Monday, 22 December 2014

Simple Flat Braid Kumihimo Horsehair Bracelet

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Eight Strand Flat Braid Bracelet Pattern

Some readers have asked about flat braid horsehair bracelets. These are easy to do using a square kumihimo plate. Unlike the basic spiral design though, you need to work through a series of moves then keep repeating the sequence until you have the length of braid you want.

It is my view that for horsehair, flat braid designs are probably less durable and so won't stand up to regular wear as well as the spiral design. But the end result is pretty and perfect for occasional use.

The bracelet here is my first attempt at a flat braid design. There are a couple of flaws where the tension was different or the sequence momentarily wrong. It turned out much, much neater than I expected, being just eight strands - or warps- with 10 hairs per strand.

The pattern is described below. I found it best to work through a sequence of moves right to the end then set your plate up to repeat the sequence. That way you will be able to take a break and when you return, you will know where you are up to.  

If you do make a mistake, work back in reverse to the start of a sequence, or to a point where you can see what the next move should be.

Setting up the kumihimo plate

Start Positions
For this pattern you will be using the two middle points at the top and bottom of the plate. Your plate may have a different arrangement of numbers or letters so check this before you start.

Here the top and bottom positions are 5,6 and 15, 16.

The horizontal ones will involve D,E,F and G on the left and d,e,f and g on the right.

Step 1
5 to e

Step 2
16 to F

Step 3
d to 16

Step 4
G to 5

Step 5
6 to E

Step 6
15 to f

Step 7
g to 6

Step 8
D to 15

 Resetting the horizontal strands

The strands at E and F move to D and G on the left

The strands at e and f move to d and g on the right

The horsehair bracelet was finished with sterling silver crimp ends and the horse attached using silver wire.

It was much quicker to braid than the spiral design and took about three hours in total to braid then finish off. A perfect gift for someone.