

 

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