February 23, 2017

Setting up the warp cords for bracelet size, tapestry bracelet tutorial part 2

Part 2: Setting up the warp cords for bracelet size:

This project uses the 3 mm cotton cord as the framework (warp cords) for the bracelet. In order to predict the final size accurately circular mold made of PVC pipe is used.

Center the 36" cord and place the button. If you are using an ordinary button you may sew it in place the center of the cord. I use waxed nylon thread for all this sort of structural work, you may use carpet thread or any other heavy duty material.

For this project the clay button has been placed in the center of the loop of cord. The button is made with two holes allowing it to be placed on the cord without need for stitches.
Place the button on the mold corresponding to the finished size for the bracelet. In this example a 2" diameter pvc pipe is used to create a finished size of about 7 1/2" or about 191 mm circumference.

You may use a cardboard tube or a small jar to set the size you want. A cloth tape measure is useful to measure circumference of both wrist and mold.

Loop the two ends around the button as shown. (They go in opposite directions)

Bring the tails back in the center between the two strands.

You can hold the whole thing together with your hands after some practice.
Tuck each loose end into a reverse loop up under the button as snug as you can and use one of the tapestry needles to secure them both in place.

This may take a bit of practice.

Make the two reverse loops even as shown.

Allow the ends to lie parallel in the outside gaps as shown.

Adjust the tension so the side segments are even and snug to the mold.

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design, photos, and descriptions copyright 2017

February 19, 2017

The cool product and caveats - String weave tapestry bracelet tutorial part 1

Part 1 The cool end product and a few caveats

This series shows how to make this taprestry weave bracelet from simple materials. This is a project for intermediate to advanced crafters who are familiar with some basic techniques including hand dying cotton string, setting up a simple loom, and a technique I call "needle weaving".

For this project a series of cotton cords are wrapped with lightweight dyed string to create a colorful flexible cuff bracelet. A special custom made clay bead is used to create a simple toggle closure.

Note that this project requires some custom materials and a small loom. These items are shown later on in the tutorial photos.


The wrapping string is ordinary cotton twine you can find at a local hardware store. It's a #24 so it is quite lightweight material similar to kite string.

The colors shown are made by dying the string in a water based dye bath. This is a special technique required to prepare the materials.

Read more about the dye process here.

Other materials you will need: a few tapestry or needle point needles. These are the blunt type with a large eye.

A small pair of pliers is useful when manipulating the work.

You will also need about 36" of 3 mm cotton cord and a button. The button used in this demonstration is a custom made clay button but you may use an ordinary plastic button instead.

You will also want to have on hand some rubber bands and other basic crafting tools. This tutorial covers the high level techniques which you can adapt to your own designs.

This is part 1 of a multi-part posting, more to come in the coming weeks.

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design, photos, and descriptions copyright 2017




February 14, 2017

one button string weave leather lacing cuff white 4104

 This low profile cuff is made with 2 mm leather lacing wrapped with a white waxed thread.

The button is a custom "boulder" shape made from polymer clay. The lacing is looped through the button then doubled around the mold forming the loops.

The weft is a heavy waxed thread doubled then plain woven through the leather warp. The warp ends are simply trimmed off.
 7 1/2" (191 mm) circumferencnce
5/8" (16 mm) wide

more like this:

1 button black leather bracelet 2934

leather braided bracelet black 3612

wrapped leather cord button bracelet 2781



Check the fiber+design section of WhatKnotShop on ETSY for this and a variety of similar designs.


design and photographs copyright 2017

February 12, 2017

soft string bangle 4093

 Made without buttons this little bracelet started out as a wrapping of the warp cords on a bottle mold followed by a widely spaced wrapping process.

Additional warp cords were laid in parallel and woven in, you can see the colors showing through.


Here the additional warp cords are visible thought the weave. No need for fussy packing of the weft this is an exploration of texture and color.

And of course the shape got messed when the tension on the warp gets out of alignment but the overall effect is pleasing.

some other designs that might interest you:

experimental string weave overview

wide blue tapestry woven rope cuff 4091

grey one button cuff 4095


All cotton string from the up-cycle box plus a very light cotton twine that was paired then threaded in the weft.






design and photos copyright 2017 

February 10, 2017

heather grey one button cuff 4095

A narrower four strand wrapped design made with two grey colors and an oversize button.

The edges are single cord wrapped with two cored paired in the center which creates the wider rib.

The needle-weaving is simple over-under plain weave using the interstitial space as the crossover. The wrapping string is paired. The ends of the core cords are looped back under the center rib.
 Here the four cords are visible as a pair of loops on the button.
Sized on a mold this design is 7" (178 mm) circumference.


here are some other designs you might like:

wide blue tapestry woven rope cuff 4091

more string weaving bracelets 4096 4097 4099

experiments with string weaving overview





Warmer grey color with a cooler grey accent.


Check the fiber+design section of WhatKnotShop on ETSY for this and a variety of similar designs.








design and photos copyright 2017

February 7, 2017

wide blue tapestry woven rope cuff 4091

 A wider two-button design cuff with a blend of blue cotton double strand weft wrappings.

The warp cords are 3 mm cotton and form a strong linear geometry around which the thinner weft string is woven. The weft assumes a series of figure-8 shapes as it crosses over in the spaces between the warp cords creating the ribs.

The whole thing is made on a small loom after setting the size using a circular mold.
The termination of the weave involves following the looped warp cords around the looped ends as you can see in this image. The cords are reversed in pairs.

Buttons are secured with waxed nylon thread.

Here's an overview of design variations.
The simple color patterns are various lengths of weft cord juxtaposed.

Check the fiber+design section of WhatKnotShop on ETSY for this and a variety of similar designs.




design and photographs copyright 2017

February 1, 2017

more string weaving bracelets 4096 4097 4099

Three bracelets made by string weaving which is wrapping thinner cotton string over heavy stretched core in a fish-tale pattern.

On the left a navy and white banded pattern - the navy cords are unwound from a twisted piece of dyed cord which produces the variegated colors. (4097)

In the center a multiple color banded cuff using a combination of unwound dyed cords and dyed segments of ordinary cotton "butcher twine" commonly available in hardware stores. (4096)

On the right a bright yellow, orange, and pink banded cuff made mostly with the unwound dyed cords. (4099)
These cuffs are all secured with button and loop toggles.

They are laid out on a circular mold to establish the size. The buttons are positioned then the the whole thing is stretched on a small loom to complete the weaving process.

Segments of the colored cords are passed from side to side and packed together after each lateral pass. I'm sure there are more accurate technical terms to describe this process, weavers are invited to suggest references and terms in the comments section...


design and photographs copyright 2017

January 24, 2017

experiments with string weaving overview

 With plenty of indoor time and an increasing collection of materials comes some experimentation with a primitive style of weaving. These examples are highly textured made rapidly on simple circular molds. Cores are braided or twisted cotton with cotton wrappings.

These were done fast without concern for detail or finish. The gaps exposing the cores offer a patterning (checkerboard) effect. The loose ends are left to create additional interest.
 These take on a more regular form when the process is refined and more care is taken placing the wrappings on the cores. The tight stacking creates a more disciplined finish. This lacks the exuberant raggedness of the first group but has more subtle color possibilities.

Warp cords are 3 mm cotton
Weft is a combination of ordinary dyed corn string and unwound strands of thin cotton rope
Lightweight #18 cotton in grey, navy, and marsala red where the cord takes a very light influence from the dye bath. The pastel blending of the dye and cotton creates a pleasant color range that shares the semi-transparent effect.







design and photographs copyright 2017 

December 23, 2016

soft thick rope grommet bracelets 4078

Found some nice soft cotton rope which is about 1/2" diameter, three ply construction. The fibers are a white cotton (probably bleached) so it's really well suited to making traditional grommets. The cotton is very soft so it's a comfortable finished bracelet that has some natural stretch to enable these to fit on over a larger hand.

They are finished with traditional coach whipping detail at the overlap.
 Here's what these look like when worn. The larger size material makes a nice nautical style statement.

Here are some other grommet bracelet designs you might like:

ultra-slender rope bracelets

collection of colorful grommet bracelets

really BIG rope grommet bracelets
Three closely spaces sizes were made in this initial run:
7 1/4" (184 mm)
7 1/2" (191 mm)
8 1/2" (226 mm)

More grommet bracelets in the ETSY shop in the grommets section (color, size, variety…something for everyone here!)


design and photographs copyright 2016

December 21, 2016

salvage cord rope bracelet 4080

Found materials are always a source of inspiration for making something out of scrap or other discarded stuff. So it is with this wider design (13x9x2) plain weave slip on cuff.

The cord was found along a roadside construction zone. Lengths of this cord were used to guide large concrete placement machines. A series of vertical rods with adjustable outriggers supports a length of this cord. A guide wand on the machine follows the string ensuring that the shape of the concrete pour matches the exact shape of the stretched cord.
 The cord was soaked in a vinegar solution to remove the cement residue then washed and dried. The cord is somewhat stiff as the braid is a tightly laid synthetic probably some kind of polyester or polypropylene.

Size is 8" (203 mm) inside circumference about right for an adult hand - no natural stretch to this one due to the high density cord.

A bit of this cord remains in my collection for custom work.


Here are some other designs made using reclaimed or recycled materials:

fiber bangles 

carpet pad bracelet

up cycled plastic fiber bangles


design and photographs copyright 2016

December 19, 2016

black and blue adjustable bead bracelet 4087

 Hand twisted hemp four ply cord and two oversize glass beads make a simple adjustable bracelet (or anklet).

The hemp cord is made on a small rope machine like this. The glass beads have large oversize holes that can accept two passes of the cord.

An overhand knot secures the loose ends.


 The adjustment is simply a matter of sliding the beads on the cord to achieve the desired size. This design can expand to 13" (331 mm) and shrink to as small as 6 1/4" (158 mm) so it can fit over a smaller foot to be worn as an anklet or an average wrist.

More examples of handmade rope here

Similar hemp cord bracelet

beaded hemp toggle bracelets 


This and similar designs are available in the ETSY shop in the toggle bracelets section or you can request a custom design.





design and photographs copyright 2016 

December 17, 2016

button toggle rope bracelets 4074

 These simple rope bracelets were designed for a custom order and a series were made out of the yellow ochre cord- the custom dye process always require some additional material to test color outcomes…

A heavier four ply cotton cord is used. A small button is secured to the open ends of the cord with  high strength nylon thread.

The loop is formed and secured with a waxed thread coach whipping detail. A second coach whipping is added near the button
 Finished size is 8" (203 mm) inside circumference about right for an adult male wrist.

This versatile design can be produced in a variety of sizes. Button design and color can be matched to a wide choice of dyed cord.

The coach whippings can be made with the traditional wax thread as in this example or cotton floss can be substituted using the same concealed end technique.
Some other designs you might like:

Fishtail braid bracelet

Suede pillow bracelet

wrap bracelet with dragon tooth button

Check the ETSY shop in the toggle bracelets section for availability of this design and other related designs.

design and photographs copyright 2016