Technique:

Spiral Braids with 12 to 28 Strands

by Kris | 10 responses | 3 minute read

You can make larger braids from 12 to 28 strands of thread using the same technique as the 8 strand spiral braid. These are woven from brights so you can easily see the structure and pattern, but they could also be worked in muted tones or even solid colored for specific applications. If you’ve ever tried to find a trim to match a fabric at a craft store you know how nice it is to be able to make your own!

Spiral braids made from between 12 and 28 strands

This technique uses the braiding disk from the 8 strand spiral braid (click here for the download, printing, and cutting info.)

 

This braid can be made in any size as long as the number of strands is a multiple of 4. I say in the title “up to 28″ because that is the most the braiding disk I posted can accommodate. To make a larger braid you’ll need a disk with more notches cut in it.

 

It should also be noted that, when small, the braid is very sturdy. When made with lots of strands the center is hollow, so at very large sizes it might be a little smooshy.

 

Most interestingly, I found that, no matter how many strands I worked with, 12 inches of length per strand made about 7 inches of braid. Don’t forget to count a few extra inches in for the size of the disk (you can’t braid strands that are too short to tuck into the notches on the disk.)

 

I cut my strands double length, then tied them all together with a crochet thread scrap at the center.

To make perfect spiral stripes you need a to divide your 4 strands into two pairs, and set each pair opposite it’s match on the disk.

This image has a box drawn around each pair of pairs. This is 16 strands, but the same thing applies to any number of strands in this braid.

From the vertical pair (your best bet is to start with the strands that are lowest in the stack of threads in the middle) swap the top right to the bottom right, and the bottom left to the top left as shown.

Turn the disk counter clockwise so the next set of threads is vertical.

It should look like this.

Once again, top right to bottom right, bottom left to top left.

And turn the card.

Continue in that way until you run out of thread!

This picture shows the layout for a 28 strand braid. The dark purple will be worked next. When the top right and bottom left threads are moved they will open up spaces for threads from the next set, and so on. This disk can only accommodate 28 threads in this type of braid – if you want a thicker braid you’ll need to make a disk with more notches.

From left to right – 8 strands, 12 strands, 16 strands, 20 strands, 24 strands and 28 strands.

Kris

About Kris

I use Twitter, I have a personal blog/portfolio, and I've recently started using Instagram, mostly for inspiration images and upcoming HDYMT projects.

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Forums Spiral Braids with 12 to 28 Strands

This topic contains 10 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Sydney 3 days, 15 hours ago.

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  • #15552 Reply

    Sydney

    This is so clever! What would you recommend using the braided strands for? Bracelets?

    http://sydneydoesdiy.blogspot.co.uk/

  • #15553 Reply

    Cece

    Shoelaces!

  • #15554 Reply

    jonna s

    Love it!

  • #15555 Reply

    Susan T.

    This type of braiding is called Kumihmo. An ancient Japanese art of braiding. The braid designs are endless and work up into beautiful jewelry pieces in which beads and pendants can be added. Also google Kumihimo to see more about the art and find instruction books. If you have a local bead shop, someone there might know how to do this. So hunt around. This is a great craft and easy to learn. Anne Dilker does designing for BeadSmith. I took my first ever Kumihmo class with her.

  • #15556 Reply
    HDYMT
    HDYMT
    Keymaster

    I specifically avoided using the term “kumihimo” on this post. The translation of kumihimo is just “braided threads” or “gathered threads” depending on your source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumihimo). This braid was used around the world by different cultures at the same time, so I thought it was unfair to everyone who wasn’t Japanese to use the Japanese word to describe the technique.

  • #15557 Reply
    HDYMT
    HDYMT
    Keymaster

    Thanks!

  • #15558 Reply
    HDYMT
    HDYMT
    Keymaster

    Jewelry, loops for buttons (like on duffle coats), curtain tie backs, drawstrings…

  • #15559 Reply

    Audrey

    If using a lot of threads you could have a cord going down the centre so it would not get floppy.

  • #15560 Reply

    STLSue

    Great tutorial! I have a lamp cord that I want to cover (so thanks Audrey for your comment).

  • #15561 Reply

    Virginia McCarthy

    Thanks for the 16 thread instructions. I’ve really become interested in braiding since I took a class at a local bead store. We made a bracelet with size 6o seed beads and C-lon cord. I’ve made a few more bracelets and have tried a 12 strand braid using rattail. i’ve gotten hooked.

    If folks want to learn more, there are some facebook groups that have some good information and the posts of completed projects are inspiring. The groups I know of are: Kumihimo, Kumihimo Supplies Tutorials and Kumihimo Braiders International.

    I’ve also looked at some pinterest pages. There are some interesting projects and images out there.

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