Tablet weaving was a specialised type of weaving used to make narrow bands and straps. These were used for functional purposes such as tying bundles, or as belts. They were also used as decorative bands on clothing. Tablet weaving was often done with wool and is called a warp-faced textile because only the long warp threads are visible in the finished band. Threads in a variety of natural or dyed colours were used.
The weaving was done using a set of small, square discs (tablets) made of wood or bone. Each tablet had four holes; one in each corner. The warp threads were threaded through the holes, so the discs were suspended along the length of the warp. As weaving commenced, the tablets were given a quarter or half turn, which twisted the warp threads and allowed for patterns to be made in the weave.
Elaborate patterns could be woven with different coloured warp threads, a large number of tablets and multiple combinations of turns.
Very wealthy Vikings had bands containing gold and silver threads made by specialist weavers.