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 The Art of Braiding, The Basic,Third Rev. Ed.


My goal for The Art of Braiding, The Basics-Third Revised Edition is to present essential braiding skills necessary for almost any project. It is an adaptation of both the original black and white, The Art of Braiding and The Art of Braiding, The Basics-Revised Edition. This third revised edition remains a skill building resource useful for a wide range of braiders with diverse interests.

In the two prior versions, braiding skills and techniques were covered based on my teaching experiences. With time, I have become more insightful about what students want and need. As a result I feel this edition, with its additional skills and added information, will be of value.

My objectives are the same: to keep the diagrams easy to understand and follow, for novice braiders to be able to experience success and want to continue braiding and for the braider to learn to plait at least one of the following: 4 plait-basic for many smaller projects, 6 plait-also for smaller projects, but with more refinement and strength and/or 8-12 plait-with greater practicality for smaller projects, as smaller strings can be used giving a fancier appearance. Most important, I would like to encourage braiders to understand button pattern.

The main components of well-crafted leatherwork are choosing and preparing quality materials, technical braiding skills and artistic application. When I braid a project, I choose the best materials available then braid with an emphasis on functionality and durability and an equally attractive appearance. Early in my riding and showing experiences, the only tack options available were ill-fitting, unattractive, all braided headstalls with poor adjustments. Consequently, from the beginning my objective has been to braid beautiful, well-fitting, reliable tack that is safe and easy to use. My intention for The Art of Braiding, The Basics-Third Revised Edition is for it to be a foundation for these qualities.

These skills are included in this edition: Double loop lacing with one string and saddle skirt lacing. There is a section on the application of a finish to a completed project and, for the most serious braiders, there is a section on building your own Cutter/Beveler.

As you work from the illustrations, notice they are typically shown in the same position as they are held when braided. The section on Applique Braiding, page 52, is an example. See how the appliquÈ braiding strings start at the bottom of the piece and are held close to the body as they are braided away from it.

Button configuration is learned using the mandrel, a wooden dowel, the size determined by string width. It is used as a tool for braiding button patterns and experimentation. To clear up any confusion, most buttons are NOT braided on the mandrel then transferred to a project. When applying a button to an item, it is braided directly onto the piece. This takes much less time and improves the look and feel of the finished item.

Buttons illustrated on pages 29-46are all braided on a mandrel labeled A, B, C and D. If keeping your place on the mandrel is difficult, as you practice braiding these buttons, it may be helpful to color the mandrel illustrations with colored pencils. I would suggest the following colors:

A-Blue B-Green C-Red D-Yellow

The Art of Braiding, The Basics-Third Revised Edition includes:

1.) Graphic and photographic illustrations.
2.) Colored arrows and lines for clarity on all illustrations.
3.) Additional rules, notes and hints to aid pattern understanding.
4.) Full text instruction for all passes in each illustration.

The terminology is what I have become accustomed to over the years. I have tried to stay as correct as possible, but have found in this art, term consistency is vague. Therefore, I assume other authors have also been more interested in braiding than nomenclature.

For reference the Glossary, Index of Tools & Skills, Hints & Notes and a Materials, Tools & Supply Source List have been updated.

Braiding, like many arts, has more than one method to achieve a single goal. As I learned the art of braiding, I gradually developed and adopted techniques that worked best for me and suited my style. You too will pick and choose those processes that advance your skills.

My intention is for you to find the greatest value possible from this third revised edition while in pursuit of your art of braiding.

 Email - hought@hought.com

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