Saturday, 16 May 2015

Travels around the Baltic: Latvian woven bands.

Woven Bands from Latvia

A friendship bracelet in fine cotton and wool.

This lovely woven band is a friendship bracelet.  The pattern is of two joined hearts and a diamond which is particularly appropriate for a friendship bracelet.

It is woven in very fine cotton - perhaps sewing cotton and the pattern threads are wool. I was so pleased that the label gave the name of the weaver.  It is 1.1cm in width.  There are seven pattern threads.

Here is another bands by the same weaver. It is also  1.1 cm in width. This  band has a similar structure to the Latvian bands and the Sami bands where there are groups of pattern threads lifted up together.
Latvian band for a friendship bracelet

Latvian Weavers.

There are many talented weavers in Latvia.  I bought a Leilvardes belt from Inara and Ziedonis Abolini whose company is SIA Audeju Darbnica   See their web page by clicking HERE

Do take a look at their wonderful web page which shows some of the beautiful traditional Latvian belts that they weave.  I am very proud to own one of their creations.

I have become fascinated by the Leilvardes belt and have researched its origin.  When I return to Latvia, I want to see the collection in the National Museum.


I bought a lovely hand woven bookmark in Riga.

Front of bookmark

Reverse side of bookmark

This is a lovely reminder of a pleasant stay.

At home, I decided to try to weave a complex Latvian pattern as a bookmark.  There are 33 pattern threads in red wool.  The background threads are white linen.

Front of bookmark I wove.
Reverse side of bookmark.

Book Search.

There is an out of print book about Latvian woven belts.  I would love to have a copy but I have searched everywhere and it does not seem to be available. 
Out of print but I would love a copy.

Latviešu Jostas (in English Latvian Sashes, Belts and Bands) by Aleksandra Dzērvītis and Lilija Treimanis in Latvian and English (English text by Vila Abele Wurstner). Published in 1982

It is such a pity that it has not been republished. Lithuania and Estonia all have beautiful books about their band weaving heritage but there is nothing in print about Latvian band weaving suitable for weavers.

However, in Latvia band patterns are everywhere.  Here is a wrapper for some delicious bread that we bought.

bread wrapper
This pattern has 23 pattern threads.  I will have to try it sometime.

Susan J Foulkes May 2015


  1. I love the examples of fine Latvian ribbons you have shared here. I too have searched for Latviesu Jostas and can't obtain a copy either. One came up at auction and sold for $175 US. ...But such a lovely book, I wish now that I had sprung for it. Thank you for sharing the link to the beautiful weaving of the Abolini's. Such a trove of inspiring patterns and impeccable workmanship!

    1. Yes the Abolini's weaving is really lovely.
      I believe the book Latviesu Jostas is in the library system in the States. I am not sure whether you can request a book but if you can it is a real treasure - so many patterns. It must have taken a long time for the authors to put together such a collection.

      Have you read my blog entry for November. I am wearing the Leilvarde belt woven by Ziedonis Abolini. It is stunning.

      Susan J Foulkes


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