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The Froebelian Occupation of Flechten (Frame Weaving and Free Weaving)
This page attempts to record what is known about the Froebelian Occupations of Frame Weaving and Free Weaving. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.


Frame Weaving

In the original Froebelian occupation of Flechten, or Weaving paper strips were woven through a 'frame' to create patterns. The 'frame' is created by folding a sheet of paper in half then cutting slits into the folded edge before the sheet is unfolded again.

Beyond this, and the fact that both the frame and the strips need to be flexible (ie foldable) to allow the weaving to take place, there is no substantive paperfolding content to this occupation.


Free Weaving

However, several early Froebelian manuals widen the scope of the olriginal occupation by including designs made by the technique of Free Weaving using paper strips that have been doubled (ie that have been folded in half). In this method the strips are woven so that they go alternately inside and outside each other.

As far as I know this technique is first recorded in 1833 in 'The Girl's Own Book' by Lydia Marie Child, where it is used to make the Froebel Star. Two other free woven designs, the Woven Cross and the Woven Basket also have their own individual design pages.


The basic technique of free weaving appears in 'De Kleine Papierwerkers: Volume 2: Wat men uit strookjes papier al vlechten kan' which was published by K H Schadd in Amsterdam in 1863.



The chapter on the Froebelian occupation of 'Flechten' in 'Der Kindergarten' by Hermann Goldammer, which was published by Habel in Berlin in 1869, illustrates a number of designs made by weaving together paper strips that have been doubled / folded in half.


The same illustrations is to be found in 'Paradise of Childhood' by Edward Wiebe, which was published by Milton, Bradley and Company in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1869.


Information about Free Weaving also appears:


In 'Die Praxis Des Kindergartens' by Auguste Koehler, which was published by Herman Bohlau in Weimar in 1873.



In the revised and updated third edition of 'Der Kindergarten' by Hermann Goldammer, which was published by Carl Babel in Berlin in 1874.



'The Kindergarten Guide' by Maria Kraus Boelte and John Kraus, which was first published in single volume form by E. Steiger and Company in New York in 1882, also contains a section on free weaving.



Part 2 'Die Praxis' of 'Theoretisches und praktisches Handbuch der Fröbelschen Erziehungslehre' by Bertha von Marentholtz-Bülow, which was published by George H Wigand in Kassel in 1887, also contains a section devoted to free weaving.



In 'Royal Gifts for the Kindergarten' by Frances Post Van Norstrand and Alice H Putnam, which was published by the Standard Publishing Company in Chicago in 1889



In 'Guia Practica del Trabajo Manual Educativo' by Ezequiel Solana, which was published by Editorial Magisterio Español in Madrid in 1904, the technique of free weaving four strips to create a central square (the basis of the Froebel Star) is used to create a 'Cadena Sin Fin' (Endless Chain).


The Plaited Belt - 1937

(This design is created by the technique of Free Weaving)