About two years ago, a new book on band weaving was about to appear one day after my birthday: Weavings of Nomads in Iran by Fred Mushkat and others. Getting a present just one day later is surmountable, I thought. Well, I had to wait a little bit longer, but it was worth waiting for. What a wonderful book! 100 bands woven in Iran in different techniques: tablet weaving, pickup weaving, double weave. Beautiful pictures, excellent technical descriptions: the scientist in me loved it!
Flipping through the pages, my attention was drawn by plate 96. The band had a completely different structure from the other bands in the book. The description said “probably tablet woven”, but to me it seemed to be the baltic style pickup (yes, I know that I was looking at bands from Iran). I contacted the publisher and my email was forwarded to Fred Mushkat, who collected all the bands. Fred was interested in my theory and sent me some high resolution pictures so I could study the motifs in more detail. I was able to reproduce all pattern, started weaving and I sent the result back to Fred. He is still double checking if the band is not tablet woven after all, since it is very strange that there is only one band with such a deviant structure.
Excited by this result, I flipped through the book again, but with a different look: could I possibly recreate more bands? My conclusion was that I can probably reweave all 100 bands. I selected plate 8, a 3/1 broken twill tablet weave, and plate 95, a double weave, to start with. The double weave wasn’t that hard, but trying to unravel twill patterns from a book page was quite challenging. As a child of my time, I sometimes tried to zoom in using my fingers on the book page, without any result. Luckily, I could see somewhat more detail when zooming in on a picture I made of the page. I really enjoyed the process: drawing a part of pattern, weaving it, checking if it was okay, drawing the next part, and so on. On some parts I really struggled with the rhythm of the 3/1 broken twill, but in other parts the turning sequence seemed to be much easier than I thought. Now it is off the loom; seeing it in its full length is much more impressive than staring at just the 10 centimeters you are working on.
Then I decided it’s time to start another project, next to CCC and Daily band: the Fred Mushkat project. Most probably I will never finish it, but who cares? As long as you have fun weaving. And with 97 plates to go, that shouldn’t be a problem 🙂
Plate 8, with book page (left), detail on book page (middle), finished band (right)
“Weaving of the Nomads in Iran: Warp-faced Bands and Related Textiles”, Fred Mushkat et.al., Hali Publications Ltd (2020), ISBN 9781898113805