~Welcome to my loop braiding blog!~

Loop braiding is a way to make beautiful cords and bands, using only your hands and some yarn or string. It tends to be much faster than knotting or fingerweaving. It has a long, worldwide history, going back thousands of years, some of which has been preserved in manuscripts from medieval and later periods, in both England and Japan.

Loop braiding is fun, easy to learn, and is a great addition to any craftperson’s bag of tricks. Check out my list of tutorials (tab at top of screen) and come back for more, I add to the list frequently. Please comment under any of the posts! Or send me an email–click the Contact tab up top. I’d love to hear about your textile/ crafts interests, answer questions, talk braids, or just say hi.

You can read more about about loop braiding, and about me, under my “about” tabs in the top menu. Other tabs lead to my home page, tutorials index, and an index to all my past posts. My sidebar has more links—to this site and to related sites. If you’re curious about the braids in my header photo, there is info about each of them in the comment field below.

Thanks for visiting Loop Braiding!

–Ingrid
12/27/2010

9 thoughts on “~Welcome to my loop braiding blog!~

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  5. [edited to add/update links and info. Any weird technical terms are probably over-explained on my Terminology page]
    Header photo braids: (re Carol’s request that I describe the braids in the header photo at the top of the blog)
    My tutorials cover many more braids than shown in the header photo, and include braids #10, 14, 15, 16 below. I haven’t made tutorials for the other braids in the header photo, but there are links below to any online sources I know of.

    Left to right:

    1. double-tubular (‘couvert’) braid in plain/ tabby weave, original method, thicker cotton yarn. Double-tubular braids have an inner braided tube surrounded by an outer braided tube, which can switch places when the braider decides to turn the loops. Here, one braided tube is black and white and the other tube is reds and oranges. I learned how to make double-tubular braids with twill braids from Masako Kinoshita’s description on her L-MBRIC site—see #2 here (in LMBRIC issue 2). Double-tubular braids are covered in detail in OEPBforLB. See Cindy Myers’ directions for one double-tubuler braid (she calls them couvert/ couerte braids as in the old manuscripts). Her index includes directions for many such braids. All or most are two-person braids.

    2. plain weave, braided as a doubleweave that opens to be flat. I came up with the loop braiding method for these plain weave braids of “too-many-loops” on my own. (It may not be the most efficient method!) 15 loops.

    3. double-tubular, plain weave, 16 loops (see #1). Here, one of the tubes is black and white, the other green and pink.

    4. A variation of the same plain weave method; the method is almost the same, but the result is not plain interlacing. If no transferred loops were turned, the result would be two layers of plain weave. But here, every transferring loop was turned, which results in a very different type of braid (a single layer of plain oblique twining, aka POT). 15 loops. [I now have a blog-post about this braid, but it's not a tutorial]

    5. like #8, katheren wheele, but without the openwork. Flat, 15-loop braid. Traditionally would have been made by 3 braiders cooperating.

    6. My 16-loop version of the 12-loop “Lace Vice of 3 colors” from the Serene manuscript. See L-MBRIC issue 12, near bottom of page for photo and link to Joy Boutrup’s instructions for the original 12-loop braid—this is where I learned it. Traditionally made by two braiders co-operating.

    7. Double Grene Dorge (double Barleycorn) braid , 15th C. 12 loops. See fingerloop.org’s instructions (for two braiders working in co-operation on one braid).

    8. Katheren Wheel, 15th C. 15 loops. This was traditionally made by three braiders working together, each one making a 5-loop braid–two consistently making “divided” square braid moves, and one of the braiders (who is not the middle braider) consistently making “flat” square braid moves, just as in braid #5. The lacy “holes” occur when 2 of the braiders stop connecting their braids for a few cycles in a row.

    The modern instructions on fingerloop.org for this 3-person braid have some problems. Main one: when three braiders cooperate in making a braid, none should mirror the others’ moves the way two braiders do in making double braids. All 3 braiders should first make a left transfer, then a right one (or vice versa). If one of the braiders does this in the opposite order from the other two, it creates a glitch that a bit later the braiders will have to do some extra work to fudge over.

    9. plain weave flat,like #2 , thicker cotton yarn. 15 loops. Original method.

    10. Lace Dawns, 15th C. 8 loops (wool) Link goes to my tutorial for this braid, which teaches my “thumbs” method for making this braid with fewer moves than the traditional method. Click here for Cindy Myers’ description of the traditional method.

    11. Original method, Unorthodox braid (a type of braid where the taken loop only goes through some of the loops—goes over and/or under the others). 11 loops.

    12. plain weave flat, like #2 and 9. 15 loops. Original method

    13. like 12 above.

    14. Edge and Crowns (Two different bicolor color-patterns alternating. 17th C patterns). The braid is a “Double-square” braid, 10 loops, rectangular in cross-section. I teach this as a solo-braider method, my own original method. I now also have a video and photo-tutorial showing how the braiding procedure is done the traditional way by two people working together (the two braiders should learn the 5-loop square braid first – either with the Asian method I teach, or the traditional European A-fell method, but probably not with the Slentre braiding method—I doubt that this type of two-person braiding would be very workable with the Slentre method). 10 loops

    15. Spiral braid, called “lace bend round” in the 15th C. (a ‘lace’ meant a ‘braid’ then, as in “shoelace”). Variegated silk yarn and thinner purple linen. 8 loops.

    16. Square braid, 21 feet long (6.5m). 7 loops

    Most of the braids are embroidery floss and or 5/2 perle but a few are thicker cotton or other fibers. I made all of them solo, including the ones that traditionally would have been made by two or more co-operating braiders.

    All my loop braiding tutorials are listed here, in a more organized manner (easiest first), including many braids not shown in the header photo.

    The most complete reference and how-to for traditional braids, and for loop braiding in general, is Noémi Speiser’s Old English Pattern Books for Loop Braiding, 2000.

    E. Benns and G.Barrett’s Tak V Bowes, Departed also teaches many traditional loop braids, has color photo illustrations, and may be easier to follow. BraidersHand is a U.S. distributor of both books.

    This blog is (so far) the main source that teaches the V-fell method for braiding simple loop braids, long practiced in many parts of the world outside Europe. It’s also the only source for my methods of making multi-loop braids as a solo braider.
    [no longer completely true---the book Strings that Move in my sidebar includes a how-to article on my solo-braider methods for making all twelve or so of the possible shape variations of double braids.]

  6. Wow, Ingrid, the letterbraid is gorgeous! It’s perfect for the theme. Do they send it back to you or is it gone forever?

    Anja

    • Thanks! No, they’ll send it back next year. The traveling exhibition changes every year. That’s assuming it doesn’t arrive too late for their deadline, I probably should have sent it off right away without taking the time to wash it.

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