Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Card Woven Friendship Bracelets by a Real Sailor!

By on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 3 Comments

Ruben Torres is an Oregon based artisan whose Etsy shop is called A Sailor Who Weaves. He really is a sailor - a chief engineer - who enjoys card weaving his friendship bracelets.  He finds it relaxing to make them while at sea.

Ruben, who comes from a family of artists in Colombia, says he doesn't mind the teasing from his shipmates.  I can't see why they should do so as sailors have long done crafts like knotting, wood carving and scrimshaw work (see this past featured designer) to pass the time away. Besides, his work is lovely!

Card or tablet weaving is an ancient technique going back to at least the Iron Age.  It was and is still used to make narrow trim for belts straps and to embellish clothing. Think of it as weaving but without the loom.  A very inexpensive way to weave!  Not to mention convenient especially in small shipboard quarters!

There is a shuttle.  The warp threads are held on several cardboard pieces with holes in them. These tablets are used to raise certain threads according to patterns. In the past, these card or tablets were made from wood, stone, leather, metal, bone and so on.  But some modern card weavers use playing cards! 

Watch Marni Niles' quick video on how she does card weaving.  It certainly makes you appreciate Ruben's work all the more!

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. I learnt about cardweaving from my grandpa, as his parents and grandparents did this at home. Now I revived this old technique. Awesome post!

  2. I've always wondered how these beautiful patterns were created. Thanks so much for this great article!!

  3. Thank you very much for the article. I have to thank because... I am the sailor who weaves! Well, in my free time. :)

    If you visit my shop, that would be nice. But if you try this technique, I would be happy. When you weave with cards, that is -in my opinion-, like magic.

    Happy weaving!