These are the “Sunday” driving reins, for sledges, made approx. 1880. Here reins were usually made in tablet weaving technic as it gives really thick and strong material. Actually as a belt it feels a bit too thick but for durability of reins – just perfect.
Tablet weaving with cards is traceable to the early Iron Age. The warp yarn is threaded through flat squares of wood that control the direction of the lift. Various patterns are created by the direction of the turn of the tablet or square.
Actually these reins also has a story to tell. My grand-grand-grand-aunt was driving sledge in 1889, with 3 horses and was speeding. Yes, they were speeding even then!. She didn't took the corner right, sledge turned over and hit her on the back. Her backbone was broken but she manage to survive, drive home and spent in bed another 6 months after the accident until she gave up. She was 83 then. The reins were kept as a reminder that sometimes even the skilled can loose reins...
Sometime when I think about my family's ladies of the past I feel shame about all the fun I am missing. They really lived in full force, these old ladies of the past.
And by this reason my grandma also showed me how to do things as well. Just for the knowledge bit... so its not lost... I was not able to find any tablet woven samples done by me but I remember how I was making them as a child. But I find one in other technic, done on pencils.
So now there are samples of 3 generations in one post. Sadly my mum missed all this fun - her childhood fell in WWII when were different priorities and later she went to college and the right time was lost - she barely learnt how to knit only but never enjoyed that. She was sewing a lot instead. And made many, many other things.