Hi, all. My SCA name is Aeruin, and I live in the West. I'm a novice-intermediate inkle weaver who's tried tablet weaving once or twice (years ago) so I have a clue how tablet weaving works, though not much experience. Despite my relative inexperience with band weaving, I'm offering a beginning band weaving workshop at a local event in a couple weeks, using rigid heddles.
In researching historical representations of band weaving, I've come across a few illuminations that puzzle me. They show a warp stretched on a wide frame (typical scandinavian type, warp tied between two upright poles) with tablets, which are quite obvious, and *also* some sort of device which is spreading the warp. [ As seen here: http://resources42.kb.nl/MIMI/MIMI_76F21/MIMI_76F21_014R.JPG and here at the bottom center of the border : http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedm... ] The most likely device of which I know to do this would be a rigid heddle, though it's not clear from the art whether this is actually the case. It looks more like a spindle of some sort to me. Another illumination shows the warp wound around a bar attached to the page's border, running through what is clearly a rigid heddle mounted on a stand, then apparently through a set of tablets, the end of the warp held loosely, or perhaps having been dropped, as the weaver seems to be cutting a lock from another person's hair. [ http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg848/0565 ]
Am I misinterpreting what I'm seeing here? Why would one run a warp through both a rigid heddle and a set of tablets? The only point to it that I can see is to spread the warp a bit to perhaps make it easier to manipulate the cards, though my meager experience suggests it's easier to move the cards in unison if they're fairly close together and compact.
Can someone help me understand what I'm seeing?