Braiding and Knotting: Techniques and Projects [NOOK Book]

Overview


Complete, easy-to-follow instructions for various kinds of braiding and weaving techniques and different kinds of knots. Along with these instructions are directions for making numerous articles with braids and knots: belts, lanyards, mats, rugs, sandals, hats, bags, more. 57 illustrations.
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Braiding and Knotting: Techniques and Projects

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Overview


Complete, easy-to-follow instructions for various kinds of braiding and weaving techniques and different kinds of knots. Along with these instructions are directions for making numerous articles with braids and knots: belts, lanyards, mats, rugs, sandals, hats, bags, more. 57 illustrations.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486156125
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 5/17/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 126
  • Sales rank: 535,555
  • File size: 7 MB

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BRAIDING AND KNOTTING: TECHNIQUES AND PROJECTS


By Constantine A. Belash, CHARLES E. WHITE JR.

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2014 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-15612-5



CHAPTER 1

GENERAL DIRECTIONS FOR BRAIDING


Instinctive Use of Braiding

THE process of braiding strands together, both for decorative effect and in order to obtain added strength, seems to have been one of man's earliest accomplishments. It may even have been that, through braiding, he was led to discover the more intricate art of weaving—an art developed by all the earliest civilizations, thousands of years ago. Because of the perishableness of braiding materials and the fact that no tools are used in the process, there can be no historic evidence to substantiate this theory.

The process of braiding applied to the hair can be more definitely traced. It is known that both men and women of long-haired races used to braid their hair in remote prehistoric times, either in one or two wide plaits or, as in the case of the early Egyptians, in a great number of small, tight braids. In Greece, the earliest center of European culture, men were wearing their hair in elaborate arrangements in the sixth century B. C., but, under the influence of the unrivalled Greek sculptors of the fourth century, the custom was introduced for men to have their hair cut short. The Romans quickly adopted the Greek style and short hair for men was continued in Europe under the Roman Republic and Empire and through the Middle Ages. In the seventeenth century A. D., long hair again became fashionable for men and, by the year 1680, had led to the wearing of large braided and curled wigs by both men and women of the wealthy classes. England followed the fashion of the Continent and the British soldiers in the American Revolution almost all had long braids, which they larded and powdered or wore in eel skins. In the early part of the nineteenth century, the fashion was dropped.

In the periods when men have worn their hair long, they seem to have taken great pride in their braids and curls, the only exception being for the queues of the Chinese. Previous to the year 1644, Chinese men, and also their neighbors in Japan and Korea, were wearing their hair long and done in a knot at the back of the head. In that year, with the establishment of the Manchu dynasty as a result of a rebellion which overthrew the ruling Ming dynasty, there was introduced into China the odd style of the Manchus of shaving the front part of the head and allowing the rest of the hair to grow long, and braiding the long hair in a queue, lengthened, if need be, with black silk or false hair, to reach below the knee. The custom was not generally adopted by native Chinese until, in 1864, after a rebellion against Manchu authority had been suppressed, an edict was issued requiring all Chinese men to wear their hair in queues as a symbol of submission. It is recorded that more than a million men suffered themselves to be put to death rather than submit to the humiliation. The edict was kept in force until the revolution in 1912 and the establishment of the Chinese Republic, when it was immediately revoked and men were allowed to wear their hair short in the European and American fashion, which had already been adopted by the Japanese and Koreans. The Chinese queues furnish the only known example of braids' being used as marks of disgrace.

This summary has been given in order to show how the braiding of hair, almost universally by women until within a few years and recurrently by men, has been an instinctive impulse of the human race. But even by primitive people braiding was also early applied to other materials, such as long native grasses and weeds, or strips of palm or banana leaves in Africa and the East Indies, which were braided together for strength or even made into baskets at a very early date. That the ornamental use of braiding was especially emphasized is shown in our language by the fact that the word "braid" is applied to any narrow decorative strip, whether or not made by the process of braiding. The various methods of braiding used today to give extra strength, for decorative purposes, and for making into articles, some of which have been known and practiced for many centuries, will be described in the following pages.


Materials for Braiding

Any material which can be made into strips and is flexible can be hand-braided. To the grasses and weeds already mentioned may be added an almost limitless list of suitable materials, such as string, cord, paper, cloth, leather, and even thin strips of metal. Different materials may even be braided together, or several strips of a fine material, like raffia, may be used together for each strand, but the strands should all be of the same thickness to make the braiding even. Various patterns and attractive effects can be obtained by using strands of different colors.


Securing Braiding Strands

The ends of strands should be fastened securely before the braid is started, so that they will not slip out of place. It is usually most convenient to tie the ends together with a piece of string, but it is often advisable to keep them flat. Strands of cloth or similar materials may be pinned separately onto a heavy cushion. The ends of strings or cords may be placed in position on a moistened strip of gummed paper, the gummed paper then folded over them and the covered ends inserted in a strong paper clip. This is the method which has been used for the illustrations of braids in the following chapters.

After the ends have been made secure, the work should be attached to a vise or other steady object so that the strands can be held taut during the braiding. Closing the end of a braid into a table drawer is also a convenient method of holding the work.


Preventing Tangling of Strands

If long strands of braiding material are being used, each strand should be rolled loosely and secured with a rubber band to prevent the ends from becoming tangled. If the strands are not rolled and a tangle results, pulling one strand out of the tangle will loosen the other strands also.


Joining Strands

The methods of joining strands, when added length is needed, vary with the materials used. Grasses and fibers, like raffia, may be joined by merely laying a new length on top of the short end of the old strand, when it is in the center of the braid, but never when it is on an outer edge. The braiding is then continued, with the new strand on top of the old one, for several inches until it is securely in place, when the short ends may be cut off. Strips of cloth should be sewed together, usually by a diagonal seam, on the wrong side. Strings and cords may be spliced for joining. The ends of both the old and new strands should be unravelled for about an inch. Then the little threads of the new end should be twisted with the threads of the old end. A little paste or rubber cement may be used to hold the threads in position.

In joining leather strands, the end of the used strand should be shaved off, or "skived," diagonally on the under side and the new strand shaved off at the same angle but in the opposite direction on the upper side. The end of the old strand should then be placed on top of the new end, with a little of some kind of adhesive to hold it in place, and the join allowed to dry under pressure before the braiding is continued.


Tension for Braiding

Braiding may be done loosely or tightly, as preferred for the use intended, but usually rather firm braiding is preferable. In any case, the tension should be maintained consistently throughout the braid and the strands should be kept at a uniform slant. Care should also be taken not to twist the strands, which is especially likely to happen on the edges. This is particularly to be avoided when the under side of the strand is seamed or unfinished.

Though braiding processes are all comparatively simple, it is necessary that the work should be done carefully, as any errors are very noticeable. Accuracy, therefore, and uniformity of tension are the most important factors for attractive braiding.

CHAPTER 2

FLAT BRAIDING


FLAT braiding consists primarily of bringing the outer left and the outer right strands over or under one or more adjoining strands. The braiding of first the outer left strand and then the outer right, or vice versa, constitutes one row of braiding. In the next row, the second strand of the preceding row will have become the outer left and the next to the last strand of the preceding row will have become the outer right. These strands, therefore, are the working strands for this row. The process is continued until the braid is of the desired length.

Strips of any flexible material may be used for flat braiding. Some of the suitable materials are suggested on page 3. A great variety of effects may be obtained by braiding with strands of two or more different colors, the greater the number of strands used for the braid, the greater the diversity of the possible effects.

The braids used for the illustrations of the flat-braiding processes were made of smooth-finished twine. The strands were all of the same color; one or more strands have been shaded in the plates in order to bring out the process more clearly.


Simplest Method of Flat Braiding

The illustrations in Plate I show the simplest form of braiding, first with the outer left strand and then with the outer right strand. (The steps may be reversed, if preferred, beginning with the outer right, followed by the outer left.)

A. Three strands. Bring the outer left strand, No. 1 of Figure A, to the right over No. 2, so that strand No. 1 is next to No. 3. Then bring the outer right strand No. 3, to the left over No. 1, so that No. 3 is next to No. 2. These two steps complete the first row of braiding. To continue, repeat these two steps: bring the outer left strand, over the strand at its right; then bring the outer right strand, over the strand at its left.

B. Four strands. Bring the outer left strand, No. 1 in Figure B, over No. 2, so that No. 1 is next to No. 3. Then bring the outer right strand, No. 4, under No. 3 and over No. 1, so that No. 4 is next to No. 2. To continue; repeat these two steps: bring the outer left strand over the strand at its right; then bring the outer right strand under the strand at its left and over the next strand.

C Five strands. Bring the outer left strand, No. 1 in Figure C, over No. 2, so that No. 1 is next to No. 3. Then bring the outer right strand, No. 5, over No. 4, under No. 3, and over No. 1, so that No. 5 is next to No. 2. To continue, repeat these two steps: bring the outer left strand over the strand at its right; then bring the outer right strand over the strand at its left, under the next strand, and over the next one.

In adapting this method of braiding to a greater number of strands, the two steps will be done in the same way as has been described. The first step—bringing the outer left strand over the strand at its right—is always the same. For the second step, if you are braiding with an odd number of strands (3, 5, 7, 9, 11, etc.) the outer right strand is brought over the strand at its left; whereas, if you are braiding with an even number of strands (4, 6, 8, 10, 12, etc.) the outer right strand is brought under the strand at its left.


Variation of First Method

The process of braiding shown in the illustrations of Plate II is somewhat different from the first method, illustrated in Plate I, though the braids are similar in appearance. The steps in three-strand and four-strand braiding are the same as in the first method, and may be considered as either under the first method or under this method of braiding.

A. Five Strands. Bring the outer left strand, No. 1 in Figure A, over No. 2 and under No. 3, so that No. 1 is next to No. 4. Then bring the outer right strand, No. 5, over No. 4 and under No. 1, so that No. 5 is next to No. 3. To continue: bring the outer left strand over the strand at its right and under the next strand; then bring the outer right strand over the strand at its left and under the next strand.

B1. Six strands. (First method of starting.) Bring the outer left strand, No. 1 in Figure B1, over No. 2 and under No. 3, so that No. 1 is next to No. 4. Then bring the outer right strand, No. 6, under No. 5, over No. 4, and under No. 1, so that No. 6 is next to No. 3. To continue: bring the outer left strand over the strand at its right and under the next strand; then bring the outer right strand under the strand at its left, over the next strand, and under the next one.

B2. Six strands. (Second method of starting.) Bring the outer left strand No. 1 in Figure B2, over No. 2, so that No. 1 is next to No. 3. Then bring the third strand, No. 3, over No. 4 and bring No. 4 to the left over No. 1, so that No. 4 is next to No. 2. Then bring No. 5 over No. 6, and bring No. 6 to the left over No. 3 and under No. 1. You will then have three strands, Nos. 2, 4, and 6, at the left, and the other three strands, Nos. 1, 3, and 5, at the right. To continue: bring the outer left strand over the strand at its right and under the next strand so that it is next to the lowest right strand. Then bring the outer right strand under the strand at its left, over the next strand, and under the next, so that it is next to the lowest left strand.

This method of braiding may be used with any number of strands. If you are braiding an odd number of strands (5, 7, 9, 11, etc.), there is only one method of starting the braiding; if you are braiding with an even number of strands (6, 8, 10, 12, etc.), there are two methods of starting, as described for six strands, the second method usually being preferable.

This method of braiding will always come to a point in the center. If you wish a straight edge in finishing, braid the left and right sides down without carrying the strands across the center strands, as shown in Figures C and D.


Braiding over One or More Double Strands

The braiding strand may be carried over or under two neighboring strands, which are kept together as a double strand, as shown in Plate III. This is especially useful in adding strength to the braid. In making such a braid, one pair of strands may be used as a double strand, while all the other strands are kept single, or two or more double strands may be used. Some of the possible combinations are described and illustrated.

A. Four strands. Bring the outer left strand, No. 1 in Figure A, over both No. 2 and No. 3, so that No, 1 is next to No. 4. Then bring the outer right strand, No. 4, over No. 1, so that No. 4 is next to No. 3. To continue: bring the outer left strand over both the strand at its right and the next strand also; then bring the outer right strand over one strand at its left. This will look like regular three-strand braiding except that the left edge will be thicker than the right.

B. Five strands. Bring the outer left strand, No. 1 in Figure B, over both No. 2 and No. 3, so that No. 1 is next to No. 4. Then bring the outer right strand, No. 5, over both No. 4 and No. 1, so that No. 5 is next to No. 3. To continue: bring the outer left strand over both the strand at its right and the next strand also; then bring the outer right strand over both the strand at its left and the next strand also.

C1. Six strands. Bring the outer left strand, No. 1 in Figure C1, over both No. 2 and No. 3, so that No. 1 is next to No. 4. Then bring the outer right strand, No. 6, under both No. 5 and No. 4 and over No. 1, so that No. 6 is next to No. 3. To continue: bring the outer left strand over both the strand at its right and the next strand also; then bring the outer left strand under both the strand at its left and the next strand also and then over the next strand.

C2. Six strands. Bring the outer left strand, No. 1 in Figure C2, over both No. 2 and No. 3, as in the preceding method. Then bring the outer right strand, No. 6, under No. 5 and then over both No. 4 and No. 1, so that No. 6 is next to No. 3. To continue: bring the outer left strand over both the strand at its right and the next strand also; then bring the outer right strand under the strand at its left, and then over the next two strands.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from BRAIDING AND KNOTTING: TECHNIQUES AND PROJECTS by Constantine A. Belash, CHARLES E. WHITE JR.. Copyright © 2014 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

PART I BRAIDING,
I GENERAL DIRECTIONS FOR BRAIDING,
II FLAT BRAIDING,
III WEAVING OVER STATIONARY STRANDS,
IV ARTICLES OF FLAT BRAIDING,
V SOLID BRAIDING,
VI ARTICLES OF SOLID BRAIDING,
PART II KNOTTING,
VII DIFFERENT KINDS OF KNOTS,
VIII KNOTTED ARTICLES,

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