Here’s a listing of all my fingerloop braiding* tutorials. Links will open in a separate window. This page only lists my tutorials, to see all my loop braiding posts, go to my homepage to browse through them, or to this list/ archive of all my posts—tutorials and others. Most of my tutorials include videos. They are all in slow-mo with a lot of talking. My more recent videos have a timeline printed below to help you skip some of my verbiage, or to go to specific parts of the video. My easiest tutorials are listed first, except for some “orphan” videos teaching fun and easy braids that have no written posts yet. Those videos are listed here (near the bottom of this page) so be sure to check them out, too!
Super-easy 3-loop braids. Downloadable pdf photo-tutorial and several videos. An even easier intro to fingerloop braiding than my original “Start here” tutorial below.
Start Here: 5-loop braids, both square and flat. 4 videos, photos, text. (I had a shorter time limit on youtube videos back when I made these).
Continue Here: 7-loop braids. Video tutorial showing the 7-loop version of the basic square, flat, and divided fingerloop braid introduced in the “Start Here” tutorial. This video is a little faster-paced than my 5-loop videos. Shows all 3 variations in one video (square, flat, and divided braids).
Bicolor loops. When each loop is made out of two different colors—two different yarns tied together—you get a lot more possible color patterns and types of color patterns than with single-color loops. The photo-tutorial shows how to make three different bicolor patterns for square braids of 5 loops or more. Many other color patterns are possible, especially when you mix bicolor loops with single-color loops. I use only two colors in the photo-tute, but you can go on from there to adding more colors. (It’s best to start with only two, though.)
Bracelet tutorial for a 7-loop square braid, also how to braid one of my favorite square braid color-patterns: “Chevrons across Bicolor Stripes”—a mix of bicolor and single-color loops. This tutorial teaches 2 great color patterns for a 7-loop square braid, and some bracelet tips, but not the basic braiding moves. Learn the braiding moves from the 7-loop “Continue here” tutorial above.
A very cool and complex 17th C. “spanish” braid of 7 loops
Makes a rectangular, 2-layer braid—about as thick as a 4-loop square braid, but twice as wide. Video, text, photos. Learn the 7-loop square braid first (see the “Continue here” tutorial above). The video teaches only one of the color patterns. Other great color patterns for this braid are taught in the text below the video (see photo). This braid is the base, component braid of the doubled 14-loop letterbraid—a way to braid words!
How to make a flatter, less convex version of the ‘Spanish’ braid
The video shows a different way to turn the loops during the loop transfers. Less slo-mo—better to learn the braid from the previous link above. Also shows how to unbraid the spanish braid—this is very useful for correcting mistakes, which is what I’m doing in the video.
How to use Gary Mitchell’s online pattern-planner for the 7-loop spanish braid above. Two posts—one introduces the planner and shows several sample charts, and the second has a video showing how to follow a chart once you have generated it from the planner. It also has a photo showing several different braids you can make using the planner.
Douglas Grant’s round version of the 7-loop spanish braid (or not?) Great variation of the above braid—perhaps different enough not to be quite “spanish.” Makes a firm, round braid. Invented or discovered by a blog reader who named it the Spiaggian Eagle braid after one of its color patterns. Text instructions for two alternative braiding methods. Several color pattern variations shown and taught. I love this braid!
Video tutorial for Doug’s round 7-loop spanish braid (see above). Also teaches a new color pattern for the braid (several other color patterns are taught in my first post on this braid.)
9-loop braids: (square and flat braids, also info on unorthodox variations) Requires using thumbs. Go ahead and try 9-loop braids before you are lightning-fast at making 7-loop braids! [rationale here] Two videos, photos, text. The way I demo using thumbs is the basis for how I braid all braids of more than 8 loops. Miscellaneous info in the “notes” section following the tutorial: historical references to 9-loop braids, current revival of loop braiding, how I found out about loop braiding.
Unorthodox braids of 9 loops: In the notes section following the main 9-loop tutorial. Text instruction for 2 unorthodox (UO) braids, and how to come up with more on your own. Unorthodox braids deserve a whole series of posts/tutorials that I haven’t gotten to yet. The simplest one is the most common loop braid worldwide. (It was called the broad lace of 5 bows—i.e. loops—in the old English manuscripts about loop braiding.)
Lace Dawns and Lace Piol Alternate method to the one taught in the medieval manuscripts. This is a much quicker way to make these 8-loop braids (if you are used to using thumbs, as taught in my 9-loop tutorial). Video, text.
Unbraiding, and fixing mistakes: Unbraiding is the only way to go back and fix a mistake. The video shows how to unbraid a 3-loop braid. There’s also a link to a video demoing how to unbraid a 7-loop braid—the same principle holds for 5-loop braids. Nine and 11-loop braids are unbraided a bit differently, I give a text description of how to unbraid them, and also how to work your way through undoing a mistake, once you have unbraided back to it.
Ways to set down your loops in the middle of braiding.
Video, photos, text. (In a more recent video, I demo this with a set of pegs, rather than a comb. Skip ahead to 2min,38sec into the video to see the the loop-holder.)
Ways to braid LONGER loop braids –up to several feet or yards/meters (first part of post). Photos, text.
Ways to start a braid with no ends hanging out/ smooth starts (second part of post). Text, photos, one video, more to come.
Color-pattern planning: How to arrange loops on your fingers to get the color-order you want in the braid.
Double braid tutorials, part 1. 6 to 10-loop rectangular braids: My solo-braider method for making the classic 2-person loop braids of (often) 10 loops. These were notated in the old English loop braiding manuscripts, and discovered recently as an ongoing tradition in Indonesia. This is really 3 different tutorials: one for 6 loops, one for 8 loops and two videos on the full 10-loop version, which requires using thumbs. Learn 9-loop square braids before the 10-loop double braid—it’s easier to learn how to use thumbs while making a simpler braid.
Double braids, part 2: Flat double braids of 6-10 loops. Also, some great color-manipulation tricks for making borders and other lengthwise designs. (“Color-linking” in two different forms) A separate no-sound video for each skill taught, 8 and 10-loop braids. No video for the 6-loop version. If you’ve learned the 6-loop double braid from the previous tutorial, watching these 8-loop videos should let you know what to do to accomplish the same things with 6 loops.
Double braids, part 3: Hollow double braids. No video. (if you’ve learned the flat double braid, you won’t need another video to learn the hollow double braid.) Instructions for several different braid pattern set-ups. 6-10 loop braids, plus photos of hollow braids of up to 18 loops. Keyhole-type openings in hollow braids, bead and disk inserts, bicolor patterns, color-linking.
11-loop braids. (square, flat, also info on unorthodox variations) 2 videos, photo-tutorial, text. Requires holding a loop on each thumb and 2 loops on the little fingers. Wait til 9-loop braiding moves are automatic before moving on to 11 loops.
[The way I show of dealing with the extra loop on the little finger is the basis for how I make almost all braids of more than 10 loops.]
13-loop square braids [new, as of 4/20/2013] (flat, and unorthodox as well, depending on how you perform the loop transfers). This is a bare-bones, no-photo, no-video description of exactly how I do this. In the Comments section following my 11-loop tutorial. Learn the 11-loop braid first, add two more loops only after 11-loop braiding moves are automatic.
[new] Notes on my method for making the 14-loop Letterbraid as a solo-braider. Not a full tutorial. General strategies, plus a detailed description of the two inner loop transfers—the transfers involving the 3 loops on the d-finger. First learn the 7-loop Spanish braid, also how to use thumbs and multiple loops on the little fingers, and also my method for making 10-loop double braids as a solo braider, using thumbs as well as fingers.
Introductory tutorial on Kute-uchi 5-loop braids (two methods) for making square and flat braids. 2 videos, braid photos. I demo these braids using 5 loops, but you can use many more after you get used to the moves. Kute-uchi is an old Japanese hand-held loop braiding method, which most likely evolved from finger-held loop braiding. Loops are held around the whole hand rather than on separate fingers. Apparently, all Japanese braids up to the (16th?) or 17th C, and some for even longer, were actually braided using loop braiding—even huge and very elaborate braids—not on kumihimo stands as was assumed up until recently.
New Kute-Uchi (text-only) tutorial: the Genji-uchi braid, and the closely related Pseudo-Genji-uchi (of 4 to 36 loops). I added this text tutorial for a fancier kute-uchi braid onto the end of my original tutorial. This “Genji-uchi” braid is made with the same two braiding moves taught in the original kute-uchi tutorial, but here the two moves are both used in the same braid.
Videos not yet in posts:
These are videos that I haven’t written posts for yet.
(My 3-loop videos used to be listed here, but now they can be found in my 3-loop tutorial.)
I am open to video requests, even for loop braids that aren’t on my blog—leave a note under “comments” below, or email me. If the braid you want to learn is on this blog, and has more than 8 loops, my 9-loop square braid tutorial is most likely a necessary first step, with the 11-loop square braid a necessary second step, before learning braids of more than 10 loops.
2-loop braids, right-handed:
2-loop braids, left-handed:
Spiral Braids of 4 to 10 loops (lace bend rounde)
6-loop Spiral braid, part 1 , right handed, incl 3 different ways to exchange w/out turning the loop—results in no torque to the braid (a neater braid)
6-loop Spiral braid, part 2, right handed, adding a loop into the braid
8-loop Spiral braid, part 1, right handed (lace bend round of viii bowes)
8-loop Spiral braid, part 2, right handed (including vertical/ lengthwise stripes patterns. This non-spiral type of color pattern can be made with any number of loops, from 4 on up)
8-loop Spiral braid, part 3, right handed (including a divided spiral braid, which makes 2 little spiral braids at the same time—great for a loop in the braid!—the loop itself will be of spiral braids. This can only be done with the 8-loop spiral braid.)
10-loop Spiral braid, right handed (Uses thumbs. This video is also part of the “you CAN put your loops down” tutorial, since it demos how to park loops on a big comb when stopping in the middle of a braid—see beginning and end of video.)
4-loop Spiral braid, left handed
6-loop Spiral braid, left handed
8-loop Spiral braid, left handed (Shows 2 things not covered in the right-handed videos: how to make the spiral pattern change direction, and how to unbraid a spiral braid for several cycles. Skip to halfway or so through the video, to just where I start to join up the mid-braid loop I’ve made in the braid.)
Check out Dominic’s bracelet —a ONE-color spiral braid. This makes a great texture, I have never tried this. Thanks, Dom!
Using 2 different sizes of thread or yarn for the two colors of the spiral is a fun effect, see the second braid from the right in my header/ banner photo at the top of the page. The 10-loop video shows this, but it can be done with any of the spiral braids.
“Spiral” braids can also have other color patterns than the spiral one, including lengthwise striping, a spiral with 2 stripes going through it, various dots, and a pattern very much like the classic “Grene Dorge” or Barleycorn pattern. To get other color patterns, vary the way you set the colors on the fingers at the start of braiding.
For lengthwise stripes, set up the colors on the fingers so that at least one finger on each hand will be exchanging the same color loop with its “partner” finger on the other hand. (in other words, for any two fingers that are loop-exchanging ‘partners’ on opposite hands: If they both have the same color loops, there will be a lengthwise stripe of that color on opposite sides of the braid.)
* “Loop braiding” vs. “Finger loop braiding”
I usually use “loop braiding”, unless I’m contrasting finger-held loops with hand-held loops (say, comparing a European braiding method to a Japanese hand-held loop braiding method). But I’ve found that many online searchers use the term “fingerloop”, and might not find my site unless I also used that term. So I use both terms on this blog. Masako Kinoshita and Noemi Speiser prefer to use the term “loop-manipulation braiding”, and “finger-held loop-manipulation braiding” when they want to differentiate it from hand-held loop braiding. Masako Kinoshita then shortens this to f-h l-m braiding. (Some people seem to have then dropped the word “braiding” and refer to it as “loop manipulation” alone. To me, that takes away the most important word!)