Here's Barber's abstract for her presentation at the 2002 Textile Society of America symposium:http://textilesociety.org/abstracts_2002/Barber.htm
"Ribbons Around the Silk Road--Before Silk
(Toward a Pre-History of Band Weaving)
by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Magnificently preserved samples of multistrand, polychrome oblique plaiting and kumihimo-type cords have been excavated from the salty sands of the Tarim Basin, along the route of the later "Silk Road." The earliest of these, from Loulan, Cherchen, Hami, and Sampula, precede the Chinese entry into the region--which occurred in 110 BCE--by centuries and even millennia. Evidence suggests that seminomadic Caucasoid (and probably Indo-European) herders used the wool from their sheep to produce these colorful bands while on the move, sharing their techniques the length of Eurasia. Related evidence turns up in prehistoric Greece, Turkey, and the Balkans at one end, and in Japan and Korea at the other.
This paper presents the above evidence, then explores the possible relations of the early Eurasian plaiting tradition to a peculiar trait of later Persian silk fabrics and to the earliest known weaving in Europe and Turkey. Sites in these western areas provide tantalizing bits of evidence for tools and techniques of band-weaving and -plaiting, as well as occasional fragments of fabrics and painted representations, all of which have become much easier to interpret as a result of the Central Asian finds. It now appears that Europe had a much earlier acquaintance with fancy plaiting than formerly assumed, and also, possibly, with the rigid heddle. These conclusions are supported additionally by the surprisingly large number of separate terms for bands and band-makers recorded in the earliest readable European texts: the economic documents of Bronze Age Greece."
Still not much help for Britain.