Picture of the Oseberg band taken during the archaeological dig. As the dig took place in 1903, no colour photographs exist and the textile decomposed shortly after being excavated. Drawings and notes taken by the involved archaeologists inform us further on the design, materials and colour.
Tablet weaving (card weaving) has been dated as far back as the eight century BC; the earliest archaeological finds have been from the Bronze Age and early Celtic Iron Age in Northern Europe. While it started as purely functional, the practice in this area evolved into a more decorative approach during the fourth to seventh centuries (the Migration Period), often denoting social status, personal wealth or great skill.
The bands themselves were used almost entirely for personal adornment, often being sewn as a decorative trim onto clothing, worn as leg-wraps and occasionally also worn as a headband or attached to a hat or headdress.
My piece is a 40-strand (approx. 7 feet) reproduction of the Narrow Oseberg Band, which was found in one of the most extravagant and wealthy graves from the entire Viking Age, dated to 834 AD.
Interested in Tablet Weaving?
I've put together a brief paper giving a quick look at tablet weaving in history.
Want to learn more about
Norse Art Styles?
I've put together a 35-page paper giving a brief overview of this topic!