Saturday, 19 October 2013

Starting a Bracelet or Necklace

My nephew is an airline pilot. Apart from the pre-flight checks and ensuring all is well during the flight, the take-off and landing are the really important bits to get right!

So once the horse hair has been threaded onto the kumihimo loom, the start and finish are the really challenging bits.

In each warp in the picture here are 9 horse hairs. 9x8=72. That is, 72 horse hairs to keep control over as the braid starts to be woven and 72 hairs to maintain the tension in as the braid develops. Once the braid gets going though, the process is much easier.

To make things really easy, I have a vase so I can place the disc down whenever I need to. That way, nothing slips or gets dislodged.

To help keep tension in the braid you can use a plastic bobbin to hold the end of the hair plus attach a weight to this also. I use a key.

Always start on either side of the dots.

Start moving the strands of hair from lower left to upper left followed by upper right to lower right.

Once the upper and lower warps have been moved the disc is turned ( turn clockwise, but it doesn't matter, so long as you always work in the same way)

You then move the next four warps in exactly the same way.

Once done, all of the warps will have moved one place to the left (or right depending on how you are moving, clockwise or counter clockwise)

Now you continue until you reach the length you are looking for in the braid.

Braiding takes a long time. To braid a bracelet it can take several hours. You will want to put down your work at some point and when you do, if you leave your work part way through a move, you will instantly know where to pick up from.

Here the bottom left warp has moved to the top left. Now you can go and have a coffee and do other things. When you return, you will know that the next move is upper right to lower right.

Finishing a Bracelet

Finishing a bracelet can be one of the more difficult parts of bracelet making. Provided you take your time and use the right tools for the job, it will work out fine.

Tools for tying off a horse hair bracelet
When finishing a bracelet I like to work on a tray. On the tray I have kitchen towel and sometimes a piece of material used for working with beads. That way, things tend to stay put and not slip about when you are trying to work.

What you have on your tray when removing the work from the kumihimo disc is some strong cord, glue, scissors and the work itself.

Tying off a finished design

Here is a sequence of photos where a bracelet has been tied off tightly with cord and glued to make the horse hairs stay in place.

The cord is tied around the work before it is removed from the Kumihimo disc.

Adding some glue to help the hairs remain in place

The ends are trimmed so they can fit into the chosen end cap and more glue is applied.

Shortening a braid

This braid is too long. It was originally supposed to form a Celtic knot but it was later decided to make just a bracelet. So now a knot is tied where the bracelet is to be cut.

The braid is carefully cut and the woven ends unravelled.
Braided horse hair comes undone easily which can be a good thing because you can start over if you make a mistake and the horse hair should be fine.

 As with the other end of the bracelet, it is prepared for the end cap to fit over neatly and glued in place

Both caps are now attached

The End Result!
Once the end caps are dry and set you can add the jump rings and lobster clasp to finish.