Renovating tassels on an old tablet woven band

Someone on Facebook once asked to see pictures of the first tablet woven band people ever made; not the first good one, but the first ever. The first band I made is lost to the mists of time, but I do have a band which I’m sure is the second one I made. After its initial use as a belt at events, it languished for a couple of decades in the back of a drawer and at the bottom of a box. It even spent some time as a cat toy, which led to tattering of tassels..

The question on facebook led me to dig my band out again. It made me realise just how much I’ve learned since I made it! For that alone it gets to stay in my collection of bands and samples.

It’s a narrowish piece, about 12-13mm (half an inch) wide, and long enough to be a belt with a section hanging down. One end is sewn into a loop, and the other is finished in three plaits with what’s left of a tassel at the end of each plait. The plaits are 3 lengths, so the tassels hang on a diagonal. The band has blue borders, and white, grey and light blue threads in the pattern section of the band. The pattern is a simple threaded in diamond pattern, where the grey threads form the diamond.

After deciding to keep the belt, I also decided to renovate the tasseled ends. I began by finding a blue cotton yarn, which was pretty close to the blue in the original belt. I cut several equal lengths of the yarn, enough for three modest tassels.

Threading threads onto the end of a plait to recreate a tassel

All three original tassels were in a sorry state, so for each one:

  1. I threaded eight threads through just above the knot/binding, in one direction.
  2. I turned the plait through 90degrees and threaded through another eight threads, just above the previous eight.
  3. I flipped the old tassel the wrong way up, and trimmed the tatters away, close to the knot/binding. That knot/whatever forms the core of the head of the new tassel.
Binding the top of the tassel and just under the head of the tassel
  1. I flipped the new tassel the right way up, threaded a separate thread through level with the cut threads.
  2. I wound the thread round several times, covering where the new tassel threads had been threaded through. (This was necessary to make things look a bit more even. It is not a standard part of making or attaching a tassel)
  3. I then threaded the binding thread down through the tassel.
  1. Holding the tassel threads together, I brought the binding thread to the outside of the bundle.
  2. I bound the tassel again, this time below the head.
  3. I then cut a strip of paper/card and rolled it round the tassel very tightly.
  4. I pulled the tassel threads down through the card until the shortest one was level with the card edge.
  5. I then trimmed the excess off as closely and flat as possible, level with the edges of the card.
Tassel ends trimmed level with card rolled round tassel

The three newly applied tassels were a definite improvement. They’re not perfect, but they are good enough! And they’re in keeping with the band itself.

Tablet woven band with blue borders, coiled on itself, with three blue tassels to the right of the coiled band.

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