L-M BRIC News Illustrated Instruction Series: No. 6                       04-10-2003 ©
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



Braids on Frederik III's gown

The gold and silver threads used are not necessarily uniform in size or distribution. Here we give a diamond pattern (oblique plaid) color scheme as an example.

Material: fine gold and silver threads or yarns in two contrasting colors.

Cut 24 strands of gold and 36 of silver, 45 cm (18") long to make a buttonhole braid approx. 15 cm (6")-long.

Using a piece of sturdy string, wrap around and tie very securely the whole bunch together at about 4 cm (3/4") off the mid point of the whole length. Secure the bunch to a sturdy post by the string.

1)  To make the buttonhole portion: (Worked by one braider)

No. of loops: 5 To make this portion, use all the threads from the longer half of the bunch. Tie ends together to make 2 gold and 3 silver loops of an equal length each consisting of 6 strands.

Initial distribution of the loops:

3 silver loops to the left hand (LH) 2 gold loops to the right hand (RH)

Braid about 5 cm (2") using braiding procedure: UO No. 1
Step 1: Ra goes through Rb loop and scoop the upper shank of Lc loop.
Step 2:
La goes through Lb loop and scoop the upper shank of Rc loop.
Tighten the structure and repeat stpes 1 and 2.

2)  Rib portion (three braiders)

Fold the braided portion in half and bring the unbraided bunch of threads together.

Reattach the sturdy string to the fold and secure on the post.

Cut to make the length of the bunched thread uniform.

Regroup the threads and tie ends together to make 6 gold and 9 silver loops of an equal length each consisting of 4 strands

Initial distribution of the loops

braider A   On the left a, b and c  GGG, on the right b and c  SS
braider B  
On the left a, b and c  SSS, on the right b and c  SS
braider C  
On the left b and c SS, on the right a, b and c    GGG

Each braider braids using the procedure for UO No. 1 and for every repeat of the procedure the two adjacent braiders exchange loops using the Crossed Exchange shown below (Figs. 11 STEP 1 and 2).


Braiding instruction: The same as THE YAO PEOPLE'S METHOD (L-M BRIC News No. 5, ILLUSTRATED INSTRUC TIONS: No. 4, Fig. 3)

She cuts 5 lengths of the yarn 50~60cm (20"~24") long. She wraps around and ties securely the mid point of the length with a string. The string is tied to a post to secure the braid head. The cut ends of the yarn are paired and each pair tied close to the ends, resulting in five equal-length loops.

Mrs. Kameda scoopes up the loop on the left middle finger using the right small finger. (Photo at left)

The loop on the right middle finger is being transferred through the loops on the left small and ring finger. (Photo below left)

The braid structurre gets tightened by spreading the arms wide and pulling the loops sideways. (Photobelow)


Following the braiding instructions shown above:

At first, she braids Recipe 1 (two 2-ridge flat braids in one shot) about 2 cm (3/4"). Then she switches to Recipe 2 (a square braid) and braids about 15~20 cm (6"~8"). She ties the end off leaving a fringe of several cm long.

The small loop at the head of the braid is used to attatch the braid on to haori.  Make the loop longer for  a key link.

<>Braids Found in The Karlsruhe Documen

Twill braids:

1. Square braid.  (Below left)
Step 1: Ra goes through the loops Rb and Rc, scoops the upper shank of Lc loop and brings Lc loop out through the loops Rb and Rc.  Lc loop is now mounted on Ra.  Shift the loops on the left hand.
Step 2: The mirror image operation of step 1.

2.  Flat four-ridge braid.  (Below right)
Step 1:
The same as Step 1 of the square braid procedure.

Step 2: La goes through the loops Lb and Lc, hooks up the upper shank of Rc loop and brings Rc loop out through the loops Lb and Lc.  Rc loop is now mounted on La. Shift the loops on the right hand.

The record gives two-color variations:

1) Fine transverse zigzag:   on the left two fingers DD,  on the right three fingers  LDL

2) A-chevron:   on the left three fingers  DDD,  on the right two fingers  LL 


The second group: Eight-strand (four-loop) square (or round) braid

Braiding instruction: Mount a loop on each of the small fingers and the index fingers of both hands.

With palms facing. Give RH upper loop to LH lower finger going over the loop, and on the way back scoop up the LH lower loop. (RH upper and LH lower has been exchanged.) Then do the opposite with LH upper and RH lower.

Two color variations:

1) Cork screw:   on the left two fingers DD, on the right two fingers LL.

2) Vertical column:  on the left two fingers DL, on the right two fingers LD.  Dark and light is exchanged 

Sample swatches in the two color variations.


By exchanging diagonally opposite two loops by one going through the inside of the other many times in the same direction, you produce a pair of oppositely twisted yarn. By exchanging two pairs of loops crossing each other, the two pairs of twisted yarns are interlaced and form a braid with a square (or round) cross section. This braid has the same structure of one of the most basic 8-strand braids (NARABI KAKUYATSU) of the "Genji" family in KUMIHIMO.