Woven cloth tapes, ribbons and narrow bands are so common and so easy to get that we don’t even think about them. It hasn’t always been that way, though.
For centuries, tapes and ribbons were essential for so many reasons:
They were used for a lot more things than they are now-
Woven tapes were essential to hold clothing up, hold clothing together, hold shoes onto feet,as well as being used around the house and workshop in a miriad of other ways.
Fancier woven tapes and ribbons were used to trim and embellish all kinds of textiles, from clothing and fashion accessories to curtain ties and trims to all kinds of home decorating accessories.
Nowadays, there are lots of people who are working with tape looms, not just to re-create history, but for the pure pleasure of creating beauty in a unique way.
There are 2 styles of tape looms.
One has a box base and ratchet system to wind the warp strands onto a back beam.
The other is a paddle style, held between the weaver’s knees.
There are advantages to both, and both are very beautiful.
Here’s a great little video of a woman in historic costume, working with a paddle style tape loom, held between her knees.
Here is the most wonderfully useful and comprehensive website about tape loom weaving: Tape Looms
Luckily there are some talented craftspeople still building these beautiful looms:
Grace Hatton has written several excellent articles about how to weave with their double hole Norwegian style rigid heddle tape loom.
Here’s a link to the article she wrote for Weavezine.
Small looms can be sooooooooooo enchanting….. and these are especially so!