I can think of several reasons, actually. I wear 13th century and
wear barbettes. Barbettes, especially the band that goes under the
chin need to had some stretch in order to be comfortable. They are
also wider t14th than most period tablet weaving that I've seen.
Depending on exactly when in the 13th or early 14th century you are
looking at, the bands can actually be quite wide and wrinkles and fold
lines are depicted in the period artwork. Early 13th century
barbettes are quite wide over the head (although it's possible it
could actually be a barbette worn over a coif at times) but in most
artwork they are wider over the head than under the chin. This means
that they are either shaped are folded to create that shape. This
isn't something that tablet weaving can do. Bias cut bands replicate
the look beautifully, with linen being far more comfortable than
cotton. Anything worn under the chin like that without any stretch
would rapidly become VERY uncomfortable.
The bands around the head (filets) *could* have sometimes been tablet
weaving or something like it, I suppose, depeding (again) on when
exactly you are looking at. While a great many of the filets were
very narrow and worn flat against the head, many are also depicted as
being rather wide and some of them, both narrow and wide, are
obviously flared out from the head. I don't think the flare is
something a tablet woven band can achieve. Many filets are also
depicted as pleated around the circumference and a few are shown with
a scalloped upper edge. The scallops may be an actual scalloped edge
or they may be a pleated filet with the upper edge sort of "ruffled".
I haven't found enough evidence yet to come to my own conclusion
either way, however neither of these is something tablet weaving can
achieve, I think.
Also, queens and ladies of the upper nobility are frequently depicted
wearing their crowns, coronets or circlets over their barbettes and
often over the filet as well. I do this with my coronets and both the
barbette and filet need to be quite thin to do this comfortably and
securely. Thick barbette bands prevent the headgear from sitting
securely on the head. Thick filets make the fit very tight unless
it's specifically sized to wear over the additional thickness... this
isn't necessarily an issue in period but can be an SCA issue if you
want to wear the same headgear with other periods. Tablet weaving CAN
be done finely enough - I have some tablet-woven silk that is quite
thin and delicate, however it isn't stiff enough to stand up from the
head as a filet and had no stretch to make it comfortable to wear as a
The barbette, filet and veil (which wasn't always worn, again,
depending on exactly when and where in the 13th century) are always
white and always appear to match in both color and texture, which
suggests that they were most likely made of the same materials.
All of this suggests that tablet weaving isn't a likely source for
either barbettes or filets. This obviously isn't conclusive and
doesn't rule out some experimentation and in depth research if the
topic really interests you.
I hope this helps...
> Greetings to the List,
> I believe what I am thinking of is called Barbettes. I am thinking
> of the bands that go around the head. One beneath the chin and one around
> the crown. Is there any reason to think these would NOT have been tablet
> Thank you for your time.