Ply-split braiding is enticing especially to knitters, weavers and basket makers. Unlike the techniques of those fiber arts, in ply-split braiding a cord passes through other cords. Pattern is formed by the placement of cord color and the order in which they are split.
Necklaces, baskets, purse and bag handles, clothing accessories ... the possibilities are limitless, and it is something that can be done anywhere with little equipment.
To get started, first admire the work of today’s artists with the photographs of the beautiful art that can be found online. Here are some links to to help with that:
Now that you are inspired:
Get a special hand tool called a "gripfid" (Buy one from us, of course!). Standard sizes cost $11 or $30 for a set of three sizes. These are used to split the plies of the cord and pull another cord through. See video “What is a Gripfid”
Next get some 4-ply cords. We offer ready-made 4 ply cotton cords in a variety of colors to help the beginner get started. Or try making some cords yourself. See our video Making Cords for Ply-split Braiding. Making cords of your own design is one of the creative parts of the art. More detail is found on our desktop site.
We strongly recommend Julie Hedges' book, Ply-Split Braiding, An Introduction for patterns and techniques. This beautifully illustrated book is the best available for beginners. Clear step-by-step instructions, together with excellent color illustrations, make this book a user-friendly introduction to the art of ply-split braiding.
It won't be long before you want to buy a Bradshaw cord maker. This is the biggest cost of the craft (under $180). Sharing between friends or at a guild is a good idea.