Tablet Weaving A Silk Filet & Belt

For my 14th-century wardrobe I would like to make a silk filet (or fillet, I’ve seen it spelled both ways) and a silk belt. I bought a navy blue wool one but wanted to have a more historically accurate one.

My blue filet made from wool floss and embellished with pewter laurel wreaths and pearls


Based on information from Textiles and Clothing (Crowfoot 19), I chose to use silk floss. I wanted to come as close as I could to the type of silk described there, though the thread that we are modernly able to obtain is a bit lighter than what was used to weave the original. Like the extant filet, I asked the weaver to weave with 26 tablets, 4 turned together as border (2 per side) and 22 turned together in the center.

hair filet-9 based on extant 14 c Museum of London
Reproduction Piece (de Huntington) & Extant Piece

The extant 14th-century filet shows impressions from mounts that were attached. I chose laurel wreath spangles that I could sew to the filet, in keeping with the technique displayed in the extant piece. I hope to wear it with temple braids as seen in period art, perhaps even with false braids as mention in Crowfoot’s book.

I may end up attaching a pair of false braids like the one pictured below so I can easily wear the style at a moment’s notice 🙂


Baroness Cae of Seleone made my filet according to the directions in Textiles and clothing:1150-1450 using a dark red silk floss.


For the belt (a future project) I was inspired by an extant 14th-century belt made from a tablet woven band in the “Erfurt Treasure” (Erfurter Schatzfundes ca. 1349).

Tablet Woven belt aisling-biz-Grit-Zimmermann-Textilien-Erfurter-Schatz

It was reproduced and woven with 6-hole-tablets by Nikolaus Hofbauer.

Tablet woven band Erfurt Treasure 14th century 6 hole tablets

More to come on that project!


Crowfoot, E., Pritchard, F., & Staniland, K. Textiles and clothing:1150-1450. 1992. London: The Boydell Press.

de Huntington, Cristiana. “Silk Filet”. 2017. Web.

Hofbauer, Nikolaus. “Erfurt Treasure 1349”. 2017. Web.

Hofbauer, Nikolaus. “Erfurt Treasure 1349”. 2017. Web.

Priest-Dorman. “Three Recipes for Fourteenth and Fifteenth Century Tablet Weaving”. 1995. Web.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s