Techniques of Ply-Split Braiding

Ply-Split Braiding is an ancient art originating in the desert of northwestern India and in some parts of South America. camel photo by Peter CollingwoodIn India this unusual braiding is used to make elaborate camel girths and other animal regalia of hand-spun goat hair, wool or sometimes cotton. 

Unlike weaving or other forms of braiding where cloth is formed by threads interlacing in an over-under sequence, in ply-split braiding one plied cord passes through another plied cord or cords splitting the plies.  Colors and Split Order with GripfidPattern is formed by the placement of cord color and the order in which cords are split.

Today, this technique is used by fiber artists to create handmade decorative items including neckwear, bags, household d├ęcor, garments and three-dimensional structures such as baskets and sculptures.

Ply-Split Braiding

The Technique

Splitting the Plies

Splitting the Plies

Create patterns by selecting split orders and cord colors.

Create Pattern

The Basic Tools

A cord maker to twist yarn into cords

Twisting yarn into cord with a Bradshaw cordmaker

A gripfid tool that splits the plies and pulls a cord back through other cords

Gripfid in action

It is easy to get started doing this yourself!



Ply-split Braiding as easy as 1-2-3

1. Get a cordmaker or buy some ready-made cords
2. Buy a gripfid
3. You are ready to ply-split!
For further guidance, look at some patterns. For example
* Julie Hedges' book: Ply-Split Braiding, An Introduction
* A simple braid, published online at  WeaveZine
* Our videos
There are many more possibilities from key fobs to fashion accessories to baskets to functional bands. Browse our website for much more information.