Bed Braiding

by
K. E. Hockenberry



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Bed Braiding Sample - Boot pulls
I became interested in braiding after my father taught me how to splice rope.  Since then, I have braided everything and anything.

To me, braiding is one of the most beautiful and attractive decorations in leather.

Ever since I started making western boots, I have embellished them with braided appliqué's on the vamps, counters, collars, side seams, tops and the shafts.

I call this type of braid "Bed Braiding."  A long time ago, this type of braiding supported a mattress frame.

These instructions are for a single thong braid.  Braiding with one thong eliminates the need to conceal numerous ends.  The double hole approach opens up the braid, giving it more of a filigreed appearance.
Rules and Principles

Braiding is a mathematical wonder.  It almost defies the impossible.  The lace or rope travels round and round and round until its end becomes its beginning.

Each appliqué or braided knot has set rules that are common and some that are unique to each particular braid.


Rule No. 1

One rule that transcends all braids is the "Law of common divisor."

The amount of holes on the vertical axis and the horizontal axis cannot have a common divisor.

If the vertical axis has three pairs of holes, then the horizontal axis cannot have three pairs of holes nor six, nine, twelve, and so on.

If the vertical axis has four pairs of holes, then the horizontal axis cannot have four pair of holes nor six, eight, ten, and so on.



Entering and Exiting a Hole

Rule No. 2

The lace always enters the right or left side of the paired holes then exits the opposite hole of the paired holes.

If the lace enters the right hole first then the lace always crosses over itself after exiting the left hole.

If the lace enters the left hole first then the lace always crosses under itself after exiting the right hole.



Identifying Which Hole of a Paired Hole to Enter

Rule No. 3

To determined which hole of a paired hole to enter first, answer this question.  Which direction will the lace be tracking after the lace exits the paired hole?

After exiting a paired hole and the lace tracks to the left... enter the paired hole on the right.

After exiting a paired hole and the lace tracks to the right... enter the paired hole on the left.

Begin on the reverse side of hole #1,  lace through the left hole as in Plate #1...

Enter the right hole of #2, exit the left, cross over, proceed to hole #3...

Enter the left hole of #3, exit the right, cross under, proceed to hole #4...

Enter the left hole of #4, exit the right, cross under, proceed to hole #5 paralleling 2 - 3...

Enter the left hole of #5, exit the right, cross under, over 2 - 3 splitting the pair...

Note: 5 - 6 Parallels 1- 2 plaiting the opposite of 1- 2.  Parallels do the opposite of the one it parallels!...

Enter the left hole of #6, exit the right, cross under, proceed to hole #7...

Enter the left hole of #7, exit the right, cross under, under 2 - 3, splitting the pair, over 5 - 4...

Note: 7 - 8 parallels 3 - 4 once removed, plaiting the same as 3 - 4...

Parallels once removed do the same as the one it is paralleling!

Enter the left hole of #8, exit the right, cross under, proceed to hole #9...

Enter the left hole of #9, exit the right, cross under, under 5 - 4, over 2 - 3...

splitting the pair 5 - 6, 2 - 3, over 6 - 7 paralleling once removed 5 - 6, proceed to hole #10.

Enter the left hole of #10, exit the right, cross under, proceed to hole # 11...

Enter the left hole of #11, exit the right, cross under, proceed to hole #12...

Note: 11 - 12 Parallels 9  - 10 plaiting the opposite of 9 - 10.  Parallels do the opposite of the one it parallels!...

Enter the right hole of #12, exit the left, cross over, proceed to hole #13...

Enter the right hole of #13, exit the left, cross over and proceed to hole #14...

The path of 13 - 14 is the opposite of 8 - 7 and 11 - 12,  under, under, over, over...

Enter the right hole of #14, exit the left, cross over and proceed to hole #15...

Proceeding to hole #15 the path is under, over...

Enter hole #15 on the right, exit the left, cross over and proceed to hole #16...

Proceeding to hole #16 the path is under, under over...

Enter hole #16 on the right, exit the left, cross over and proceed to hole #17...

Proceeding to hole #17 the path is under, over, under, over...

Enter hole #17 on the right, exit the left, cross over and proceed to hole #18...

Proceeding to hole #18 the path is under, over...

Enter hole #18 on the right, exit the left, cross over and proceed to hole #1...

Proceeding to hole #1 the path is under, over, under, over, under, over, under...




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