Sunday, 26 October 2014

Where To Get Supplies For Your Horsehair Bracelet

What to search for...

When you decide you are going to make your own horsehair bracelet, one of the first questions you come across may be this. How do I get hold of the end parts to the bracelet? That question leads to others. What type of end and what size do I need?

I have built up a short list of trusted suppliers. They provide quick service and consistent quality. They will also order something for you if they haven't got it.

Before you find a company you need to know what to search for. You can start by entering 'bracelet end caps' into a search engine. If you know what color you are looking for that narrows the search considerably. Stating a size further eliminates irrelevant items. You will probably need end caps between 2 and 4 mm (this is what you want the inner diameter to be). If you are making a really chunky bracelet you will need a larger end cap. Remember though that the end of the braid needs to fit snugly into the end cap to make a really tight, secure fit.

So then, the following searches may help

Bracelet end caps silver

End caps 4 mm brass, silver, gun metal

Crimp ends silver 3 mm

Bell caps

Bell closures

Fold over findings

What type and size of finding for the horsehair bracelet or necklace

View post on "What Size Bracelet to Make"

The link to a past post on choosing the size of your bracelet also links to the size and type of your finding, or end attachment of the bracelet.

You need the end part and clasp to match of course. Sometimes it is easier if the end part and clasp come as an item. Then you don't have to hunt for matches.

Fold Over Ends

Fold over ends often come with chains on and lobster clasps. Provided you make small to medium braid these should fit. I wrap the end of the braid very tightly and glue the end first, then add the fold over end before the glue dries.

These findings come in a range of colors and no matter where you are in the world, you should be able to get hold of them.

The braid in the photo is medium sized. Any thicker and it would not have been suitable for the finding.

The fold over finding is great to use on necklaces. The fact they are adjustable makes them attractive to use on bracelets for youngsters too,

End Caps, Bell Closures

This kind of cap is often used with kumihimo braiding designs. You can find lots of different colors and lots of variations and patterns if you browse the internet for long enough. You can find inexpensive end caps but sterling silver and gold are out there if you want to make something really special.

If you search 'bell closure' you should find bell caps with chains and clasps attached among the search results. 

In the photo, I have added a different adjustable chain. This is very simple to do if you get some lengths of chain you like they can enhance your bracelet or necklace and be a change from the 'ready made' versions.

Crimp Ends

Crimp ends can be really pretty, very durable but a bit more expensive and harder to find.

Once you have found a supplier it will be easy to order from them again. If you find a supplier and need something in a different size of color, see if they can get it for you. If they can, it will save you time and make it easier for you, the next time you need to place an order. 

I like to use sterling silver crimp ends. That's a personal preference. The size is important because too small and they just won't fit the end of your braid. Too large and they could dominate your work. A 3 mm inner diameter is good for most jobs.

You should now have a clearer idea of what you will need for your particular project. If you are just starting out, having a go at making your first bracelet, I would advise setting yourself up with a ready made bell closure or fold over finding.

Happy horsehair braiding!

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