Similar to the Inkle Weave in its weaving process, another type of pickup weave, called Pebble Weave, gets its name from the look of its speckled background.
Believed to date back to the ancient cultures of the Andes, evidence of its use has been found in ruins of Aztec temples and in objects preserved in museums.
In her “Mexican Motifs” 1962 pamphlet from The Shuttle Craft Guild, Harriet Tidball shows a photo of a pebble weave project on a copy of an ancient backstrap loom (also called a belt loom). She even shows how the loom operates.
Reaching farther back in The Shuttle Craft archives to 1948, an article by another well-known preserver of historic weaving techniques and lore, Mary Meigs Atwater, describes the Pebble Weave process and norms. Also, she charted some designs which have been passed down through generations in the rural Oaxaca area of Mexico.
In her 2012 book, The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory, Anne Dixon places origin of the more elaborate Pebble Weave designs in South America, namely Bolivia and Peru. Also, Ms Dixon includes several very interesting designs in her book.
My beginning efforts at this weave stick as close to the historic findings of Tidball and Atwater as possible. As I become more experienced with this unique technique, my plan is to stray from rules of the historic pieces and see what happens. I can hardly wait.