Finger Loop Braids
Lace Frettys & Lace Bend Round
This was made with 5/2 pearl cotton and is 34 inches long. I did them separately and then inserted the Lace Bend Round inside the Lace Frettys. Then I stitched them together on each end and then did the whipping with the thread use for the stitching.
Barley Corn of 8 Bowes
This was made with 5/2 pearl cotton and is 44 inches long.
This was made with 5/2 pearl cotton and is 36 inches long.
Lace Bend Round
This was made with 5/2 pearl cotton and is 36 inches long.
This was made with 5/2 pearl cotton and is 41 inches long.
This was made with 5/2 pearl cotton and is 35 inches long.
Prototypes & Tests
Lace Mascle of 8 Bowes
I figured out that you could change the direction the cords would go during cross-overs by doing the exchanges twice instead of once.
These are the results my experimentation with changing the direction that the cords would go by doing exchanges twice in a row during cross-overs.
It matters rather you hook the bottom or the top of the loop during an exchange. If you hook the top of the loop during an exchange the bottom of the braid will be wider than the top of the braid. If you hook the bottom of the loop during an exchange the top of the braid will be wider than the bottom of the braid. I used that different to make this braid by hooking the top of the loop during one cycle of exchanges and hooking the bottom of the loop for next cycle of exchanges.
Examples of Uses
These are some of the uses to which I have put the finger loop braids I have made.
Back Strap Loom
The back strap was made on my Takadai. It is a log cabin design made with 5/2 pearl cotton using 6 threads per tama.
The anchor strap is square braid of 5 loops. The two loops were made by doing a split square braid and going back to the square braid to close the loop.
The adjustable side strap is a barley corn braid of 7 loops. The four loops were made by doing a split square braid and going back to the barley corn braid to close the loop.
The fringe was made with a split square braid of 5 loops.
This was my first attempt at finger loop braiding and why I started to learn finger loop braiding.
The braid was 30″ long. I used 7 Loops. I started with a split square braid for 5 cycles to make a large loop on the end. Then I made a flat braid section long enough to sew to the sides of the mask. Then I did one cycle of a square braid to transition from a flat braid to a barley corn braid. The rest of the braid was a barley corn of 7 loops.
This book is my notebook on making finger loop braids. It shows how to make the braids I have made so far and the results of my tests on some braids.
This is a work in progress and will be expanded as I make more braids.
This is a handout that I use when I teach a class on finger loop braiding.
- Silkewerk – Fingerloop braid comparison from 3 manuscripts
- Loopbraider – Website on fingerloop braids
- Loopbraider – YouTude videos on fingerloop braiding
- Finger Loop Braiding – Facebook page for finger loop braiding
- Known World Loop Manipulation – Facebook page for loop braiding
- The Braid Society – The society covers: Fingerloop Braiding, Kumihimo, Inkle Weaving, Tablet Weaving, Sprang, and Lucet
20 Replies to “Finger Loop Braids by Deorwine aet Earneleia”
These are amazing! I love your control of the string. Do you have any hints for how to control the tension, especially on flat braids, over longer runs? I haven’t been able to get much more than 20″ yet, and I know it’s my inexperience that limits me the most.
I am currently working on a flat braid with loops that at 140″ long.
To keep the tension the same for the whole length of the braid you need to pull the loops apart at the same angle and strength for the whole braid. On long braids you cannot do that by just spreading your arms apart. What I do on long braids is pull the loops taunt and then exchange the loops. Then I walk forward to where the loops join to form the braid and pull on the threads from the loops to seat the threads. Then I walk back to pull the loops taunt and exchange the loops. And then repeat. You will need to do the same thing for the whole braid even when you get close to the end and can spread you hands apart enough.
On my last two flat braids I used 2 threads of 5/2 pearl cotton on each side of the loops. They worked well when I pulled them tight and I was able easily flatten them when the braid was complete. Before that I was using 1 thread of a thicker yarn on each side of the loops. That did not work well when pulled tight and it was harder to flatten them when complete. For the 1 thread loops I only spread the loops apart by 90 degrees and did not pull them as hard. What you should do is make short test braids with the threads that you are using to find what works for you and then make your long braid.
I love the detail in your photos and your colour choices, which are lovely. I’d be interested in knowing more about your process (I know notheeng about fingerloop braiding!) and how your work compares and contrasts with historical examples. I had no idea that the patterns could be so intricate.
I explain how I make the finger loop braids in my “Finger Loop Braiding Book” in the document section above.
The braids I have done so far are based on braids from medieval manuscripts. The only photos that I have seen of actual medieval braids so far have been in black and white, and do not show enough detail for much of a comparison.
Wow. This is some really cool work. I love that you shared so many close up photos, especially of your tests where I can actually look closely at the pattern. Thanks for sharing!
I am SO impressed and inspired by your work! Your work is even and colorful. I love all the different uses you found for the braids. The instructions in your handout and book are very clear and easy to understand!
A book that I enjoy is called “Tak V Bowes Departed: A 15th Century Braiding Manual” by Elizabeth Benns and Gina Barrett
Wonderful! I am very impressed with your consistency!
Are you looking at period finger loop sources? Mistress Idonia has done some amazing work with recreating multiple patterns! I can do a few but not anywhere this good 😉
I also really love the lace!
I look forward to seeing more!!
All the braids I have done so far are based on braids from these 3 manuscripts.
“Tollemache Book of Secrets”; 15th century
“Harleian 2320 – Article 4, ff 52r-70v”; 15th century
“Serene” also called “Natura Exenterata: or Nature Unboweled”; 1655
Where I can I do them using the V-fell method instead of the A-fell method in the manuscripts thou. I think V-fell is easier.
Your work is amazing. I’ve done some finger-loop braiding after a class a few years ago and consistency of weave/tension across the length is a lot of practice.
The lace pattern is quite beautiful and I like the application to the mask! I’m looking forward to reading your book and practicing some of the patterns. Thank you for sharing!
I am looking forward to learning more about your braids and their many uses. Thank you for all the links.
I will be updating the exhibit after the event.
I also post all the items I make and results of my tests on my facebook page.
So very glad to see your work here. How long have you been doing finger loop braids?
Probably around 2 years since I did the first ones.
I love seeing your works in person and online. Thank you so much for sharing your book. What type of material and size do you find easiest to work with?
The ones in the Finger Loop Braids section were done with 5/2 pearl cotton.
The Sprang Scarf was done with wool.
The rest were done with medium size 4 acrylic yarn. I use the acrylic mostly for the short practice or prototype braids.
I have not used wool for braids yet. I plan on using it later.
Of what I have used so far, they are about the same to work with. You have to be careful with fine threads as they can cut your hand. I used to wear the white cotton dress gloves to keep my hands from getting cut. Now I use the Kute to keep that from happening.
I knew about fingerloop braiding but had no idea it could be used to create such diverse patterning with the colors! I may have to try some of these out. I’ve done simple mono-colored strands before but these are stunning!
Thank you so much for sharing <3
Still have a lot more variations to go through. The next two I am working on are flat braids that could be used as trim. Then after I get more of the finger loop braids down, there is Kute-uchi or hand loop braiding to figure out.