Feb 3, 2013
These are what I’ve been working on recently while I’ve been away from my computer—repp-like, plain weave finger loop braids that I’ve been making with a method that I hadn’t used before (weaving terms are defined on my Terminology page)
In contrast, the braids in the photo above are braided on one, tightly packed layer, not two. They’re flat, but fairly thick, and have bumpy ridges in shallow V-shapes along the length of the braid. They look similar to the braids that were often called “bends” or “chevrons” in the old loop braiding manuscripts. Those braids are also repp braids, but of twining rather than plain-weave. (examples of medieval “bend” and “chevron” braids are in last sections of Cindy Myers’ chart called Fingerloop Braids by Type.
Twined loop braids are made very differently from the way square braids are made–it’s not harder, exactly, but it’s quite a bit slower. Each loop gets turned, one-by-one, before another loop is brought through them. But the way I made the braids in this photo feels easier and faster than twining, while having almost as nice a result! Even though the resulting braid looks very different from a square braid, what the fingers do is similar to the square braid method shown in my diagram below:
…including the way 9 loops (or more) are handled. There’s just one extra “twist” to the method when making one of these plain-weave braids. I’ll make a tutorial at some point, this post is just a little preview.
By the way, the curly-looking fringes of some of the braids in the photo are 2-loop braids—2 loops makes a small, flat, 4-strand braid with an intrinsic twist. I have more than one video tutorial for 2-loop braids hiding down at the bottom of my Tutorials index page. (Lefties would make this braid differently than righties, and it’s easier to use your whole hand rather than fingers with longer loops.) It’s an extremely easy braid, though it’s tricky at first to get an even tension. But once you make a few, you’ll get the hang of how to control the tension. The curliness itself might seem ‘wonky’ at first, but to me that’s a feature, not a problem!
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