L-M BRIC News Illustrated Instruction Series         Revised 05/10/2006, 2011 © 
L-M Braiding Research & Information Center / Masako Kinoshita
5 Winthrop Place, Ithaca, NY 14850 U. S. A.
Phone & Fax 607-257-0886 e-mail mkinoshi@twcny.rr.com





Side-by-side Interconnection of Two Braids

This section deals with interconnection of two braids by two braiders who sit side-by-side.
Connecting the braids by the nearest slveges yields a braid twice as wide from the original one.  If connected by both the nearest and the farthest, you have a tubular braid.

One of the most basic l-m braiding procedures simultaneously yields two (twin) 2-ridge twill flat braids (Fig. 1a).  In the l-m technique five or seven loops are more often used.
By interconnection of two twin 2-ridge falt braids you produce twin 4-ridge flat braids, or two 4-ridge tubular braids, one encased inside of the other.  This is one of interesting features of the l-m technique recorded in old English records and also seen in old specimens.  Existence of the practice in Idonesia today has been reported by Kusakabe in 2004-5.

In this section there are three instructions:
Connecting by loop interchange at nearest neighbors using 10 loops
2.  Connecting by loop interchange at farthest selvages using 10 loops
Connecting by loop passing at nearest neighbors using 9 loops

1. Two-person
loop interchange at nearest neighbors using 10 loops
twin 2-ridge flats
10-loop exchange
Two braiders sit side by side and each makes twin two-ridge braids.  Then the two exchange the loops closest to each other after each cycle of the procedure is completed.  This connects the two twin 2-ridge braids at the neighboring selvages and produces twin 4-ridge flat braids, one layered on top of the other.  (Fig. above center and right: 1b, 1c)

(Fig. 2 at right:  How to connect the two neighboring loops step-by step accordng to the Tollmache Book of Secrets: Theses for Making of Laces.)

actually happensThe above instruction when actually performed, thread ends yield to your finger movements as shown in the figure on the right.  You will find that it is the most natural way of exchanging two loops.


Connecting by loop interchange at farthest selvages using 10 loops

Covert Braid and Compound Braid

 A covert braid is a double-layered tubular braid, that is, a tubular braid with another tubular braid on the inside.@ double tube
A braid called gcou pen,h gcoupenh or gcompoundh in old English records has two alternating solid color area made periodically exchanging the outer and inner layers, each in different color, of a covert braid.@
(Photo 1: Examles of compound of covert braids.  Swatches and photo by J. Boutrup.)

13th c. braid replicas

The same design idea runs in some Japanese medieval braids, proving the idea is intrinsic to the loop technique.

(Photo2Replica model of a Japanese medieval braid.  By M. Kinoshita )

Whereas the 15th-c. English records has only one each basic recipes for making 4-ridge version (square braid) of these two types of braids, the Serene, the newly discovered 17th-c. published record, presents several color schemes applied to the 4-ridge version as well as other flat braids.  It looks as if Lady Serene, the compiler, was fascinated by the design idea.

Working Principle for making the Covert Braid

First, two braiders connect the selvages that are next to each other as shown in Fig. 2.

covert braid
You also exchange the loops at the outer selvages, then each of the two flat braids becomes a tubular braid, one completely encased inside the other (Fig. 3).

If you exchange the loops above the braids; the bottom layer covers the one on top, exchange beneath; the top layer covers the one at the bottom.@

To assure that the two component braids are completely separated, donft cross the shanks of the exchanged loops.  To keep them from crossing, twist the loops as follows before and after you exchange:

When exchanging the loops above

The outermost loop of the left braider         twist clockwise

The outermost loop of the right braider       twist counter clockwise


When exchanging the loops beneath

The outermost loop of the left braider        twist counter clockwise

The outermost loop of the right braider       twist clockwise

how to twist

After the exchange, twist the loops in the opposite direction.  Fig. 4s and 4b shows that the loop on the left is twisted counterclockwise (4a) or twisted clockwise (4b) as it is taken to the right side.

Using bi-color loops; you get a P-colored braid covering one in Q-color or vise versa.  By using several colors in bi-color loops, you make patterned covert braids.



How to Make Compound Braids

Braid using the procedure for covert or compound braid with bi-color loops.

After braiding a certain length (a few cm or a repeat of a color pattern), twist all the loops one by one a half turn to bring up the colors of the bottom shanks to the top.  Proceed to braid as before, then the former inner braid comes up to the surface. @


The principle of making covert and compound braids extends to any double-layer flat braids.

In the Serene this method has been applied to 7-loop 4-ridge as well as 14-loops 8-ridge twin flat braids with a twill/plain mix pattern.  Although the Tollemache has instructions for both braids, none has been applied to this technique.  The addition to the 17th c. publication is most likely to have been Lady Serenefs contribution.

The idea of finger-held L-M procedures to make covert and compound braids explained here extends to that of hand-held L-M procedures.

3.  9-loop 2-person technique

Using one less loop eliminates an irregular float at the connecting ridge.
The left braider (LB) holds 4 loops and the right braider (RB) 5 loops.

9-loop connectionStep 1. RB braids one repeat of, say, twin 2-ridge flat braid procedure.

Step 2.
LB using his/her Ra hooks up la of RA from above so that the upper shank of la stays the same after the transfer.

Step 3.
After the transfer, LB braids on repeat of the procedure.

Step 4. RB using his/her La hooks up ra of LB from above.

Repeat steps 1-4.

(Fig. 5 top:  LB takes la from RB)
(Fig. 5 bottom:  after the transfer)