Tuesday, 26 March 2013

What size bracelet to make

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Deciding how what width you want your bracelet to be...

When I first started making horsehair bracelets last year, one of the biggest problems I had was working out just how many warps were needed for the kumihimo bracelet and how many horse hairs needed to go into each warp.

If you get this wrong, the end result may not fit into the end cap or clasp.

I am going to try to make it easy for you to get it right first time by telling you about the various sizes of bracelet in the photo below.

So then, from left to right.

Bracelet 1: the thinnest bracelet (gold ends)

How long you make the bracelet is up to you, but I work on having the length of hair approximately three times the desired length of the final bracelet. Weaving the hair takes up a lot of length. The tighter the weave the more durable the bracelet.

This bracelet is a 16 strand kumihimo design. In each strand contains five hairs. This gives you a slim, dainty look.

Bracelet 2: the medium thickness bracelet (silver ends)

Here again is a 16 strand design. Each strand holds seven to ten hairs. The end cap for this bracelet is slightly bigger.

Bracelet 3: the thickest/widest bracelet (diamond pattern)

In this bracelet design there are 11-15 horse hairs per strand. That's a lot of hair to weave but the Styrofoam kumihimo disk holds the strands of hair together well while braiding.

Bracelet 4: the beaded bracelet

This bracelet is made from an 8 strand design with just three horse hairs per strand. Any thicker and it would be very difficult to thread and manage the beads, so the bracelets I have made have all followed an 8 strand (3 hairs in each) design.

How long does it take to make a bracelet?
People have asked me how long it takes to make a bracelet. From start to finish you can expect it to take up to seven hours on a spiral design. The more horse hairs you add,  the longer it takes to make the bracelet simply because it takes more time to sort the hair and hold it at the correct tension while braiding. If you have a complex pattern or bead design that takes time too.

Making a bracelet can be very relaxing and enjoyable and you probably won't notice the time passing by. Before you know it, you will be looking at the finished bracelet!

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