New Track-Plan Page

I recently made a new info page about Noémi Speiser’s track-plan system for diagramming braids. “Info pages” are a different category of pages from “blog posts” so they don’t show up on the homepage, which is why I’m announcing it here. (To see my various info pages, hover on the far right upper menu tab – the “About” tab.)

The new info page shows and explains the track plans of all or most of the applicable braids on this blog, except for the two unorthodox braids (unorthodox braids have very complicated track plans!). Also includes the track-plan as well as helpful hints for braiding one of the double braids I haven’t taught yet, the double-tubular braid (a.k.a. couvert / couverte braid).

Here’s a link to the new track plan info page:
Track-plan Diagrams for Loop Braids. Below is brief snip from the new page:

A track-plan diagram is both an idealized cross-section view of a braid’s shape, and also a map of how the strands of the braid interlace. Track plan diagrams resemble the metal tracks that the bobbins of thread follow in a braiding machine.
Track plans compared to braiding machine tracks:

Color-coded track plans for square and flat-square braids, finger loop braiding, Noemi Speiser's track plan system,

Track-plans for square and flat loop braids. (arrows=direction of movement; X=turned transfer, 0=straight/open transfer)

Square braid, machine patent illustration, wikimedia

Square braid, machine patent illustration, wikimedia

Drawing of braiding machine tracks for a flat braid.

Drawing of the braiding machine track for a flat 9-strand braid by Elkagye, public domain.

Last updated Dec 8, 2022

© 2019-2022 Ingrid Crickmore

3 thoughts on “New Track-Plan Page

  1. Ingrid, I’m trying to figure out how to do a plain weave braid… no twill rows, all plain weave. I’m currently working with 10 loops, basically varying the Spanish braid method with all loops unreversed except for a single loop to join the two layers together. My problem is that I can’t seem to get rid of the twill weave row at that single reversed loop. Any ideas?

    • (Sorry so long replying, I’ve been on a backpack trip the last five days.)
      ‘Imperfections’ like that are an inevitable result of working with loops I’m afraid! Loops allow faster more efficient interlacing – sort of a ‘two-for-one’ effect, but they also entail some unavoidable things like that extra “over-one” when you turn a loop, what you call reversing it. In rotating the loop, one of its shanks inevitably goes over the other one – its partner shank – as well as going over one shank of the next loop that passes through it, if you see what I mean? So each time, in that one spot a strand will go over two strands before returning to over-1-under-1 again.

      The only purely plain weave loop braid would be a divided braid, where you don’t turn any loops. That results in two purely plain weave braids.

      The same imperfection happens with twill braids. When I describe a five-loop square braid I try to remember to hedge and describe it as “mostly 2/2 twill”. I think of it as 2/2 twill because I’m always pulling one loop through two other loops, but there will be extra passages at the turns.

      I would love to see your plain weave braids! Also how you base them on the Spanish braid movements. Might be more efficient than the way I was doing plain weave back when I was so into it. A lot of the braids in my header pic are of plain weave. (or ‘mostly plain weave’ – I didn’t pay a lot of attention back then to that turn adding an extra passage!)

      • Hi Ingrid. I’d love to send pictures, but I’m having trouble getting my tablet to cooperate. I’ll try on a real computer tomorrow. My method is exactly the same as for a wide, flat, 10-loop Spanish braid, but with an 11th loop added during the exhange between the 2 hands (or 2 braiders). The ordinary exchange is between 2 loops that are both in the outside position (they were the outside loop in their most recent transfer). Pulling one through the other means that one of them is on the outside twice in a row, which messes up the plain weave pattern. With the extra loop, I pull the left-hand exchange loop through the extra loop and then outside the right-hand exchange loop.

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